I use the same method to test on every cooler review we do, so lemme throw a quick copy and paste job in here from the GlobalWIN CAK38 review to show ya how we do it. The only difference here is room temperature.
Let me tell you exactly what I used and how I came about the temperature results you're about to read. We started with room temperature being 71.6F and stopped testing any time it got more than .6 degree's off that mark. Next we applied a VERY (I said VERY!) thin layer of the standard white goo we call thermal paste, and yes we did clean the CPU core with alcohol the chip between each test session. We then pulled the thermal sensor mounted in the bottom of the socket up slightly so it would make light contact with the core of the CPU. Here's a pic of the sensor:
After insuring good mating between the chip and cooler we fired up the test rig and, for lack of a better description, put the heat on the mofo until it simply would get no hotter. We used Quake3 looped, SiSoft Sandra's CPU Burn In Wizard, and old faithful Prime 95. It generally took around 15minutes to get the temp to max out. For our idle temps we did just that, sat the computer idle until the temperature would drop no lower.
The bottom line is this, all of these coolers were tested in the exact same way, in the exact same environment. While our temperatures may not be exactly the same as yours or another sites, the comparative results are what count here and should be dead on.
If you're comparing this to our results of our MC-370-0A review you will see slightly different numbers. The motherboard we are using on the test bench was upgraded to a KT7A-RAID from the standard KT7-RAID, and for whatever reason our temperatures are showing higher on this board. However, as stated previously, the raw numbers here are not important, its the comparative value that matters.
Our test system consisted of:
- Abit KT7A-Raid Motherboard. - AMD T-Bird 1Ghz chip @ 1.2Ghz running 1.75volts. - The Swiftech MC362-A, Swiftech MC370-0A, the GlobalWIN CAK38, and the Vantec FCE-645240D. - A bunch of other shiz that had absolutely no impact so why mention them?
We will be showing results of all coolers with their stock fan, that shipped with the unit. For the GlobalWin and the Vantec that is a 6800RPM Delta 60mm. For the Swiftech MC370-0A that is a 60mm Pabst fan, and we've already told you all about the stock fan on the 462.
As we have become accustom, the performance in this review again falls along product cost, with more expensive performing better, cheaper worse. Bare in mind that even the Vantec, which didn't perform well, was decent enough to be considered a quality cooler, and it's not even Vantec's latest offering!
We have seen what we were actually hoping to see, and that's the 462 outperforming the some of the best coolers on the market today. As far as idle temps, where the field kept the CPU at 78 Deg F, the 462 managed slightly lower, boucing back between 76 and 77 Deg F, never settling on one or the other.
Now that we've got the meat of the review out of the way, we wanted to try something a bit more. We have 2 other 80mm fans we want to throw on the 462 and see what kind of performance difference we get. We have the stock fan (as shown above), a Sunon KD1208PTBX-6A that is rated at 50.6CFM and 40.5dB, and a Delta FFB0812SHE that is rated at a monstrous 68.51CFM and an unthinkable 48.5dB! Let's take a look at the performance gains/hits of each..
Pretty much in line with what we were expecting. The Delta did cool it a bit more, but come on, with the performance of this thing how much better could it have gotten with just air! To keep the hot t-bird only 27 Deg F above room temp is QUITE a feat! The Sanyo we already looked at so there's no real need to elaborate here. Moving onto the quieter (BY A LOT!) Sunon, all I can say is wow. It doesn't perform quite as well as the MC-370-0A but VERY close, and its quieter. I reckon the bottom line in the discussion of fans is, as long as you have a half way respectable fan on the MC462-A, you're going to be pleased with its performance. In the day where heat sink makers are slapping Delta 7k fans on any heat sink and calling it high performance, its refreashing to see a heat sink that defines the high performance tag, not the fan.
This cooler has pretty much proven itself to stand tall and superior to even the best and most recent coolers on the market. Nothing in life worth having comes without drawbacks, and the Swiftech MC462-A has its own drawbacks. The first one that comes to mind is a rather simple problem with a simple solution: The fan mounting bolts are not long enough to allow you to place a fan grill on the fan. Yes, you can go buy longer bolts and be straight, but Swiftech should have thought of this, especially with the finger cruncher fans that comes stock on it. Another drawback also happens to be one of its good traits as well. It's mounting system. To have to remove the motherboard simply to mount a heat sink is a pain in the rear. That said, once its mounted its the most genius mounting system I've ever come across, even surpassing its little brothers MC-370 mounting device. Onto it's biggest drawback of all, price. I got my name "Justifier" honestly, and even I have a hard time justifying $79.75 for a heat sink. With that said, if there ever was a heat sink worth that much jack, the 462 would be it. Everything from its mounting stability to its top notch performance screams that this will be a heat sink considered among the elite for a good while to come.
All of this in mind, I would still have to call this heat sink recommended. How could I in my right mind look at all this has to offer, down to its 2 connector configuration to allow RPM monitoring while NOT killing your motherboard, and not tell you this is a unit you'd be happy with? I can honestly say that the only regret you would have when buying this cooler would be the void it left in your wallet. If you already have a stellar 80mm fan laying around, there is always the option of buying the heat sink without a fan for USD$59.50 which brings the price to a more reasonable level. Either way you go, your CPU will run cooler and worry free of it's lifeline, the heat sink, deciding to disconnect itself at a very inconvenient moment.
HIGHS AND LOWS:
* Performance (and this is a BIG high) * Mounting System * Two connector cables * Not as LOUD as the Delta 6800RPM driven coolers! * Appearance, this thing just LOOKS mean as HELL!
* Price (and this is a BIG low) * A pain in the arse to mount the first time * Not able to mount a fan grill without longer screws * May not fit on some motherboards. (Check first)
I want to send a big thanks to Sidewinder Computers for supporting us with the units and fans tested in this review. I know that online stores are a dime a dozen, but Gary over at Sidewinder not only has the best prices, but the best customer service we've ever come across. If nothing else, head over there and take a look around. I'm telling ya, it's like being a kid in a candy store!
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