Date: August 27th, 2006
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zalman USA
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PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
The scrupulously honest Mr. Bones will be monitoring the testing phase of this review. The testbed specifications can be found below.
- AMD Opteron 148 processor
- DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR motherboard
- eVGA 6800XT
- GSkill F1-4400DSU2-1GBFC (512mbX 2) memory
- Thermaltake Purepower 600W PSU
- Western Digital WD800 SATA hard drive
- Lite-On CDRW/DVD Combo drive
- Zalman CNPS9500 LED CPU cooler
- Zalman VF700-CU LED GPU cooler
Tests will be conducted 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.
Per the application instructions, the chip was cleaned with alcohol and a thin layer of the Zalman thermal grease was applied. The same procedure was used for the cooler…
…as well as the CPU and its cooler. I must admit, I found that applying the Zalman product was even easier than I imagined. The brush allows very precise control of both the amount and placement of the grease. The Arctic Silver 5 compound was applied according to the instructions on their website. With the coolers installed, we're ready for the testing phase.
The following parameters were used throughout testing:
1) Zalman Super Thermal Grease and Arctic Silver 5 TIM used on all coolers.
2) Ambient temperature kept at a constant 21C.
3) 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.
4) Idle temperatures were recorded after one hour of zero load after booting to the desktop.
5) CPU load temperatures were recorded after two hours of maximum heat torture testing using Prime95.
6) GPU load temperatures were recorded after three iterations each of AquaMark3 and 3Dmark05.
7) Fan speed was set to maximum for all testing.
8) Idle and load temperatures were recorded with SysTool at stock speeds and voltages.
The results are in…
…and we have (pregnant pause), a tie! For all practical purposes, these two products are equal from a performance perspective.