AIO CPU COOL­ERS

ANTONY LEATHER PUTS THE LAT­EST 120MM ALL-IN-ONE LIQ­UID COOL­ERS THROUGH THEIR PACES ON THE THREE MAIN CPU SOCK­ETS

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS -

Keep your temps low and PC silent with a good wa­ter cooler

When test­ing CPU cool­ers, it’s im­por­tant to ex­am­ine per­for­mance across a range of sock­ets, as mount­ing mech­a­nisms vary be­tween them. Some cool­ers per­form well on some CPU sock­ets, but not on oth­ers. For this rea­son, we now test cool­ing on LGA115x, LGA2011 and AM4 moth­er­boards. As this is a test of max­i­mum cool­ing abil­i­ties all our CPUs are over­clocked too, so we can weed out the wheat from the chaff.

Our LGA115x test sys­tem uses a Core i7-4770K over­clocked to 4.3GHz with a 1.15V vcore, a Gi­ga­byte Z97X-UD5H moth­er­board, 4GB of 1600MHz Cru­cial Bal­lis­tix DDR3 RAM and a 240GB In­tel SSD 730. Mean­while, our LGA2011 rig has a Core i7-3960X over­clocked to 4.2GHz with a 1.275V vcore, an MSI X79A-GD45 moth­er­board, 16GB of G.Skill Ripjaws 1600MHz RAM and a Sam­sung 830 SSD.

Fi­nally, our AM4 sys­tem sports a Ryzen 7 1700 over­clocked to 3.8GHz us­ing a 1.34V vcore on an Asus ROG Strix B350 Gam­ing moth­er­board, with 16GB of 3000MHz Cor­sair Vengeance LPX mem­ory and a Cru­cial MX100 SSD. We’ve also re­housed our test sys­tems in Frac­tal De­sign’s Meshify C case, us­ing a be quiet! PurePower 400W PSU, a Sap­phire Radeon 5700 graph­ics card and Win­dows 10.

We use CoreTemp to mea­sure the CPU tem­per­a­ture, be­fore sub­tract­ing the am­bi­ent air tem­per­a­ture to give a delta T re­sult, al­low­ing us to test in a lab that isn’t tem­per­a­ture con­trolled. We use Prime95’s smallfft test to load the CPU and take the read­ing af­ter ten min­utes.

We’ve also taken sound read­ings from 70cm away. Once with the fans and pumps at full speed, and again at low speed with the moth­er­board fan pro­file set to silent, to help us gauge each cooler’s abil­ity to cool at var­i­ous fan speeds while min­imis­ing noise, al­though the noise re­sults are only com­pa­ra­ble within the con­fines of this group test.

There’s a sep­a­rate score for each CPU socket, to take into ac­count the dif­fer­ent cool­ing and mount­ing mech­a­nisms as well as value for money. The fea­ture score in­cludes as­pects such as soft­ware con­trol, light­ing, ex­pan­sion pos­si­bil­i­ties and PWM fans, while the de­sign score con­sid­ers in­stal­la­tion, noise and aes­thet­ics. The value score takes all these re­sults into ac­count with the price.

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