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Old August 4, 2009, 06:49 PM
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OK folks, here's the initial testing. It's been a long weekend for me getting these #s in so you'll have to settle for the stock fan results for now (AFAIC these results are impressive enough even without throwing on non stock fans). I'll get the Push/Pull results up sometime over the next week.

Testing Methodology
Hardware:
MSI 790FX-GD70
AM3 720be (3 cores for now)
2X2 Gig OCZ PC3 12800
PCP & C 750W Silencer
XFX GTX 280
Modified Highspeed Techstation (open testbed)

Coolers:
Stock AMD cooler
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus w/ Stock Fan (2000 RPM)

Custom WC:
Swiftech Apogee GT
Danger Den DDCPX-Pro
MCR220-QP-Res
4X 1350 YL Push/Pull

All testing was done on an open test bed in conditions as closely matched as possible. Ambient temp was 29c +/- .5. Themal compound was IC Diamond and applied using manufacturer's recommended method (Pea Size Blob in middle of CPU). Mounts were given 1 hour OCCT burn-in and allowed to set powered off for 1/2 hour prior to testing. After boot, Idle temps were allowed to settle for 5 minutes prior to running test. Multiple mounts were not attempted for this particular set of benchmarks. Listed temps are Peak / Valley recorded by OCCT during a 1/2 hour custom OCCT normal blend. Listed voltages for various OC settings match those set in Bios. Stock cooler failed to load windows in the final test, but posted 70c idle temps in bios at that level.


OC settings were as follows:
Stock: CPU=2800 / CPU Vid (coretemp)=1.325V / CPU Vcore (CPU-Z)=1.312

Mid Level OC: CPU=3125 / CPU Vid (coretemp)=1.45V / CPU Vcore (CPU-Z)=1.480

High Level OC: CPU=3660 / CPU Vid (coretemp)=1.4875V / CPU Vcore (CPU-Z)=1.584


So, without much further ado.... here's the #s I got..........








There you have it!!!!

To say that I this cooler's performance with the included 2000 RPM fan impressed me would be a grotesque understatement. In fact I had to go back and look at my WC results to make sure I was seeing what I thought was not possible for a $30 Air cooler put up against a $200 custom WC build. Only a 6c difference on a high OC load????

Even more impressive to me was the fact that this performance was delivered at extremely high ambient temps (no AC for me..... ;) ) which would normally contribute to saturating the ability of an Air Cooler to dissipate heat, and the fact that the difference between the three different results seems fairly linear WRT the WC results. I'm not an expert on thermal dynamics, but this suggests to me that the Hyper 212 Plus wasn't reaching the saturation point in my tests, and as such, is well suited for the lower temperatures of the AM3 Phenom II platform.

Now for a couple of caveats.......
  • My recorded idle temps are obviously out of spec since they're lower than ambient (I used a cheap digital thermal display for ambient).
  • This is only 3 cores, so it's entirely possible that a heavily OC'd 4 core chip might start to saturate the Hyper 212+.
  • Same goes for the i7 platform. The Ph II tops out at 73c and runs cooler than i7. Since the i7 chip in AkG's testbed (from the official review) runs fairly cool, we'll have to depend on outside sources & results from our members for how well it performs on a really hot chip.
  • Unfortunately, I have no other AM3 Air Coolers to test against this one for comparison results, and as such, this testing is pretty much apples-to-oranges. You'll have to take the results with a grain of salt and compare them with other reviews.
Even with all of the caveats I've listed, I have to say that I'm overwhelmed by the performance of this $30 cooler, especially when it comes to using it on the AM3 Phenom II platform. From the results I've seen (and that's just with the included stock fan), I'd find it hard to believe that any of the high-end coolers would be able to beat this by more than 2c, and at that point a person would be well advised to start looking at WC if they really wanted an improvement over this cooler.






Hell, for $30 you could buy this cooler + 2 higher end fans for push/pull and still come out ahead in cash compared to the higher end coolers without a fan.

I used to be a huge fan of the AC7 Pro as a budget cooler, but this thing beats that hands down for close to the same price with the only downside being the requirement to remove the motherboard for installation.

AFAIC, best $35 I ever spent on computer gear!!!!!! :)


Now as far as the push/pull testing goes, you'll have to be patient. I'll get to it sometime over the next week and throw up another couple of charts with the results once I have them in.


Edit: Here's the link to the final push/pull results.....

