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.
At idle the XSPC kit is the first to get the temperatures to read 25C degrees at both stock and overclocked speeds. Keeping a loop within a half of a degree to ambient is something neither Swiftech nor EK had accomplished.
When IBT was running, the XSPC kit has the same results to the degree as the Edge HD kit. Readings of 47C at stock, and 63C degrees with the overclock applied aren't numbers to just scoff at. These are impressive results for a kit that is the most affordable solution of the three.