Can't Touch This! A Comparison of 46 CPU Coolers

Fan Speed - 2850 RPM To 6700 RPM

High fan speeds automatically produce a higher noise level.

The chart above lists the fan speeds for all the coolers. The bars lined with yellow indicate the 25 new cooler models. The fans on the Swiftech MC370-0A and the Global Win FNP50 continue to spin the fastest at 6700 RPM. As we did during the last test, we measured fan speed using a stroboscope and checked these readings against readings we took using a sensor on the motherboard. However, this second method of measuring fan speed is often somewhat imprecise, resulting in discrepancies of at least 10 percent. The passively designed Zalman coolers, which only cool tolerably well when combined with the active fan, have the lowest fan speeds. The victor from the last test, Noise Control's Silverado, continues to have a relatively low fan speed of 3300 RPM. The two Global Win coolers (CAK 38 and WBK 38) rely on the new Pabst fans that are designed to burn some serious rubber at 6000 RPM. The majority of the remaining coolers tested have an average fan speed of 4000 RPM.

Measurement procedure - We used a stroboscope to measure the fan speeds of all the fans.
  1. Cooler Trends - Complex Design & Precious Materials
  2. Cooler Trends - Complex Design & Precious Materials, Continued
  3. Theory: Ideal Cooling
  4. Cooler Master EP5-6151: Plain Jane Cooler For Undemanding Tastes
  5. Cooler Master DP5-6H51: Small Heat Sink - Large Fan
  6. Cooler Master DP5-6G11: Flatliner
  7. Blizzard Thunderbird: Shooting Star
  8. TRIG T40-6EA: Powerful Fence-Straddler
  9. TRIG T40-6EAC: XXL And Case Fan
  10. Global Win WBK 38: Behind Bars
  11. Global Win WBK 68: Wacky Little Brother
  12. Global Win CAK 38: Top Model With High Cooling Performance
  13. Elan Vital FSCUG9C: Ribbed Structure Made Of Sheet Steel
  14. Elan Vital FSCUG9C-6FC: Unsuccessful Thermal Trigger
  15. SPRING SPCT381 BAF-1B: Black And Quiet
  16. SPRING SPCT801 AAF-1B: Son Of Flatliner
  17. SPACEWALKER: A Nobody In The Crowd
  18. AVC Mega-Cool: Compact And Powerful
  19. Taisol CGK 744092: Unergonomic
  20. Smart Cooler FSM 1168T: Buyer Beware!
  21. Molex 371650008: Avant-garde Design
  22. Molex 371660002 U. 371610002: Little Brother
  23. Zalman CCC Project: Much Ado About Nothing
  24. Zalman CNPS2005 (Aluminum): Below Expectations
  25. Zalman CNPS3000 (Copper): Better Than Aluminum
  26. Zalman CNPS3100G (Gold): The Crowning Glory In Gold
  27. Zalman CNPS3100 (Cu-Au Alloy): Visual Blarney
  28. Zalman Coolers: Poor Manufacturing Quality
  29. Laboratory Tests Up Close & Personal - CPUs Maxed At 100%
  30. Cooling Temperature: Range From 30°C To 56°C
  31. Noise Level - Is That A Construction Site Or An Office?
  32. A Real Heavyweight - Swiftech's 789 Grams!
  33. Specific Cooling Performance - Swiftech Duo Still In The Lead
  34. Fan Speed - 2850 RPM To 6700 RPM
  35. Summary - A Comparison Of All 46 Coolers
  36. Conclusion - Just Say "No" To Cheap Generics
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