Date: October 30th, 2007
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zerotherm
<--CLICK FOR DEALS ON A CPU COOLER IN THE UNITED STATES
<--CLICK FOR DEALS ON A CPU COOLER IN CANADA
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
I'd normally install a cooler of this design with the fan directing airflow to the rear of the case, but the large, passive Northbridge heatsink precludes this.
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 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.
I'd say that the Nirvana cools as good as it looks. It's as good as the best I've tested and even pulls ahead by a degree or two here and there. The fan speed range was a bit different than the specs led me to expect, but at 1050 RPM, the fan was very, very quiet and did a very good job of cooling the processor, even when overclocked. At 2200 RPM, the fan noise was noticeable, but not what I'd call exceptionally loud. However, the performance difference between the two fan speeds was so small, that it would be hard to justify the additional noise.
The blue glow from the LEDs was striking against the nickel-chrome finish and I like the overall look very much.