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Roundup: Six Sub-$40 Performance CPU Coolers Compared

Test Settings

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
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsATI Catalyst 9.11
ChipsetIntel INF 9.1.1.1015

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)
  • amk09
    i wished you included a cooler such as the coolermaster hyper 212, that seems to be a highly recommended cooler and it would have been nice to see how it squared up against these ones.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    amk09i wished you included a cooler such as the coolermaster hyper 212, that seems to be a highly recommended cooler and it would have been nice to see how it squared up against these ones.We did:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lga-1156-heatsink,2535-4.html
    That's why the same system was used for both tests. It's all mentioned in the article, too.
    Reply
  • Twoboxer
    Its incomprehensible that the Hyper 212 was left out of this kind of review. That decision makes this article worthless.
    Reply
  • Wolygon
    "Its incomprehensible that the Hyper 212 was left out of this kind of review. That decision makes this article worthless."


    Read the article before posting please.
    Reply
  • Twoboxer
    Sorry, I read your Opening page, the thermal results page, and the conclusion page. Did I miss how these products compare to the Hyper 212?
    Reply
  • dogman_1234
    ^ Or water cooling. It was a great article but, How about comparing to Hydro cooling and add an AMD system too. Intel is great at generating heat, AMD is better thought!
    Reply
  • duk3
    How did the Zalman CNPS10X Performa get into this review at $35?
    Reply
  • sudeshc
    was waiting for this kind of article for some time now, thanks toms. Loved the article, thinking about to go with Zalman's Cooler.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    duk3How did the Zalman CNPS10X Performa get into this review at $35?It was $35. It went up at Newegg about a week ago, but if you look around enough you might find the launch price elsewhere.
    Reply
  • Just wanted to say thanks for the article. And I think it's extra awesome that you actually respond to the comments/questions (I just read through the other roundup from earlier this year).
    Reply