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 1600 MHz 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.
You are going to be seeing four results for the cooler test results. First is Passive Testing, denoted in the chart as *Passive. This is exactly what it states, no fans were added, just the natural convection of the cooler and the room it is in were at play. Then you will have a run with a fan I strapped onto the X-frame at seven inches in front of the cooler, denoted as *Case Fan. This is where air is just blowing at the cooler, with no real intention but to create better ambient flow to aid the convection of the cooler. Then of course you will have runs with two 120mm fans attached to it denoted as *Dual Fans. The last one you will see if where I actually overclocked it with the fans on it to see what would happen.
In the idle testing the HE02 performed much like I would have expected. The worst result was when it was run passive reading 33°C. As you add fans the numbers get better. To the point of which a 28°C reading was obtained with the pair of 120mm fans strapped right to the HE02.
Loading the 2600K with fans on the HE02 or with a fan blowing at the cooler resulted with a mediocre result of 54C and 58C. For such a large cooler I would have expected better. Where I really had to deliver the pain was in the overclocked results with the pair of fans on it, I was only able to keep the processor at 83C.
Where it got scary was in the passive testing, and my 2600K fits in the 95W specifications. Here we hit 98C with the CPU throttling and LOG being shown in RealTemp. Not so impressive, not good at all.