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Test Settings And Benchmarks

Nine Big Air Coolers For Intel's Haswell CPUs, Reviewed
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Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-4770K (Haswell): 3.5 GHz Base Clock Rate, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, LGA 1150, Overclocked to 4.50 GHz at 1.25 V (1.24 V Set)
MotherboardAsus Z87-Pro Rev 1.02, BIOS 1007 (05/17/2013)
RAMG.Skill F3-17600CL9D-8GBXLD (8 GB) at DDR3-1600 C9 Defaults
GraphicsIntel Integrated HD 4600 Graphics
Hard DriveSamsung 840 Series MZ-7PD256, 256 GB SSD 
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerCorsair AX860i: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Platinum
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 Professional RTM x64
GraphicsIntel 9.18.10.3071
ChipsetIntel INF 9.4.0.1017
Benchmark Configuration
LinX 0.6.4Default benchmark at 500 repetitions
RealTemp 3.70Maximum Temperature, All Cores Averaged
Galaxy CM-140 SPL MeterTested at 1/4 m, corrected to 1 m (-12 db), dB(A) weighting

Asus’ top-overclocking Z87-Pro lays the groundwork for thermal testing, but not without compromise: knowing that CPU throttling would prevent accurate thermal measurement, I decided to prevent that occurrence by reducing core voltage to 1.25V.

LinX 0.6.4 is the new application that generates the most taxing thermals using Intel's diminutive Haswell die. I also warned cooler manufacturers that we'd have to drop them from contention if the CPU reached 100° Celsius, since throttling would prevent accurate readings above that point. For our part, I kept the room temperature below 23° Celsius. I further prevented the case from affecting thermal readings by leaving the motherboard in open air, hanging the board vertically to replicate its position in a chassis.

Lacking any mechanical support for a hanging graphics card, I used integrated graphics during these tests.

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