Test Settings And Benchmarks
|Test System Configuration|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-4770K (Haswell): 3.5 GHz Base Clock Rate, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, LGA 1150, Overclocked to 4.50 GHz at 1.25 V (1.24 V Set)|
|Motherboard||Asus Z87-Pro Rev 1.02, BIOS 1007 (05/17/2013)|
|RAM||G.Skill F3-17600CL9D-8GBXLD (8 GB) at DDR3-1600 C9 Defaults|
|Graphics||Intel Integrated HD 4600 Graphics|
|Hard Drive||Samsung 840 Series MZ-7PD256, 256 GB SSD|
|Sound||Integrated HD Audio|
|Network||Integrated Gigabit Networking|
|Power||Corsair AX860i: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Platinum|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 8 Professional RTM x64|
|Chipset||Intel INF 126.96.36.1997|
|LinX 0.6.4||Default benchmark at 500 repetitions|
|RealTemp 3.70||Maximum Temperature, All Cores Averaged|
|Galaxy CM-140 SPL Meter||Tested at 1/4 m, corrected to 1 m (-12 db), dB(A) weighting|
Asus’ top-overclocking Z87-Pro lays the groundwork for thermal testing, but not without compromise: knowing that CPU throttling would prevent accurate thermal measurement, I decided to prevent that occurrence by reducing core voltage to 1.25V.
LinX 0.6.4 is the new application that generates the most taxing thermals using Intel's diminutive Haswell die. I also warned cooler manufacturers that we'd have to drop them from contention if the CPU reached 100° Celsius, since throttling would prevent accurate readings above that point. For our part, I kept the room temperature below 23° Celsius. I further prevented the case from affecting thermal readings by leaving the motherboard in open air, hanging the board vertically to replicate its position in a chassis.
Lacking any mechanical support for a hanging graphics card, I used integrated graphics during these tests.