Test System & Test Results
TweakTown uses a different method for testing CPU heatsinks which allows for an even playing field across all product tests. We feel that by using the same ambient temperature and strict lab-like testing procedures we are able to accurately compare one product to another. More information on our testing procedure can be found in the T.E.C.C. article here.
At idle the Swiftech Polaris 120 cooler ties for fifth place on the efficiency of the cooler and fan at this level. Considering that all the coolers listed above the Swiftech on the chart are all using two fans to get those results, this is a very impressive start.
Once I let the TECC heat up on the loaded settings, the efficiency of the cooler gets even better once the fan gets running with the full 12V. Here there are only three coolers that ranked better and again all of them had two fans, where as with the Swiftech it stands proud in fourth place with just one.
In order to get this sort of performance out of this design, the fan that comes included will make a fair bit of noise. With 7.5V going through the fan there was 50 dB of noise level recorded. This isn't all that bad, and once the side panel was on the hum was easier to eliminate.
Once I allowed the full 12V to pass through the fan the noise levels went right up as well. Here I recorded a 70 dB noise level, and even with the door panel on, noise at this level is hard to hide. I will say this. Even though it is loud, it slightly out-performs the CNPS10X Performa, but at slightly less noise level.