23 CPU Cooler Roundup by Madshrimps

Cooling Processors quietly

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

23 CPU Cooler Roundup by Madshrimps

Post by MikeC » Mon May 04, 2009 7:23 am

Last edited by MikeC on Mon May 04, 2009 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

dhanson865
Posts: 2198
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:20 am
Location: TN, USA

Post by dhanson865 » Mon May 04, 2009 8:11 am

Noise level of each HSF combo was recorded with a Velleman DVM1326 Sound Level Meter, the sensor was placed ~5cm away from the side of the case with panel removed.

Code: Select all

Velleman DVM1326
2 modes provide 2.5dB or 3.5dB accuracy. A and C weighting: high and low measuring ranges: low (35 to 100dB) / high (65 to 130dB). 0.1dB resolution.
So how far away from the HSF do you think 5cm from the side of the case is?

Does that mean the distance from the fans varies based on the size/shape of the heatsink?
Last edited by dhanson865 on Mon May 04, 2009 8:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
.
Please put a country in your profile if you haven't already.
This site is international but I'll assume you are in the US if you don't tell me otherwise.
RAID levels thread http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=388987

thejamppa
Posts: 3142
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:20 am
Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Contact:

Post by thejamppa » Mon May 04, 2009 8:12 am

Sweet! Well, it seems Xigmatek HDT-S1283 is still one of the best coolers. It is pretty even with heavy contenders like TRUE and Prolimatech... but man... 3200 RPM Delta 120mm fan... *shivers at the hought* but luckily there are more fans too.

IFX-14 seems to be on league of its own and holding new contenders off pretty well. New Scythe's didn't do half bad either.
If seeing is believing, how can blind person believe in anything?
Maturity is just not experience in life but also ability to make compromises.

Emyr
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:48 am
Location: Cardiff, UK

Post by Emyr » Mon May 04, 2009 8:47 am

The lowest dBA reading in the test room was 36dBA (dead quiet) with system running without HSF fan.
36DBa BASELINE WTF???
[size=75]My PC: AMD 64 X2 4200+ (2.2GHz), 2GB Corsair Value DDR667, Asus M2N-E, ATI HD3870, Seasonic S12-600 (via ebay)... + el cheapo case = not that quiet!
What I built for my brother: AMD 64 X2 @ £.0GHz, 2GB Ballistix DDR800, ATI HD3870, Corsair VX450, Scythe Ninja, Antec P182. Quieter than many laptops, and making me very envious of his disposable income.[/size]

colin2
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:40 pm
Location: Seattle

Post by colin2 » Mon May 04, 2009 9:27 am

Did they do a scatterplot of the temperature/noise data?

jmke
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:53 am
Location: In Front of PC
Contact:

Post by jmke » Mon May 04, 2009 9:34 am

Emyr wrote: 36DBa BASELINE WTF???
Morpheus wrote:welcome.. to the real world
:)

don't fixate on the absolute values of the dBA readings, it's used a comparative tool between the heatsinks and fan's tested, nothing more, nothing less. Could have used abstract numbers, but preferred these.

our test lab is nowhere near as advanced as SPCR (we lack the $10000+ budget).
[url=http://www.madshrimps.be/gotoartik.php?articID=389]160+ CPU Cooler Comparison Database[/url]

ame
Posts: 488
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:35 pm
Location: Israel

Post by ame » Mon May 04, 2009 12:37 pm

jmke wrote:
Emyr wrote: 36DBa BASELINE WTF???
Morpheus wrote:welcome.. to the real world
:)

don't fixate on the absolute values of the dBA readings, it's used a comparative tool between the heatsinks and fan's tested, nothing more, nothing less. Could have used abstract numbers, but preferred these.

our test lab is nowhere near as advanced as SPCR (we lack the $10000+ budget).
36db is probably the lower limit of the SPL meter, yet they certainly seem to get the relative diffrences between fans correct on anything abouve the 39-40 db (at 10 cm), but anything below is a mystery. Like a passive Ninja 2 is (i'm kinda sure) quieter than 36db
:lol:
If they used same device at 1m most coolers would not register anything over the noise floor. So I guess using it close range is the only way to go if you want to make any kind of comparison.

wonder if the passive testing was done with the case cloosed? this would likely affect temps.


I like how the shrimp awards sum it up nicely, so you know what your looking at at a glance

dhanson865
Posts: 2198
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:20 am
Location: TN, USA

Post by dhanson865 » Mon May 04, 2009 1:11 pm

jmke wrote:
Emyr wrote: 36DBa BASELINE WTF???
Morpheus wrote:welcome.. to the real world
:)

don't fixate on the absolute values of the dBA readings, it's used a comparative tool between the heatsinks and fan's tested, nothing more, nothing less. Could have used abstract numbers, but preferred these.

our test lab is nowhere near as advanced as SPCR (we lack the $10000+ budget).
You don't need $10,000 to drop your rated inaccuracy from 2.5 dBA to 1.4dBA and lower the noise floor by 10dBA.

You can get an Extech 407738 Sound Level Meter with Memory for around $250.

viewtopic.php?p=463534 has more on pricing of cheap sound meters.

