This was the easiest cooler I have ever put on. All you need to do is hold the four tabs and put the cooler down on the CPU. Make sure it’s lined up, let go of the tabs, and push the lever to the other side. There is no need to use a heavy force on anything, as with other coolers.
To test a silent CPU cooler, it would be pointless if I ran my normal computer. The video card and Northbridge both have fans that would defeat the purpose of the cooler. Most people that want a quiet computer tend not to have 6800s. Also, there won’t be any performance benchmarks, so there is no real need to run the 6800. Anyone who has an ABIT motherboard like me knows that the single Northbridge fan is loud. If could easily be louder then a normal CPU cooler. So I went into my bin of parts and came out with this.
1 GB Kingston Hyper X
Soyo SY-P4I865PE Plus DRAGON 2
Nvidia GeForce4 MX440SE
52x ASUS CD-ROM
Maxtor 40GB 7200RPM IDE Hard Drive
This has no fans except for the CPU cooler, which is what we wanted. The Northbridge and video card both are only passively cooled with heat sinks. It might not be the prettiest computer, but it is what we want when testing a silent CPU cooler.
I was going to show you how much sound this makes with nice graphs, but I had a problem: it was too quiet. The fan is rated 12 - 23db, while my ambient noise is roughly 25db. The ambient room noise was greater than the fan’s noise. This is hard to believe, even to me; I use massive 120mm fast fans that are loud.
With this fan I was able to hear the hard drive spin around. The fan is rated between 1000 and 2500 RPMs. I experienced RPMs around 1200 throughout the idle and around 1500 when fully loaded. I could never get the fan to run at full power. The temperature got up pretty hot, as you will see in the next section, but it never got the fan up to full speed. I believe this is caused by the way the fan is controlled. It is controlled by the sensor, not the temperature from the motherboard.
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