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 24.5-25C 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.
Since we tested the original SA SB-E, the list has grown much larger. With the PWM controlling the stock run, a 28C degree result is nothing out of the ordinary. With the overclock applied and the fans surging at full power, I was actually able to drop a degree at idle even with the increased voltage applied to the CPU at this point.
Loading the Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme at stock levels didn't really get me excited. That isn't to say that the 49C degree result is bad, it's in the top ten including custom water cooling loops. Where the real magic happened was on the overclocked run with the fan screaming out in pain as they push 130CFM through the fins. Not only was I able to drop four degrees off the original, it takes the Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme to the level of best performing air cooler on the chart.