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Test Results: Thermal And Power

Part 2: Little Water, Big Air--Corsair H50 Versus Rosewill FORT120

Ambient temperatures of 23.2° to 23.6° Celsius were subtracted from sensor readings to provide the “above ambient” temperatures shown below. An extra-warm, overclocked Core i7 processor under the load of eight Prime95 threads provided the heat.

Rosewill’s FORT120 edges out the Cogage True Spirit, while the Corsair H50 lags slightly behind. We’ll discuss a possible reason why this happened in a bit.

Both air cooling products provide some direct air to the VRM sink, aiding chipset/VRM heatpipe temperatures. The H50 isn’t far behind, however.

Now we see the real reason for the FORT120’s performance advantage. Its 2,400 RPM fan is 50% faster than the True Spirit’s 1,600 RPM fan, providing increased airflow. It’s also much louder. Rated by Rosewill at 2,300 RPM and 30 decibels, the FORT120’s 2,400 RPM fan is actually slightly louder than our lab’s 38 db NMB reference fan.

Rosewill prints its own labels but placed the “generic” fan model number DP1212HSHP in parenthesis following its in-house model number, RCX-SHDT120X. Web searches for data on this 120 mm 0.32A fan revealed nothing, but various manufacturers with similar fans (design, speed, bearing type) most commonly list sound levels between 39 and 41 decibels. The ratings of those suppliers “sound” far more realistic to us, so we have to question the test methods used to measure this particular cooler.

This is where Corsair shines. Though its noise level isn’t rated, Corsair's H50 is barely noisier than our 28 db Scythe reference fan. That noise comes from two sources: the pump and fan, which are roughly equal in apparent volume. Of the two devices we tested today, only Corsair’s H50 even comes close to Rosewill’s claimed 30 db rating.

Another amazing revelation is that Corsair’s liquid cooler, including pump and fan, pulls roughly the same amount of energy as the FORT120’s fan.

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