Testing and Results
Testing CPU coolers is a fairly simple process. We boot the computer into the operating system and use SpeedFan to measure the processor’s temperature – at idle and load. The CPU cooler which gives the lowest temperature is obviously the better one in terms of cooling performance.
The ‘idle’ processor state is achieved by running the system in the OS for 30 minutes with no applications running – except Windows’ needed ones. Once those 30 minutes are over, we run SpeedFan (a CPU temperature monitor utility) and note the CPU’s temperature.
The ‘load’ state is achieved similarly to idle. However, instead of no applications running for 30 minutes, we run a utility called ‘CPU Burn-In’ on each core of the processor. This puts the CPU under the highest stress threshold and therefore outputs its highest possible temperatures. The temperature is recorded again, after 30 minutes and by using SpeedFan.
A low temperature is not only what makes a CPU cooler better than another. More importantly – especially in today’s world of HTPC’s – noise is an important issue to take into account. Unfortunately though, measuring the noise output from CPU coolers needs very expensive sound recording equipment. And because the coolers usually generate less than 30dBA, the price tag for one piece of equipment is one Tech-Reviews at the moment cannot possibly afford. Therefore, the only way for us to give you a verdict on a CPU cooler’s sound output is for us to use our God given human ears and compare the cooler in testing with other competitor models. This result is by no means scientific, but it’s certainly a good representation of how quiet a cooler is in relation to other competitor models.
Throughout the testing of this CPU cooler and the other ones mentioned in the results, the current testing variables were as follows:
- Ambient (testing environment) temperature: 20 Degrees Celsius
- Thermal Paste: Tuniq TX-2
- Processor: AMD 7750+ Black Edition
- Stock Speed: 2.7ghz (200*13.5)
- Overclocked Speed: 3ghz (200*15)
From the idle results you can clearly see the Arctic Cooling Freezer XTREME performing about 10 degrees hotter than the other coolers. At load the margin between the Freezer XREME and the other coolers is even more noticeable.
Fortunately the idle overclocked temperatures are slightly more of an improvement with an 8 degrees increase over the competitor coolers. However, the load temperatures have an increase of 20 degrees! That’s not good.
In terms of noise the Freezer XTREME was the second quietest out of all the ones in the test. It would be a good quiet replacement for a stock AMD cooler.