I have recently upgraded my system, so temperatures have changed pretty drastically. The first time I ran a monitoring program, I almost fainted when I saw the idle temps. They were considerably higher than I was accustomed to, but found that it was caused by the placement of the socket on my motherboard. Since the processor is no longer in the direct flow of the air produced by the case fans, the system idles higher.
So to make future testing fair, I took my old trusty Gladiator HSF and ran through the heat tests to get a new base set of temperatures to work with. While it will severely limit the database of temperatures from coolers tested in the past, it will make for a trustworthy beginning of some of the newest coolers that are being offered today.
So let's take a look at the test system, shall we?
Antec SX1030 Tower Case w/ 170-CFM airflow
EPoX 8KHA+ Motherboard
AMD Thunderbird 1000MHz Processor @ 1400MHz (AVIA)
512MB Crucial PC2100 DDR Memory
Prolink XX-Player GeForce3
IBM GXP60 40GB Hard Drive
Arctic Silver II
The core voltage of the processor is set to 1.8v, and memory is set to 2.6v. Ambient air temperature was sitting at 21C and didn't fluctuate during testing. Processor speed was firmly at 1400MHz, which puts out about 76.8 watts of heat.
Testing will consist of measuring the temperatures at idle, after a Quake III Arena Deathmatch, and after a continuous looping of 3dMark2001. These are the main types of stresses that today's systems face, so we'll concentrate on them.
Now that we have the ground rules in place, let's see how well a monster of a fan can do when pitted against the very solid performing Gladiator HSF.
It looks as if the mighty Gladiator has finally fallen. I have tested numerous heatsinks, and the Gladiator has always been able to meet all contenders head-to-head and come out on top. It seems that this is no longer the case. The Goliath, with its huge airflow and copper sink, has managed to beat out the old champion by as much as 2.5 degrees. While this may not seem like much, keep in mind that many of today's coolers beat out the competition by as little as half of a single degree, so this is a significant improvement.