How We Test
The components we used in this article only deviate from our official 2015 Reference system in motherboard. We swapped out the reference system's 10.5"-deep MSI X99S XPower AC for a standard ATX (9.6") model: the X99S Gaming 7.
Test System Components
Noctua’s NH-U12S fits a myriad of cases and motherboards, but cooling our overclocked Core i7-5930K is more challenging for its single-tower sink and one fan, compared to the firm's larger designs. Triple axial fans in Gigabyte's GV-N970G1 Gaming-4GD keeps its GPU exceptionally cool at moderate noise, while dumping its heat directly into the case. Power comes from the 80 PLUS Platinum-rated Dark Power Pro 10 850W by be quiet!
|CPU||4.2GHz (42x 100MHz) @ 1.2V Core|
|Motherboard||Firmware 17.8 (02/10/2015)|
|RAM||XMP CAS 16 Defaults (1.2V)|
|Graphics||Maximum Fan for Thermal Tests|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce 347.52|
|Chipset||Intel INF 188.8.131.529|
Our new test platform runs hot and quiet, negating the dramatic performance differences its predecessor was designed to produce.
|Prime95 v27.9||64-bit executable, Small FFTs, 11 threads|
|3DMark 11||Version: 184.108.40.206, Extreme Preset: Graphics Test 1, Looped|
|Real Temp 3.40||Average of maximum core readings at full CPU load|
|Galaxy CM-140 SPL Meter||Tested at 1/2 m, corrected to 1 m (-6 dB), dBA weighting|
Noise is measured .5m from the case’s front corner, on the side that opens. The numbers are corrected to the 1m industry standard — used by many loudspeaker and fan manufacturers — by subtracting six decibels.