As to your review I don't need to know if a fan is quieter than 20dBA. You don't need an anechoic chamber for every test known to man. But I am concerned about you having the meter so darn close to the source of the noise. I'd trust the numbers more if you used a better SLM and moved it further away from the source.

What is the average distance from the mic to the source in your tests? 5cm to side of case + some difference in height of heatsinks = ??? Would you say that ranges from 6 to 10 cm? I understand why you don't test from 1 meter but it'd be nice if you could get that distance up to 30cm.

Increasing the measuring distance will decrease issues unrelated to the rated accuracy of the SLM.
Last edited by dhanson865 on Mon May 04, 2009 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
.
Please put a country in your profile if you haven't already.
This site is international but I'll assume you are in the US if you don't tell me otherwise.
RAID levels thread http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=388987

jmke
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:53 am
Location: In Front of PC
Contact:

Post by jmke » Mon May 04, 2009 1:26 pm

ame wrote:arison.
wonder if the passive testing was done with the case cloosed? this would likely affect temps.
yes case was closed during all tests.
@Dhanson: not currently looking for an upgrade of the SLM, just spend $500+ earlier this year for test gear; but a higher quality dBA meter is definitely on the wish list:)
[url=http://www.madshrimps.be/gotoartik.php?articID=389]160+ CPU Cooler Comparison Database[/url]

dhanson865
Posts: 2198
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:20 am
Location: TN, USA

Post by dhanson865 » Mon May 04, 2009 1:29 pm

jmke wrote:
ame wrote:arison.
wonder if the passive testing was done with the case cloosed? this would likely affect temps.
yes case was closed during all tests.
Noise level of each HSF combo was recorded with a Velleman DVM1326 Sound Level Meter, the sensor was placed ~5cm away from the side of the case with panel removed.
All tests is inaccurate. "All thermal tests" maybe but not "all tests".
.
Please put a country in your profile if you haven't already.
This site is international but I'll assume you are in the US if you don't tell me otherwise.
RAID levels thread http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=388987

jmke
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:53 am
Location: In Front of PC
Contact:

Post by jmke » Mon May 04, 2009 1:35 pm

yes:)

I check closest EU retailer, has the Extech 407738 for € 429,59
[url=http://www.madshrimps.be/gotoartik.php?articID=389]160+ CPU Cooler Comparison Database[/url]

thejamppa
Posts: 3142
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:20 am
Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
Contact:

Post by thejamppa » Tue May 05, 2009 5:18 am

despite test wasn't SPCR level, it still good giving the guide line. SPCR has tested the NCB fan so we can predict somehow how coolers effectiveness is. Not too many SPCR'ians still use stock fans anyway.

jmke, thank you very much for the big task you've made ^^
If seeing is believing, how can blind person believe in anything?
Maturity is just not experience in life but also ability to make compromises.

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7452
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Post by CA_Steve » Tue May 05, 2009 7:47 am

Thanks jmke!

What stood out for me was that if I don't care about getting the very last 1C out of the CPU, if a couple of degrees C is ok, then there are a LOT of coolers that provide similar results at similar dBA. So, if this holds true, then really, doesn't it come down to ease of installation and cost?
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

halcyon
Patron of SPCR
Posts: 1115
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2003 3:52 am
Location: EU

Post by halcyon » Tue May 05, 2009 8:18 am

I really appreciate all the work going into that. Esp. the thermal load tests and temps. One can always deduce something about the noise from the fan speeds knowing the type of fans used.

I can understand the lab noise floor and meter limitations. I wish I had a 18dBA noise floor too with no spectral spikes. But I don't :)

Only one minor plea, for the generator, could you give us a text only output for the names and fan speeds. Makes searching inside browser much faster for long lists. Now that it's full graphics, it's very pretty, but must be visually searched instead of using browser highlighting.

BTW, select all function for the generator would be a nice bonus.

Thanks!

dhanson865
Posts: 2198
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:20 am
Location: TN, USA

Post by dhanson865 » Tue May 05, 2009 8:25 am

jmke wrote:I check closest EU retailer, has the Extech 407738 for € 429,59
Ouch, that is twice the cost I'd pay in the US for it. If I win the lottery I'll just mail you one.

You might try the Nady DSM-1 since it is the cheapest of the 30 dBA meters here in the US. It should be less than half the cost of the Extech 407738 and still shave 5dBA off your minimum.

Until then thanks for the effort.
.
Please put a country in your profile if you haven't already.
This site is international but I'll assume you are in the US if you don't tell me otherwise.
RAID levels thread http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=388987

yensteel
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:58 am
Location: Hong Kong

Post by yensteel » Wed May 06, 2009 4:01 am

I kinda liked how they put out massive reviews at a time. It makes things a lot more convenient and comparable. That goes to the CPU roundup and the fan roundup that they eariler did.

