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How We Tested

We tested the cooler with a Core i7-5960X CPU (eight-core, 3.0 GHz), which is a socket LGA21011-v3 processor with a 140 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get even higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 3.5 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x35 multiplier), with standard core voltage (Vcore).

We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)

We compared the tested cooler to two of the most powerful coolers we tested so far, the Water 2.0 Extreme, and the Water 3.0 Ultimate. We tested each cooler with the fans at maximum speed and at “silent” mode.

Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.

During the tests, the side panels of the computer case were closed.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.

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Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master’s degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.