To install the DiamondCool II we'll need to have the mobo out of the case, as we will be replacing the stock retention bracket with the backplate supplied by Spire. After a rather unpleasant experience with an adhesive backplate on a cooler from another manufacturer, I now just leave the protective paper over the sticky stuff. I frequently change coolers on this board so removing the plate could be time-consuming if I allowed the adhesive to bond to the board.
It's a simple matter to mount the heatsink once this is completed. A thin layer of Arctic Silver 5 was applied to the CPU, and the cooler installed. To quote the instruction sheet, “Do not over tighten the screws or you may risk damaging the CPU”. So at what point does one stop tightening? Beats me. I snugged it up until I had compressed the spring by half and called it good. (After testing I tightened the screws another turn and ran the tests again. I saw no difference in temps, so this procedure seems to work.) While this install isn't difficult, it's not as convenient as using the stock retention bracket. I assume Spire uses the steel backplate to support the cooler's great weight.
The following parameters were used throughout testing:
Arctic Silver 5 TIM used on all 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
-GSkill F1-4400DSU2-1GBFC (512mbX 2) memory
-Thermaltake Purepower 600W PSU
-Western Digital WD2000 SATA hard drive
- Lite-On CDRW/DVD Combo drive
I've tested all the coolers in the comparison in the bare frame pictured above. This eliminates any effects that a case might introduce. Keep in mind that temps inside your case will be higher; how much higher depends on the case and airflow.