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Old 06-24-2008, 05:53 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default CPU Cooler Roundup - 22 Models Tackle Our QX6850

What better way is there to find out which CPU coolers excel than to throw them at our ultra-hot Intel QX6850? We took 22 different models and did just that. Some surprised us, some didn't. What we were left with were five different models that deserved our Editor's Choice award.

You can read the result of Bill's exhaustive testing here and discuss it here once done reading! Comments and even suggestions are encouraged, since we want to make sure these roundups are accomplishing what we'd like them to.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:15 PM   #2
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My poor Scythe Ninja... For that matter, my poor cheap AC7...

I might argue about Intel's push-pin design being "easy" to install if the pins have seen a bit of use and aren't perfectly straight anymore, but I would agree it's far less hassle than many coolers that want a backplate.

For fun I tried a used AC7 on my Q6600, it was a bit warm and anything beyond 3.2GHz was way to hot for my liking. But for the price ya can't go wrong with it... Crazy overclockers should be looking to the just as good as the 120 Extreme, but much cheaper Thermalright HR-01 cooler.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:50 AM   #3
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Very solid article. This should help a lot of people in deciding their cooling choices.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:19 AM   #4
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Hey, I happen to love my Scythe Ninja. The Ninja, Ninja Mini, Ninja Copper, and the OCZ Vindicator (which looks almost exactly like the Ninja) have very wide fin spacing, which means that airflow impedance is lower than other coolers where the fins are more tightly packed. The advantage to a low airflow impedance is that you can use a low-speed fan to greater effect with one of these heatsinks for the purposes of noise reduction. Also, in very dusty environments, the accumulation of dust bunnies on the leading edges of the fins will have less impact on the overall airflow through the heatsink, making these coolers great choices for locations that get very dusty, or when you've got shedding dogs or cats in the house.

Great-looking article. Way to go, Bill!
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:40 PM   #5
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This article turned out great Bill... I think the sheer amount of effort that was put into it is evident. I'm really surprised by some of the 'winners'... I had no idea that the Freezer 7 PRO was so cheap and so effective, along with OCZ's Vanquisher.

I'm glad to see that that Thermalright Ultra 120 performed so well. I have the same cooler in this machine now cooling a QX9770, and my sensors are showing it as hovering around the 40C mark, at stock speeds. I haven't tested a proper full-load scenario, but it does heat up quite a bit more when I start compiling something. But even still, in this overly warm room, anything under 70C at full load pleases me.

The somewhat humorous thing is the reason I had to throw the bigger CPU in here. The Xeon X3210 was getting SO hot while compiling, that it ended up freezing the entire computer. I rebooted to check the BIOS, and it was hovering at around 70C, which is ridiculous for a 2.66GHz CPU (overclocked).

Goes to show just how inefficient those older Quad-Cores could be. The newer revisions are so much better. Can run faster and cooler. I'm game for that. Since that QX6850 being used is an older revision, we could only expect anything newer to see slightly better results overall.

Unless I'm wrong. Was that a G0 revision Bill?
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Old 06-25-2008, 02:57 PM   #6
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It is a GO revision, but it does run hotter than most any other G0 revision CPU I have seen. Add to that it needed 1.4125V for 3.67GHz stable and all that copper surrounding the socket to cool the V-Regs and Moffsets, it's no wonder it was warm.

As a side note, I did run a Swiftech Apogee GT, MCP355 pump and MCR220 dual 120MM water loop on it just for giggles and was barely able to keep it under 60C and if memory serves me correctly, I think the best I saw was 55C under full load at the same settings I used on the air coolers at 3.67Ghz.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:42 PM   #7
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Default Why did you leave out Zalman?

The Zalman HSs I own are among the quietest and most effective on the market. Why would they be omitted?
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
The Zalman HSs I own are among the quietest and most effective on the market. Why would they be omitted?
As mentioned twice in the review, they were left out because their bracket system collided with the heatpipe on our ASUS P5E3 Deluxe.

"I also want to add that Zalman did provide us with the 8700, 9500 and 9700 coolers, but they were not compatible with our test motherboard. The heatpipe on the ASUS P5E3 motherboard would just not allow the mounting hardware to work. While they are still decent coolers, with the popularity of heatpipe based motherboards, Zalman needs to redesign their mounting methods."

That said, we would have liked to have included them, but it wasn't possible on our motherboard of choice. We consider this a Zalman issue, as every single other cooler we used could be mounted without issue... even models far larger than what Zalman offers.
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:48 AM   #9
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Heh. SilverStone decided not to release the NT08, so it looks like our Editor's Choice there has gone to waste.

Why was it pulled? No clue.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
Heh. SilverStone decided not to release the NT08, so it looks like our Editor's Choice there has gone to waste.

Why was it pulled? No clue.
And it was doing quite well, idle and load
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:22 AM   #11
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That baffles me considering just how well it did in testing. I hope they have a better replacement ready otherwise they are not a contender in the high end air market with any of their other coolers.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:01 AM   #12
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Default Akassa 965

Good stuff.For the budget buyer may I suggest a look at reviews of the Akassa 965 .In the UK it is cheaper than the excellent Artic7 and seems better dealing with high core temps.
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:53 PM   #13
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Default Akassa 965-E2160-3.4Ghz

That's for fun runs on 3d06.Normal use and prime 95 overnight 3Ghz. I overclock to maximise cheap kit.What is the use of a £40 air cooler? unless you live with a very high room temp. What's the use of four cores for 98% of computer users.Are any of the 100 most used programs optimised for 4 cores,including games.I am aware my son may use them but he has lots of machines only one of which uses Microsoft operating systems-but he's a right geek.
Surely air cooling is for cheap basic kit. If you are quad core.extreme overckocking memory,blood diamond sas platinum motherboard inna designer alloy case (and I wish I was)for Freds sake Watercool.Ok everyone should have a good power supply .Cheers,I feel better now.No I am not.Some Editor said he was "supprised" how good the Artic 7 was.Why?
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:19 PM   #14
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Hate to resurrect a dead thread. Why wasn't the ZEROTherm NV120 "Nirvana" featured in this article? Would it have out performed all the others or is it middle of the road compared to the rest?
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:54 PM   #15
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Because we were only able to test the coolers that were readily available to us at the time. We plan on some more mini-reviews of newer models soon.
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