Date: April 8th, 2002
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated from: VantecUSA
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Now with HSF performance testing, I have found some of the reviews on the Internet a little lacking. They always test the performance under load and at idle, just like I will. But there is one factor I would like to bring to the table. A cooler's ability is directly related to case temperature. I see reviews where a cooler will have full-load results going into the 50 degree centigrade range. Now, I have never had a cooler touch these temperature even when the CPU is over-voltaged to 2.10 volts and overclocked 300Mhz. It could be a reference to case temperature, to different bioses having different idle temperatures, the motherboards themselves or just bad observations.
For this review, I will be comparing this specific cooler to one of the most effective, most efficient coolers still available today, the Thermalright SK6 coupled with a Black-Label 38cfm Delta. I know, you are probably saying "These coolers aren't even in the same ballpark!", but wait, the surprise is still to come.
Installation was also a breeze with the standard and always easy Vantec clip system used on all there coolers
Here comes the contenders:
The Thermalright SK6
And the Vantec CCK-6012
All tests were undertaken at 20 degress Celsius
case temperature and readings were observed using Via Hardware Monitoring System v2.04.
Here are the system specification of the test system:
Abit KT7 (Voltage Modded)
AMD Thunderbird 1300
Voltages: CPU: 1.75volts : I/O 3.4volts
Windows XP Pro
Thermalright SK6 HSF & Vantec CCK-6012 HSF
256megs Tonicom PC166 SDRAM
256megs Crucial Cas2 pc133 SDRAM
Thermaltake Memory Cooling Kit Installed
ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon 7500
Maxtor DiamondMax 15.3gb 7200rpm HD
Creative 52X CDROM
LITEON 24X burner
Sound Blaster Audigy X-Gamer
D-link 538TX 10/100 NIC
Enermax 350W PSU
3COM Cable Modem
1- 120mm 135cfm YS-Tech Side Intake
1- 80mm 50cfm ADDA Front Intake
2- 92mm 73cfm YS-Tech Top Blowhole Exhausts
Here are the results from both the Vantec CCK-6012 and Thermalright SK6 w/ Delta:
Idle temperatures were taken after 1 hour idle time and Full-Load temperatures were taken after a full hour of 100% CPU Usage using Prime95.
Interesting eh? The little guy is not far behind the big boy. Now these results even surprised and impressed me. That is why it is still in my computer today as I write this review for you now. This small copper vantec accomplishes it's results with only a 21cfm, 36.6dBa slim double ball bearing fan which is a far cry noise and airflow wise to the screaming black label 38cfm/46 dBa delta. The difference in temperature is a sacrifice I am willing to take in return for a little piece and quiet. I for one have come to my last nerve with the noisy whine of the high performance fans and am willing to put up with a little more heat.
Now as you can see by my measured temperatures, they are low. This is not due to errors in the readings, but is a result of two things. For one, I have a well ventilated case and a reasonable room temperature were my testing is undertaken. And the other is my choice of BIOS for my Abit KT7. Different bioses have been known to increase the CPU idle temperature significantly due to a small piece of code that keeps the CPU working at all times. I in turn tested and flashed my butt off finding the latest bios that would still allow for the significantly lower idle temperatures. The most recent bios in my case was the WZ release.