For our CPU cooling tests, we use the same hardware, overclock and configuration for each test to minimize environment variables in testing. This allows for all results across all coolers tested on the platform to be viable as side-by-side examination for direct compare and contrast. Note though, that our test setup for compact systems uses a different CPU and case than our standard cooling setup.
|CPU||Intel i3-8350k LGA1151 (Coffee Lake), all 4 cores 4.0 Ghz|
|Memory||SuperTalent DDR4-3000 (2x8GB)|
|Storage||Inland m.2 2280 NVMe, 256GB|
|Graphics||Gigabyte GTX 1050Ti|
|Power Supply||Silverstone SX800-LTI (SFX-L)|
|Monitoring||CrystalFontz CFA-633-TMI-KU, 4x Dallas One Wire WR-DOW-Y17 sensors|
|Fan Control||Corsair Commander Pro, 100%/50% PWM Speed profiles (liquid cooling pump always @100%, if applicable)|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro 64bit|
|Networking||Disconnected, not used|
|Thermal Compound||Arctic MX-4|
Comparisons are based on data collected from testing performed on our Intel Core i3-8350K system.
Prime95 v29.4b8 (no AVX) is used for two-hour intervals, one managing fans at 50% PWM and the other at 100% PWM with RPM measurements being taken every 3 seconds and averaged across the duration of each 2-hour capture. Omitting AVX instruction sets allows for accurate, 100% loads at chosen clock speeds, while allowing AVX instructions would provide higher, albeit, unrealistic synthetic CPU loads and excessive heat production, less indicative of real-world use.
HWInfo64 is used for real-time core temperature readout, thermal throttling alerts, motherboard power consumption, CPU speed and logging of data, while a CrystalFontz CFA-633-TMI-KU is used to monitor and later average both ambient room (2 probes) and motherboard voltage regulator heatsink (2 probes) temperatures.