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Three Down-Draft Heat Sinks: The Last Of A Dying Breed?

Benchmark System

We used our usual AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition-based configuration for testing. The CPU has six cores that run at a base frequency of 3.2 GHz (though Turbo Core can take them higher). Its thermal ceiling is 125 W at stock settings, though we overclocked the processor to 3.8 GHz to more intensively tax our three coolers.

We used the thermal paste that came with each coolers, since that's part of the package. Sound recording was done from a distance of 30 cm. Detailed specifications of our benchmark system are in the following table.

System Hardware
AMD Platform (Socket AM3)MSI 870A Fuzion Power Edition (MS-7660), AMD 870+SB850, BIOS: v1.2  (11/17/2010)
CPUAMD Phenom II X6 Black Edition 1090T (Thuban), Overclocked to 3800 MHz (19 x 200)
Memory2 x 1 GB Crucial Ballistix BL12864BA1608.8SFB DDR3-1066
System DriveCrucial CT32GBFABO, 30 GB, SATA 1.5Gb/s
Graphics CardNvidia GeForce 8400 GS (Passively-Cooled)
SoundOn-Board Realtek ALC892 HD Audio Controller
Network CardRealtek RTL8168D/8111D PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Power Supply Unit (PSU)Seasonic X760, 760 W
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate SP1
Graphics DriverVersion (ForceWare 275.33)
Network Driver7.46.610.2011 (Win7 Default)