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Test Settings

Roundup: Six Sub-$40 Performance CPU Coolers Compared
Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-870 (2.93 GHz, 8 MB Cache), O/C to 4 GHz (20 x 200 MHz), 1.388 V
MotherboardEVGA P55 SLI E655, P55 Express PCH, BIOS A39 (10/23/2009)
RAMCrucial CT2KIT25664BA1339 (4 GB), DDR3-1333 at DDR3-1600 CAS 8-8-8-24
GraphicsDiamond Radeon HD 5870 1 GB, 850 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4800
Hard DriveWestern Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS, 300 GB, 10 000 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s, 16 MB cache
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerCorsair CMPSU-850HX 850 W Modular, ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsATI Catalyst 9.11
ChipsetIntel INF

We retained the configuration from January’s LGA 1156 cooler tests, so that readers could compare these new models to competing 2009 parts.

Benchmark Configuration
Prime95 v25.864-bit executable, Small FFTs, 8-threads
RealTemp 3.00Highest core reading at full CPU load (60 minutes)
Highest core reading at 30 minutes idle
Acu-Rite thermal probeThermal probe on VRM chokes, touching MOSFET sink, Ambient temperature at 6" from motherboard front edge
Galaxy CM-140dBA scale at 0.25 m, corrected to 1m values (-12 db)
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