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.
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 73.6F 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.
Our test system consisted of:
- Abit KT7-Raid Motherboard. - AMD T-Bird 1Ghz chip @ 1.2Ghz running 1.75volts. - The 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?
Since the Vantec and GlobalWIN both come with a 7k RPM 38CFM fan, we ran the 370 with it's stock Pabst fan and also the Delta fan just to be fair. We've got results in both Fahrenheit and Celsius to avoid any confusion depending on where you are in the world...
(Temps listed as Fahrenheit/Celsius)
From looking at the numbers above, it's pretty clear that there isn't a bad cooler in the bunch. What is also pretty clear is that all three units perform right along the lines of their price, further cementing the "You get what you pay for" line of thought. You can see that the solid high quality and well thought out design of the 370 brings home the most bacon. The all copper design of the CAK38 shows its muscle for sure, while the basic design of the Vantec coupled with the Delta fan, while not overpowering, is certainly respectable as well.
The odd thing about this cooler is that it isn't all that new. Swiftech has been quietly putting together these quality units for over a year now. The latest design mods in the 370-0A have been around since November of last year. Be it the high price or lack of exposure, these coolers are simply not well known, after looking at it's performance and features one has to wonder why.
The Pabst fan that is stock on this cooler is one that in my mind a better all around solution that the Delta Black Label fans. The performance is there but the noise isn't. The 4 pin Molex connector is a draw back for those of us that live for RPM monitoring, but a flaw I can live with when I look at what I gain by using this fan.
When I talk about this clip I wanna go to every damn cooler manufacturer I can think of and beat them over the head with the MC370-0A. I wish I could find words to describe how absolutely ingenious this design is. Not only does it put NO strenuous pressure on your CPU, but it is firmly mounted once it's on. I have seen some ugly clipping mechanisms (aHEM, GlobalWIN and ThermalTake) and I have seen some very good designs (Vantec) but I have never seen a manufacturer put so much effort into designing one that is suitable for any application you may want to use it for. I love the adjustable height and the spring pressure only design. BIG PROPS to Swiftech on their clip.
The performance is the best we've seen here at OCA, but let's be honest here, if I'm gonna drop damn near $50 on a heat sink, that mofo damn sure better perform like a $50 heat sink!
The conclusion is something I've been wrestling with in my mind since I began this review. It's times like this I'm DAMN glad OCAddiction doesn't have a rating system to gauge products. While my whole body would be screaming "GIVE IT A 10!", my mind would be screaming "$50 FOR WHAT??!!" The performance and features of the MC370-0A are simply superior to anything we've seen before, or are likely to see in the near future with today's logic of "slap a Delta on it and call it a high performance cooler". That said, there are a lot of great coolers out there that won't cost ya this much jack. The two units I pitted this against come to mind first, although the CAK is not exactly cheap at $37 either. The new Thermoengine also is one to be considered for less that $40 with a black label slapped on it.
The bottom line is this really, you've seen the facts, hell, you've seen exactly what I've seen, write your own conclusion. It comes down to if absolute performance with top notch quality are worth the extra $10-$15 to YOU. Personally, I've never been more impressed with a cooler before. Being a reviewer I replace the heat sink on my CPU an average of 15 times a month, switching to different configs or what have you, and this is the first cooler that I've not cringed slightly while putting it on.
* Great Clip Design. * Pabst fan is a good performer and doesn't sound like an airplane. * Performance is second to none that we've seen. * All around quality is top notch.
* Price (USD$47.00) * No RPM monitoring with fan.
I reckon that about covers it. If you decide that this cooler is what you've been waiting for (or any cooling needs really) head over to Sidewinder Computers. Gary over there has the best prices but that's not why we pimp them so hard, we pimp them because their service is almost unbelievable. Put low prices, KILLER service, and low shipping $$$ in one company and we're hooked! Check em out..
Thanks for checking out the review, and as always, any flames, props, comments, or suggestions drop em here...
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