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Mid-End Heatpipe Cooler Shootout



Part 4. Test Results (AMD), Summary Table, Conclusions


Part 1. Arctic Cooling, ASUS, Cooler Master, and GlacialTech products

Part 2. Products from Scythe, Thermaltake, and Titan

Part 3. Test Results (Intel), Summary Table

Test Results (AMD)

We use the same procedures for evaluating thermal efficiency of coolers for Socket 754/939/AM2 as for Socket 478 coolers and those that are actively used for testing LGA775 coolers. The primary data used for the consequent calculation of thermal resistance are temperature readings of the thermal diode built into a processor. What differs is the thermal source (Athlon 64 3700+ processor), the base platform (Fujitsu-Siemens D1607 motherboard), and a set of test applications.

Testbed configuration:

  • Fujitsu Siemens Computers D1607-G motherboard
  • AMD Athlon 64 3700+ CPU (Clawhammer)
  • OS: Microsoft Windows XP

We use the S&M utility to simulate maximum thermal load of a processor, and SystemGuard from Fujitsu-Siemens to monitor temperatures.

Diagram 6. Temperature readings (AMD)

Notes
Each cooler is tested with Stars 420 thermal grease

Diagram 7. Thermal resistance (AMD)

Note
Thermal resistance θja is defined as the relation
θja = (Tj—Ta)/Ph, where Tj is the temperature of a CPU core, Ta is the environment temperature (it's 33°C in this case), Ph is the thermal capacity of a processor (in this case it's 80 W).

Finally, at the end of this article we publish the noise measurement results (the procedure is described in the article Noise characteristics of coolers and the noise measurement method) as well as the efficiency/noise rating of the coolers.


Diagram 8. Noise characteristics

Note: Background noise level 18 dBA


Diagram 9. Efficiency/noise ratio

Note
The efficiency/noise ratio (ENR) is calculated as:

ENR = DM*(Rt/PóC)/(NL/Rn), where

Rt—reference temperature (the reference thermal resistance θja of the cooling system - 0.25°C/W), TC—the core temperature with the operating cooling system, Rn—reference noise (the reference noise level is 20 dBA), NL—noise level, generated by the cooling system, DM—denominate multiplier (10).

Summary table


Table 2. Summary data on the coolers we tested

Cooler TR,
C/Watt2
Noise, dBA Weight, g1 Dimensions, WxLxH, mm Retention module Price, USD3
Arctic Cooling
Freezer 64 Pro
0.31*
35*
540
107x97x127
Socket 754/939/AM2
26
ASUS Triton 70
0.36*
33*
425
90x78x125
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
32
Cooler Master
Hyper TX2
0.34*
36*
475
107x118x138
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
30
Cooler Master
Vortex 752
0.43*
38*
345
107x107x70
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
26
GlacialTech
Igloo 7610 Silent
0.39
32
380
99x66x110
Socket 754/939/AM2
16
GlacialTech
Igloo 7610 PWM
0.34*
41*
380
99x66x110
Socket 754/939/AM2
16
GlacialTech
Igloo 5710 Silent
0.35
31
485
93x102x135
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
30
GlacialTech
Igloo 5710 PWM
0.30*
40*
485
93x102x135
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
30
GlacialTech
Igloo 5750 Silent
0.33
30
515
96x120x120
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
40
GlacialTech
Igloo 5750 PWM
0.28*
40*
515
96x120x120
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
40
Scythe
Samurai Z Rev.B
0.41
36
370
128x85x98
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
Socket 478
30
Scythe Katana 2
0.36
32
555
105x82x150
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
Socket 478
35
Scythe Kama Cross
0.34
32
565
140x120x132
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
Socket 478
40
Scythe Mine Rev.B
0.31
34
575
109x105x150
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
Socket 478
38
Thermaltake
Sonic Tower Rev.2
0.38
32
895
112x140x150
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
38
Thermaltake TMG A2
0.41*
37*
380
102x115x103
Socket 754/939/AM2
25
Titan
TTC-NK45TZ Bomber
0.35*
36*
505
110x79x150
LGA775
Socket 754/939/AM2
17

1Full weight, including a retention module
2TR—thermal resistance
3Average retail prices (Moscow) or recommended prices (new products) for December 11, 2007.
*This parameter corresponds to maximum fan speed

Well, we've analyzed all test results, so let's draw a bottom line!

Conclusions

Our main conclusion today is as follows: these Mid-End coolers offer much better thermal efficiency and usability than budget products. Moreover, they can also compete with High-End products, demonstrating a close or sometimes even equal combination of usability features. Our contenders prove their "golden mean" status - decent quality for a reasonable price. They deserve more attention than people usually pay to them.

We'd like to praise the GlacialTech Igloo 5750 Silent and Igloo 5750 PWM coolers that manage to come close to functionality of High-End products and provide rich technical properties. The Scythe Mine Rev.B also performs very well - this cooler is a serious competitor to High-End products in many functional aspects. We should also mention the Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 and Freezer Pro 64, which have a friendly price tag and demonstrate interesting thermal results combining them with neat usability and noise ergonomics.

So these very coolers (Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 and Freezer Pro 64, GlacialTech Igloo 5750 Silent and Igloo 5750 PWM, as well as Scythe Mine Rev.B) get the Original Design award.




We wish Arctic Cooling, ASUS, Cooler Master, GlacialTech, Scythe, Thermaltake, and Titan every success in creating attractive Mid-End products! As for us, we'll keep tabs on this segment.

Vitali Crinitsin (vit@ixbt.com)
January 15, 2008

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