Test System Setup
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 45nm (9X333MHz)
Memory: 2 X 1GB DDR2-800 Geil Esoteria
Motherboard: Zotac mITX NF630i F-E with WiFi
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate X64
Cooling: Intel retail for the E8400 / SilverStone NT07-775
Normally at this point you would see the usual test setup paragraph with a link to our T.E.C.C. setup and testing methodology. As the Intel and SilverStone coolers are made for a much smaller TDP than our test bed is set up to run, which starts at 125W, it's not being at all fair to the coolers; so I decided setting up a PC inside the box and I could use the lights and the extra components to help keep an average ambient temperature during testing. By assembling the parts listed above, I installed a few applications to stress the processor, as well as monitoring the temperatures.
I originally wanted to run OCCT as my stress test, but due to some unrecognizable features in this ZOTAC, I was not able to run the application correctly. I then went to an old standby that I use when others present issues and that is Orthos Stress Prime 2004. Testing this application went well so I started up RealTemp 3.0 to monitor the core temperatures under both the E8400's original cooler as well as the NT07-775
I mentioned above that I used the lighting and components to keep an even ambient temperature. For this testing I was able to keep ambient between 29.8 - 30-2° Celsius. I gathered this information from the temperature sensor that is attached to our T.E.C.C. base that was placed just to the rear of the motherboard, which was centralized inside the foam box. Once I was certain I could keep ambient temperatures, I allowed the PC to boot and sit in an idle state for about fifteen minutes to allow everything to finish running on boot up and allow the temps to hit their lowest point. At this point RealTemp was used to note the temperature at this state.
For load testing I tested both coolers with an hour of Orthos Stress Prime 2004 with the CPU only small fft testing method. After the hour had passed, still with a thirty degree ambient, I then recorded what RealTemp displayed. I then shut the computer down, cleaned the thermal compound, which is still AS5, from the processor with 91% alcohol, and re-applied the thermal compound and repeated this process.
After all the testing I could throw at them, you can see the Intel retail cooler does still edge out the NT07-775 by three degrees in my testing at load. Both of the coolers tested were kept at the same idle temperatures. In the use of a small HTPC like the Cupid 3, or many others, overclocking usually isn't in the plans. With a 45nm processor thermally throttling somewhere around the 100° Celsuis mark, the SilverStone still produced an acceptable result.
As you can see by my testing, SilverStone's NT07-775 is in fact a bit quieter than the factory Intel fan, but not by much. It takes a really discerning ear in my opinion to actually be able to tell once testing was done and I ran them both inside the Cupid 3.
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:28 pm CDT
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