Date: August 25th, 2008
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Thermalright
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PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Depending on which size fan you choose, you'll want to install the appropriate clips before screwing the Optima down. Since I'll be using both, I omitted this step. Time to fit the fans.
I'll be using a Yate Loon D90BM-12 fan for this installation. After sticking on the vibration isolators, the fan was easily attached, but I'm underwhelmed by the clips. I have no confidence that these clips will hold the fan in place for any length of time. I followed the instructions to the letter, and the clips just won't interface with the mounting holes in the fan.
There are no such problems with the 120mm fan (Yate Loon D12SL-12.) The fan is secure and ready for service. As you can see, with the 12cm faan in place, the cooler becomes significantly taller. Bear this in mind when choosing a fan.
For this review, I've chosen a DFI Infinity P965-S motherboard coupled with an Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale processor (overclocked to 2.4 GHz, +0.1 Vcore.) The other components are listed below.
- eVGA 7900GS KO graphics card with Thermalright cooler
- Buffalo Firestix PC2-6400 (1024mb X 2) memory
- Zalman ZM600-HP heatpipe modular 600 Watt PSU
-Western Digital Raptor 740 SATA hard drive
- Samsung DVD-RW SATA 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 different, depending on the case and airflow. The fans you choose will also have an effect on cooling.
The following parameters were used throughout testing:
Arctic Silver 5 TIM used on all coolers.
Ambient temperature kept at a constant 21C.
Idle temperatures were recorded after one hour of zero load after booting to the desktop.
Load temperatures were recorded after one hour of maximum CPU heat testing using Stress Prime 2004 Orthos.
Core temperatures were logged with Core Temp (v. 0.95.)
Fan speeds were recorded using Smart Guardian.
Idle and load temperatures were recorded at stock CPU speed (1.8 Ghz.) and at a 33% overclock (2.4 Ghz.). Vcore was raised by 0.1V during the overclocking runs.
The computer was shut down for a minimum of one hour between tests. Here are the results:
Let me reiterate that cooling performance of the Optima-90I will vary according to the fan chosen, but there's no doubt that this is a very competent cooler. The 120mm fan didn't make much of a difference, even seeming to lower performance a bit, and this could be for a variety of reasons.