Ever since the early days of computers, the overclocker has fought hard to keep heat at bay to enable him to utter that most revered phrase among his peers: "Mine's faster than yours! Na-na-na-na-na-naaaaah!" Today we will examine four CPU coolers that promise to aid in the eternal fight against the heat demon. Will one or more of these stand out from the crowd? Read on, and we shall see.
Here we see the four coolers being used in our little experiment. In the top row, left to right, we have the Zalman CNPS8000 and Ultra X-Wind. Below them, we see the 3R System Ice Age on the right and the Thermalright Ultra 120 on the left. For those wondering why there are only three boxed up coolers in the first picture, I hereby declare that the Zalman was in hiding when that picture was taken. Specifically, it was hiding in the UPS lady's van having arrived on the first day of testing well after most of the pictures were taken.
This article will proceed a little different from my first CPU cooler review in that I now have a way to ascertain the ambient temperature during testing. I also applied a more rigorous overclock now that I know what my CPU is capable of. Testing went in three phases - each cooler was tested at stock speeds, CPU overclocked to 2.66 GHz and 1.4 volts, and once again the following morning still at 2.66. Loading of the CPU was done by again running two Super PI instances for fifteen minutes. Temperature monitoring was done using Speedfan for the CPU and my little clock/calendar/thermometer thingie from "The Source" for ambient temperatures. In order to keep meaningful results, the following thermal paste from one of my Ultra coolers (not the one in this article) was used on all four coolers:
Balance Stars, eh? Is this a CPU cooler roundup or a gymnastics event? You may be disappointed to know I couldn't balance any of the coolers on the syringe of thermal paste. Not disappointed you say? Indifferent is the better word? I'll move on now with a nicely formatted list of parts that was used for the roundup. Then, let's head to the next page and see how the first day of testing went.
Manufacture / Model
Ultra Aluminus, 120mm Sleeve Bearing Intake and Exhaust Fans
Channel Well PUC1200V-A01
AMD X2 3800+
2GB Ultra XL
ATI X1650 Pro
Yup, I still have it
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