Testing and Results
Testing heatsinks accurately is a tricky business. There are two important numbers, one is the core temperature over ambient, and the other is the absolute core temp.
For a review the gain over ambient is the most important, it lets the readers figure out how cooling will run for them with a certain ambient temperature. For example it could be 30*C in a house, and the heatsink has a 20*C delta. So for someone with a 30*C ambient those core temperatures would be 50*C while someone with a 0*C ambient would have 20*C core temperatures.
For personal use the absolute core temp is more important, as your ambient is unlikely to change a huge amount.
For this review I will be expressing all temps in the number of degrees over ambient the cores are running, if you the viewer add this number to your current ambient air temp the resulting number is how hot my system’s cores would be running in your house during the tests.
For testing I will be using the ARCTIC i30 with Arctic Cooling MX-4 thermal paste.
The test system is thusly:
- Intel Core i5 3570k
- Gigabyte Z77-UD3H (Reviewed Here)
- 8gb G.Skill Sniper 1866mhz memory
- Corsair 750w Power Supply
- Antec P280 Case (review coming soon!)
The 3570K will be run at a stock and overclocked level:
- 100% stock speed and voltages.
- 4.5GHz with 1.3vCore.
This will give a baseline of temperatures, as well as a nice and heavy load to get the core nice and toasty.
The first results are with the processor at Stock clocks with various fan settings. Keep in mind the processor is running at 3.8ghz due to Turbo kicking in.
At stock clocks this heatsink does a good job of keeping everything cool. These temperatures are deltas so please don’t think something is wrong when your heatsink is running 20-30*C warmer.
Now we kick things up another notch and set the processor at 4.5ghz with 1.3v.
Anyone that said Ivy Bridge chips run hot sure hit things spot on. Temperatures can get extremely hot very fast with this platform, but thankfully the i30 is able to keep up and keep temperatures at safe levels under full load.
It must be noted that these temps were achieved with the i30 on PWM mode with the fan ramping up fan speed when temperatures started to raise. This achieves low noise levels at idle, yet low temperatures under full load.
Due to using a PWM fan profile it was easy to hear all different ranges of fan speed. Low fan speed is almost inaudible throughout testing. Mid fan speed is still very quiet, but the fan pushes a decent amount of air. And High fan speed does not produce as much noise as I thought it would. Noise at full speed is more of a woosh of air noise than fan motor or blade noise.