When it comes to testing a heatsink, I generally try to thrash the system while monitoring temperatures. Since we're talking about a cooling solution that has the processor as its primary concern, I find it easiest to simply run it at 100% load and monitor in the background. This simple method lets me see just what a cooling solution can do and also lets us know where we should consider spending our hard-earned upgrade dollars.
Before getting into the meat of the matter, though, lets take a quick look at the test system:
AMD Athlon FX-53 Processor @ 2.4GHz (Supplied by Newegg.com)
DFI LANParty UT nF4 Ultra-D Motherboard
2x512MB Mushkin "Redline" PC3200 Memory (Supplied by Mushkin)
GeCube X1900XTX Graphics Board (Supplied by GeCube)
Thermaltake PurePower 600w PSU (Supplied by Thermaltake)
Testing will be monitoring temperatures at both idle and at load. The processor is running at default speeds but still manages to put out a good deal of heat. Voltage of the CPU is 1.55v and testing temperatures were a consistent 22C. Finally, all fans tested will be run at their maximum speeds.
I'll be using a Thermaltake POLO 735 as a comparison model since it has done a very good job to date of producing excellent results during all kinds of testing. It works well but is quite loud so I'll be interested in seeing how well the asetek cooler does with regards to both temperatures and noise.
Not too shabby at all!
During testing, the Extreme Performance fan was producing about the same level of noise as the POLO 735 running at full speed. It did manage to produce a better overall result, but I was even more impressed with the High End model that was only about a half degree off the POLO but at a good deal less noise. While 4 decibels may not seem like a lot of difference, there is a distinct reduction in volume with the High End fan.
It is looking like I found a worthy replacement for the POLO for my air cooling needs!