The Test System and Thermal Results
I would first like to thank HIS, GIGABYTE , InWin and AVADirect for supplying products for me to test with.
To obtain the results you are about to see in the charts I used a combination of Unigine Heaven Bench 3.0, GPU-Z, and the HIS iTurbo software to overclock, measure temperatures, and provide the stress load to heat up the components of the HIS HD 7950 IceQ Turbo used in these tests.
Keeping an ambient temperature of between 24.5° C and 25.5°C the HD 7950 was booted an allowed to sit idle for 10 minutes before I opened GPU-Z to read the measurements, even there I allowed the graphs to fill up completely before I used those temperatures for idle results. For the loaded testing, stock and overclocked, I used Heaven Bench with the setting in the image below, and ran the program for roughly 30 minutes to get to the maximum temperature that the video card would produce.
Even with a really cool video card at idle like this HIS HD 7950 is, there was still room for improvement over the stock cooling solution. You can see we dropped three degrees at idle with the stock clocks, and four degrees better with the overclock applied.
Again with the stock clocks applied, the MK-26 didn't quite keep up with the water cooling solution, but was only three degrees behind. Versus the stock cooler with these clocks, the MK-26 is 23 degrees better with the fans I chose to run. With the overclock applied and the fans spinning at just over 2100 RPM, I was still able to drop 20 degrees over the stock cooler, but the gap to water cooling widens here quite a bit.
As for the sound testing, the MK-26 as it is shipped (no fans included) makes absolutely no noise at all, so I thought it was unfair to post a chart marking them at a specific level, so there will be no audio charts. As for the Corsair fans I ran, they are specified to run at 35dB max.