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus CPU Cooler Review Comment Thread
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Last edited by sswilson; August 25, 2009 at 09:35 PM.
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  #142 (permalink)  
Old August 4, 2009, 07:10 PM
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Nice write-up! I have always thought that water cooling is completely over-rated. Today there are some very advanced and effective air coolers which can do 90% of the job for 15% of the cost.
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  #143 (permalink)  
Old August 4, 2009, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oversized Rooster View Post
Nice write-up! I have always thought that water cooling is completely over-rated. Today there are some very advanced and effective air coolers which can do 90% of the job for 15% of the cost.
Maximum heat output of the platform is key to this. At some point, an air cooler will pretty well fall off of a cliff WRT it's ability to wick away any more heat. That's where WC would come in.

Do I think any Phenom II system would see much of a benefit to WC over good air cooling??? I'm starting to have serious doubts because of the generally lower temps, as well as the OC limitations most folks seem to have run into. Most OC's on Ph II I've seen seem to max out long before WC would start being much benefit.

OTOH, i7 still has a hell of a lot of headroom well beyond an Air Coolers ability to efficiently remove heat and that's where WC would start to shine.

edit: As far as the 90% of the job vrs 15% of the price goes, it's always been that way. Most folks with WC were spending $200+ for an extra 5 - 10% on their OC. (My first WC loop got my S939 3700+ from 2880 under the Hyper 6+ to a max of 3050 under water.... :) ).

What's surprised me most about this round of tests is that I doubt WC would provide any benefit on the Ph II platform.
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Last edited by sswilson; August 4, 2009 at 07:24 PM.
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  #144 (permalink)  
Old August 5, 2009, 12:14 AM
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Excellent work

I hope Cooler Master is on a roll with their inexpensive cooling products.
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  #145 (permalink)  
Old August 5, 2009, 06:10 AM
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Wow, thanks for your time and this write up.
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  #146 (permalink)  
Old August 5, 2009, 12:00 PM
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Glad to do it. It did however re-remind me how much work is involved in even just a small review, and re-enforce my appreciation of the hard work our full time reviewers put in for every piece they put out.
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  #147 (permalink)  
Old August 5, 2009, 12:09 PM
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Which program did you use to check your temps? (Sorry if you posted it somewhere else, to lazy to read it all)
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  #148 (permalink)  
Old August 5, 2009, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
All testing was done on an open test bed in conditions as closely matched as possible. Ambient temp was 29c +/- .5. Themal compound was IC Diamond and applied using manufacturer's recommended method (Pea Size Blob in middle of CPU). Mounts were given 1 hour OCCT burn-in and allowed to set powered off for 1/2 hour prior to testing. After boot, Idle temps were allowed to settle for 5 minutes prior to running test. Multiple mounts were not attempted for this particular set of benchmarks. Listed temps are Peak / Valley recorded by OCCT during a 1/2 hour custom OCCT normal blend. Listed voltages for various OC settings match those set in Bios. Stock cooler failed to load windows in the final test, but posted 70c idle temps in bios at that level.



Another interesting point I noticed during my benchmarking session was the disparity between ambient temps in different areas of my room. I use a digital thermometer (something I picked up at Canadian Tire) which has two readouts... one for the unit itself, and then one for a probe on a 10' wire.

While I was benching, I placed the unit beside my testbed, and had the probe about 3 feet away, but at a position which was also 3 feet lower than the bench I had the testbed on.

The temps between the two locations varied by 1.5c during pretty well the whole benchmarking procedure with the probe being the lower. (I'm assuming that heat rising with little / no room airflow was the culprit).

This brings up (in my mind) an important point for ambient temperatures listed in reviews.... The fact that I was able to see such a big difference with a probe placed 3' away in a large room (25X10) suggests to me that having a relatively small controlled temperature room for testing would be a big benefit for reviews, especially if all comparison temps on previous reviews were carried out in the same space at the same temperature. It also suggests that as consumers of reviews, we have to be very careful about trying to directly compare results from different sites using different testing environments.
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  #149 (permalink)  
Old August 5, 2009, 01:35 PM
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Here is pic of cooler clearances with new ram installed. The rig is the bottom one in my sig. The case is just a temporary p.o.s. that is housing things right now.
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Ambient 20C I will pull Corsair cooler off later

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Last edited by 3.0charlie; August 5, 2009 at 02:30 PM. Reason: Stoanee, list the pics over each other next time.
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  #150 (permalink)  
Old August 5, 2009, 01:43 PM
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I would like to know what your results are without the Corsair memory cooler installed.

Also, what are the ambient temps?
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