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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [11.09.01]
Manufactured by: OCZ Tech
Suggested Price: $20


The Test 

To test the temperatures, we brought the CPU to absolute full load by running the Prime95 Torture Test (found on our Downloads Page).  Once the temperature was settled at a high level for a period of time, it was recorded as the high temperature.  Each test was done twice, unless an odd result came in (in that case, we would retest until a stable number was found in separate tests).

To vary the test, I included as many possible heatsinks in this review as I could... Other than the stock heatsink that comes with AMD processors, all our heatsinks were Thermaltake products.  Sorry! We currently do not have a hardware sponsor, and it is difficult to get in touch with many heatsink manufacturers!

The CPU used is an AMD Duron 1100 clocked at 1200 Mhz (Our only AMD motherboard is currently incapable of manipulating the CPU voltage, so we're stuck at this speed for now).  The case lid was completely removed, so system temp was room temp.  This allows the heatsink to do all the work in cooling the CPU, and doesn't put in the factor of extra ambient heat.

A Note About Our Temperature Measuring Method

We have started using a new method of temperature reading that is MUCH more accurate than the 'lazy' way of doing it (the way we used to do it, and the way most review sites do it now).  The 'lazy' way would be to simply use the pre-installed thermistor that many motherboards have installed below the CPU.  This is actually a very inaccurate method of reading core temperatures.  Rather than go into full detail of this, I'll point you to a site that has excellent documentation on this matter.  Needless to say, this is the method we'll be using from now on, if testing in-house.

And here is one of the the 'right' ways to do it.  This will get us nearly the most accurate core CPU temperature readings, and will present a better way to compare heatsink performance.  Let's make sure other sites start doing the same! I have also included the under-CPU thermistor readings, just so you can see what I mean.

Sound Level Testing

As you know, we also record sound levels in our heatsink reviews.  We find this to be very important, since many people (myself included) simply can not stand the high pitched whine of most high speed 60mm fans.

To test the sound levels, we used a basic Radio Shack analog sound level meter, held 6 inches away from the top of the fan.  The fans were always blowing down, so wind noise is not an issue.

Please note that our sound testing is for comparative purposes only! Our readings are obviously not scientifically accurate, however they are accurate enough for comparing between heatsinks in a single test (we retest the heatsinks for each review, which is why the sound levels will differ for the same heatsink in several reviews).  Also note that ambient noise can be quite high 6" into a PC, so that must be factored in as well.  However, I still find it important to show that sound levels can vary, even among two high-speed fans.

Enough chat, let's get to the graphs...

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