How We Tested
We ran the tests on a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with default core voltage (Vcore).
We used the SilverStone AR01 cooler, which has the typical design for tower coolers.
We measured 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.)
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 panels of the computer case were closed. The front case fan was spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler used on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.
After the first test session, we remounted the cooler in both positions and tested again, and tested again to ensure there were no mounting issues. The results were the same as the first time.
- Processor: Core i5-2500K
- Cooler: SilverStone AR01
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z
- Memory: 8 GB (2x4GB) G.Skill Ripjaws Z (DDR3-2133/PC3-17000), configured at 1,600 MHz, in dual channel
- Hard disk: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500 GB
- Video card: Zogis GeForce GTX650Ti 1 GB
- Video resolution: 1920×1080
- Video monitor: Philips 236VL
- Power supply: Seventeam ST-550P-AM
- Case: Cooler Master HAF 922
Operating System Configuration
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1
We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.