Now that we have some idea as to how this setup works, it's time to see how effective it is. The test system will consist of:
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 21.6C (about 71F) 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 the 3dMark2001 Demo. These are the main types of stresses that today's systems face, so we'll concentrate on them.
Idle Temperatures (Degrees Celsius)
Quake III Arena Temperatures (Degrees Celsius)
3dMark2001 Demo Loop Temperatures (Degrees Celsius)
I was a little disheartened by the results, but when I stopped to think about it a bit, I realized that the fan included in the package was designed for quiet instead of sheer performance. And truth be told, I couldn't hear the thing running at all over the standard case fans that are running. So it has succeeded in its mission to bring you a silent cooler that will still keep your processor within acceptable temperature limits...even when you run it at a 40% overclock!
But those who know me also realize that I like to tinker. So, I decided to set aside the quiet concept and throw on a more powerful fan. Since I just happened to have a nice little Delta 80mm x 80mm x 38mm fan sitting on the shelf, I decided to attach it to the bracket and see if the design of the heatsink could allow for better cooling. Here's what I ended up with…
Slight -vs- Mighty
Now we are seeing numbers that are more in line with what the overclocker inside us is looking for. Looks like we can have the best of both worlds here. The standard fan included will do very nicely for general usage and the occasional gaming evening, and by adding a larger fan to the mix, you're ready to tackle that weekend long fragfest. And the best part of it is that you don't have to remove the heatsink to change out fans! Just remove the thumbscrew from the bracket and throw a monster in there for the party weekend, and then return it to its more docile mode when you're sitting at the house cruising the Information Super-Highway.