Bonus Testing With GeminII
During the tests with the stock cooler, the system got louder under load. The CPU fan was ramping up to well over 4000 RPM and was very loud. This is something you want to avoid when building an HTPC. In an attempt to lower the noise, I replaced the stock CPU cooler with a CoolerMaster GeminII.
This required removing the motherboard and the normal attachment bracket, but the results were interesting. The voltages were basically identical so there is no reason to look at those again, but the temperature readings told a different story.
Table 9: Temperature during 100% CPU Load, GeminII Installed
Table 10: Temperature during TV Watching/Recording, GeminII Installed
The GeminII was installed with stock thermal grease and no fan mounted on it.
The temperatures seen with the GeminII would justify upgrading to something better than a stock cooling solution. While the GeminII would surely provide better cooling with a fan mounted, it still performed significantly better without a fan compared to a stock cooling solution.
This also contributed to a quieter case because there was one less fan. So even with the two 120 mm fans set to the lowest speed setting, the overall temperatures were very good during some demanding tasks.