The Test System and Thermal Results
Testing for the CPU coolers is done with the use of RealTemp to ascertain temperatures, Intel Burn Test to deliver the load to the CPU and CPU-Z to verify the CPU speed and the voltage being used in Windows. All of the testing is done with an ambient temperature of 24.5-25°C and humidity is maintained to 35% sometimes less.
For the "stock" runs, it's more of a plug and play setup where the PWM of the motherboard is in control of the fans speeds for both the idle and load results. Speed Step is active and the processor idles at 1600MHz and loads at 3500MHz for the stock settings. I also set the memory to run at 1600MHz for stock. As for the overclocked runs, I load the CPU at 4.5GHz and idle results are obtained with 7.5V to the fans while the load run is set to deliver 12V to the fans. This allows me to gauge the lowest and highest fan ratings for my charts.
The idle temps were just a touch warmer than the Edge HD testing, but these results reflect the use of the MCR240-QP and those Corsair AF140 QE fans I put on there. I did run the test with the radiator and pump combo from the Edge HD kit with the Apogee Drive II as well. With the larger radiator and now dual pumps in series, I was able to drop the idle temperature to 25 degrees, as well as lowering the overclocked results from the 27 degrees with the MCR240-QP, with the Triple 120mm radiator in play; I stayed at ambient as well.
What is the biggest shock to me are the thermal results on the loaded end of it. The results on this chart are with the use of the low RPM fans and MCR240-QP. Even so, with less surface area, slower fans, and virtually no noise at all, the Apogee Drive II was able to take on all comers to my testing and prevail as the current leader. At this level, the switch to the older triple radiator and fans, I was only able to pull another degree lower with my testing. While not a huge amount, it does show that the rest of the setup is as important as the block choice in some instances.