Chad's CPU Cooler Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus VIII HERO (Intel Z170) - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- CPU: Intel Core i7 6700K - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: Patriot Viper 4 3000MHz 4X4GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Graphics Card: MSI GeForce GTX 1060 6GB OC - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Storage: Corsair Neutron XTi 480GB - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: INWIN D-Frame - Read our review
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower DPS 1050W - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
- Software: RealTemp 3.70, AIDA64 Engineer 5.75.3900, and CPU-z 1.77.0 x64
To see our testing methodology and to find out what goes into making our charts, please refer to our CPU Cooler Testing and Methodology article (October 2016) for more information.
Using the stock CPU setting, with PWM circuits in charge of the cooling levels, the Big Shuriken comes in at 65-degrees. That far down the list seems really bad, but consider that the air cooler surrounding it are of the same caliber and designed for Mini-ITX systems in confined spaces, it seems to have done OK.
While in the last test, the NH-U12S beat the Big Shuriken 3 by a bit more than a few degrees, with the overclock now applied, the field has leveled out. At 80-degrees, many would initially think it's a tad too warm, but the reality is that this cooler is quite competitive.
One thing we did find that is odd in the testing, is that usually, the PWM curve leaves very little meat on the bone. However, dropping to 73.75-degrees gives us the most significant gap in available performance versus what is offered out of the box. The huge bonus here is that the noise isn't so bad as to make this benefit irrelevant.
Noise Level Results
To deliver the 28 dB rating we see in the chart, we saw the fans turning at 850 RPM at maximum, during the stock testing. While not the best in the list, it is still tolerable in an open-air environment at close range, and behind a side panel, you will never know it is there.
Delivering more heat into the cooler did make the PWM curve react, but only to the tune of spinning the fans at 1130 RPM. While we appreciate the lack of noise with the 30 dB result, but we feel that the fan was struggling.
With the fan going as fast as it could, we noticed a bit of a discrepancy. We loved the fact that the noise topped out at only 35 Db to gain all of that extra performance, but the fan was at only 1600 RPM. The box and the specifications show that we should be using a faster fan, and if so, the potential for even better performance is there, just like if you decide to use a 25mm fan rather than the supplied 17mm Kazy Slim fan.