A Cool Head Is Always Best
With the adoption of 90 nm process technologies, the AMD Athlon 64 CPUs have turned into real power saving processors. Their modest power intake also reduces the amount of cooling needed, which is a real benefit. But with the introduction of dual core Athlon 64 X2 processors, power intake has increased once again - this is understandable, given that there are two CPU cores at work under a single chip cover.
Given the dual core trend, we decided it was time to look into current cooling solutions again. To that end, we tested six available products for AMD CPUs to see how they fared.
For our test system, we used the A8N32-SLI nForce4 motherboard from Asus, along with an Athlon 64 X2 4800+ CPU. Until now, our CPU cooler testing has always included an analysis of thermal loads, but we didn't include those measurements in this round of testing. Until this test was conducted, we had also always been able to modify motherboards to measure power intake for the CPU while the test system was running. Now, however, because current levels can sometimes exceeded 100 A, we are no longer able to measure power levels and achieve stable system operation. Thus, we had no choice but to give up measurement and analysis of thermal load; instead, we provide a CPU temperature measurement, along with a simultaneous measurement of the temperature of the immediate area around the processor.
|Processor (Socket 939)|
|AMD||AMD Athlon X2 4800+|
|DDR400 (200 MHz)||2 x 256 MB / 5ns / 64-Bit (TakeMS)|
|NVidia NForce 4||Asus A8N-SLI DeluxeBios: 1010|
|Graphics Card||GeForce 6800 GTMemory: 256 MB GDDR3|
|Hard Drive||40 GB,WD400BB-00DEA0, Western DigitalUDMA100, 7200 RPM, 2 MB Cache|
|OS||Windows XP, Build 2600 SP2|
|Asus PC Probe II||Version 1.01.07|