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 3500 MHz for the stock settings. I also set the memory to run at 1600 MHz for stock. As for the overclocked runs, I load the CPU at 4.5 GHz 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 will also see that the charts have been slightly adjusted. From now on I will mention the idle temperatures if there is something worth noting other than an average of twenty-five to twenty-seven degrees as the PWM controls and Speed Step allow for almost ambient results in most instances. What you are now getting is a stock speed loaded temperature chart and an overclocked loaded temperature chart. To clean up the audio results, I also removed all of the fans that aren't on the thermal charts. If you want to compare those results to new coolers, the old chart is still available in the older reviews.
While there is a 120W TDP rating on this cooler, I would have to assume that is the point at which processors would be throttling. I know my 2600K is a bit power hungry, but at the stock testing, it is only using 85 to 90W of power, and as you can see, that 77 degree result isn't something to brag about. The two coolers just above it are all in the same category, as I have yet to have a case where I couldn't fit any of them into it, but the CNPS2X comes in 9 - 12 degrees hotter than its direct competition.
I did not run the overclocked testing, because, let's be honest, with my CPU pulling 125W at that point, there is no way on earth that this cooler will take that sort of a load and survive very long. If I would have run this test, we would have been recording the length of time until the cooler allowed my processor to throttle, and what is the point in that?