EekTheCat
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:31 am
Location: Indonesia

Thanks

Post by EekTheCat » Wed May 06, 2009 7:02 am

jmke: Good job on the roundup.

jmke
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:53 am
Location: In Front of PC
Contact:

Post by jmke » Wed May 06, 2009 2:14 pm

thanks EekTheCat. I'm nowhere near MikeC's ambient noise level or sound recording; I have a goal to work towards to! he has set the standard for noise level testing, no other site out there is matching his work;
dhanson865: Ouch, that is twice the cost I'd pay in the US for it. If I win the lottery I'll just mail you one.
you did make me bookmark the Extech 407738 page... I'm considering it, after a few more paychecks, so might be few months still. Maybe shipping it over might be cheaper; $250 + $100 shipping would be €262 ... interesting.
[url=http://www.madshrimps.be/gotoartik.php?articID=389]160+ CPU Cooler Comparison Database[/url]

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Thu May 07, 2009 8:51 am

jmke -

You could try to find an old Brüel & Kjær model 2203 like the one we used here for years (shown in first photo here - http://www.silentpcreview.com/article875-page1.html). It's good to a bit below 20 dBA. With mic, you can find them on eBay for as low as $500. I'd sell you the backup unit but the 1" mic capsule stopped working a while ago tho. A new mic is very expensive (near a grand!) so the trick is to get a used one or another Brüel & Kjær SLM which uses a 1" mic capsule -- they are interchangeable.

One other thing you must have to be serious about sound measurements is a mic calibrator. Described in detail in the article linked earlier. Changes in temperature, humidity, batteries, even simple aging affect SLM sensitivity, so it's important to check this often. We typically check at least once a week, more often if there are big weather changes. The mic is left powered on all the time so there's no drift caused by internal temp changes. (Our setup never reads off more than 1 dB -- and more often it is accurate to better than 0.5 dB)

Of course, all this is moot if your ambient level isn't at least 20 dBA or lower, at least if you're trying to measure quiet stuff that's <25 dBA/1m. A 0.5m distance would be a decent compromise, tho. Easy to extrapolate roughly to 1m distance.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

jmke
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:53 am
Location: In Front of PC
Contact:

Post by jmke » Thu May 07, 2009 12:08 pm

hey MikeC, thank you for your input, much appreciated. I'm afraid that in very near future I won't be able to make room which will hit that low noise level; while I'm living in quiet little town, I have not enough room at this point in time to dedicate a whole room to noise testing, as this will be required to hit that low dBA mark.

when the kids are out of the house (will have to wait approx 25 years for that;)) I can start preparing a silent room with mega isolation :-)
[url=http://www.madshrimps.be/gotoartik.php?articID=389]160+ CPU Cooler Comparison Database[/url]

colm
Posts: 406
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:22 am
Location: maine

Post by colm » Tue May 12, 2009 5:51 am

the heatsinks I liked stayed a few degrees warmer (1-3). like the ninja2, thermalright 120, mugen. My favoirte (not in tests) is an xp90 looking design, base has fins permanent attached.The heatsinks with the open base into pipes only, the designs with the space directly above the solid part of heatsinks (the base). I don't even like to look at it. It looks not normal.
I have concluded the few degrees warmer with the fins attached to the base is the stronger one, and soapstoning into a longevity very important.No crazy temp variants, like opening an 80 degree rooms window to maines 15 below zero. Gimme the soapstoners any time as choice.

My 2 cents. And fantastic cpu choice for testing. The heatsinks with duct only testing and no fan were educational, it still dropped temps by 7 degrees. reverse cooling is a winner as well.
DSFg$57%udRTYnh

jmke
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:53 am
Location: In Front of PC
Contact:

Post by jmke » Tue May 12, 2009 5:54 am

And fantastic cpu choice for testing.
serious remark or ironic? :)
I want to increase heat load above 100W for CPU alone to be able stress those heatsinks build for Core i7, 6 heat pipes monsters are not properly stressed with a <100W CPU;
[url=http://www.madshrimps.be/gotoartik.php?articID=389]160+ CPU Cooler Comparison Database[/url]

psiu
Posts: 1201
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:53 pm
Location: Plymouth, MI
Contact:

Post by psiu » Mon May 25, 2009 8:35 am

jmke wrote:hey MikeC, thank you for your input, much appreciated. I'm afraid that in very near future I won't be able to make room which will hit that low noise level; while I'm living in quiet little town, I have not enough room at this point in time to dedicate a whole room to noise testing, as this will be required to hit that low dBA mark.

when the kids are out of the house (will have to wait approx 25 years for that;)) I can start preparing a silent room with mega isolation :-)
And by then you won't need any quiet components anyway :) Like when I shop for parts for my parents and then realize neither one can hear for beans :P
R.I.P. Felger Carbon & cpemma

jmke
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:53 am
Location: In Front of PC
Contact:

Post by jmke » Mon May 25, 2009 8:47 am

psiu wrote: And by then you won't need any quiet components anyway :) Like when I shop for parts for my parents and then realize neither one can hear for beans :P
you are indeed quite right; my parents are not bothered by a PC which makes to my standards lots of racket :)
[url=http://www.madshrimps.be/gotoartik.php?articID=389]160+ CPU Cooler Comparison Database[/url]

Post Reply