The Testing Process
Since the Hydrocool200 is designed to cool both AMD’s Athlon XP and Intel’s Pentium 4 processors, we decided to conduct two entirely independent tests with the system.
In the first run-through, we checked how powerful the system was on our home-grown cooler test platform for AMD processors. There’s more information on the platform and the measurement procedure here.
We strapped a 3.0 GHz, HT Intel Pentium 4 CPU down under the water block for the second run-through. Instead of the "standard" FSB clock of 200 MHz, we ran the CPU at 233 MHz, setting the CPU clock at 3.5 GHz.
|Intel Processor (Socket 478)|
|200 MHz FSB (Dual DDR400)||Pentium 4 3.00 GHz (3000 MHz 12-8/512 kB)|
|DDR400 (200 MHz)||2 x 256 MB / 5ns / 64 Bit (Corsiar TwinX)|
|Intel 875||Asus P4C800 Rev : 1.03Bios : 1006 BETA 003|
|Graphics Card||ATI Readion 9700 ProMemory : 128 MB DDR-SDRAMMemory Clock : 620 MHz (256 Bit)Chip Clock : 325 MHz|
|Hard Drive||40 GB, 6L040J2, MaxtorUDMA100, 7200 rpm, 2 MB Cache|
|Network||D-Link DFE-530TX (10/100 Mbit)|
|Intel Chipset||V 5.00.1012|
|Graphics Driver||CATALYST 3.2 Version : 6.14.01.6307ATI Control Panel Version : 18.104.22.16829|
|DirectX||Version : 9a|
|OS||Windows XP, Build 2600 SP1|
To get the processor to churn out its full allotment of heat and to stress-test the stability of the overclocked system, we ran Seti@home (client : V3.03 text version) for several days in a row.
The Hydrocool200 Keeps The Athlon XP 2400+ Icy
The Athlon XP 2400+ in our AMD cooler testing platform didn’t break a sweat under the Hydrocool200’s water block - not even under a full load. We measured the thermal resistance at 0.25 K/W in turbo mode and 0.23 K/W in whisper mode. These are top-notch ratings for what is a top-notch product. We were, however, disappointed by the racket that Corsair’s debut model kicked up. In turbo mode, the sound level sensor showed that the system generated 53.7 dB(A) ; the so-called "whisper" mode wasn’t much better at 47.5 dB(A) (measurements were taken 50 cm from the fan inlet on the case ; ambient sound level was 31 dB(A)). Corsair should really make some modifications to the fan to dampen the noise level. After all, the fun thing about a water-cooling system is how silently it runs.