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Date: May 25th, 2006
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
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INSTALLATION AND TESTING



Installation couldn't have been any easier. After placing the clip onto the lugs of the retention bracket, the black plastic lever is flipped over and automatically engages a catch to keep the cooler securely in place. After plugging in the fan, we're good to go.


The following parameters were used throughout testing:

•  Arctic Silver 5 TIM used on both coolers.
•  Ambient temperature kept at a constant 21C.
•  Both coolers allowed to burn-in at maximum heat setting with Prime95 for two hours to partially set the thermal paste. The computer was then shut down for one hour.
•  Idle temperatures were recorded after one hour of zero load after booting to the desktop.
•  Load temperatures were recorded after two hours of maximum heat torture testing using Prime95.
•  Fan speed was set to maximum for all testing.
•  Idle and load temperatures were recorded at stock CPU speed (2.2 Ghz.) and at a modest 10% overclock (2.4 Ghz.). Vcore was raised by 0.1V during the overclocking runs.



The testbed we'll be using consists of the following:


AMD Opteron 148 processor
DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR motherboard
eVGA 7800GT
OCZ DDR 500 EL (1GB X 2) memory
Thermaltake Purepower 600W PSU
Western Digital WD2000 SATA hard drive
Lite-On CDRW/DVD Combo drive
Windows XP Professional (SP2)


All testing was performed on the bench to remove any variables that a particular enclosure could impart to the data. A Thermalright XP-90 with the recommended Panaflo 92mm fan (FBL09A12M, 2450 RPM, 48 CFM, 30dBA) normally pulls cooling duties on this rig. Just for grins, I thought I'd throw it into the mix. The XP-90 is bigger, has a larger fan and should outperform any OEM cooling solution, right? Well, it did. But not by much. An all-night session of cooler switching, thermal paste spreading and torture testing yielded the following results:




As you can see, the new OEM cooler from AMD has a lot going for it. As a side benefit, it was quieter than its older brother and much quieter that the Panaflo fan mounted on the XP-90. With a careful lapping job, another 0.5 to 1C might be squeezed from it, but it seems hardly worth the effort.


The stock cooler today is much more than it was a couple years ago. What was once a basic cooler just adequate enough to keep the processor from failing has now developed into a suitable performing cooling option right out of the box. If you were to upgrade, you better do your homework or you might be dumping money into something that will not make a significant difference. In the past anything would be better than stock OEM.....but not now.

 

 


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