|Vendetta 2 vs TRUE vs HDT-S1283|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 09 June 2008|
Page 9 of 10
Test Results: High-Output Fan
In our last section, the OCZ Vendetta 2 proved itself worthy of low-volume low-noise fan applications where comfort is more desirable than a maximum overclock. But we're moving on, because almost anyone who buys an aftermarket cooler is doing so because of the free performance waiting to be unlocked through hardware tweaking. Overclockers are already willing to take their hardware to the breaking point, so it stands to reason that reduced fan noise is not a top priority.
This section is labeled high-output, which shouldn't be mistaken for highest-output. I am aware that there are much more impressive fans available, such as the 120 CFM screamers that require a bolt-on kit to retain them. But in my experience, the Yate Loon D12SH-12 is one of the best 120mm cooling fans available in regards to the noise to performance ratio. The D12SH-12 cooling fan forces an impressive 88 CFM of air at a moderately noisy 40 dbA. Personally, I can't suffer anything that produces higher sound levels than this, since gaming requires headphones and casual computing is almost impossible.
The high-output testing begins at the horizontally position, similar to a HTPC or rack mount server unit. With the high-output Yate Loon D12SH-12 fan attached to each cooler, there were ten seven test samples taken within our ambient temperature range. In the charts below each cooler displays a thermal difference, which is the difference between the ambient room temperature and the recorded temperature of the processor cores.
In our low-output tests, the OCZ Vendetta 2 was our top-contender by a narrow margin over the TRUE, but with a much more powerful fan pushing air past the dense array of fins the wind has changed direction. The Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme posts an impressive lead over the top competition, and clearly performs the best in our high-output horizontal position testing. I can't realistically see anyone in their right mind using the high-output fan inside an HTPC, but desktop workstations and rack mount server units could certainly benefit here.
The Vendetta 2 wasn't very far behind, which could make a good argument for anyone not wanting to spend very much on an aftermarket cooler. However the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 trailed behind by just over a full degree of thermal difference, which is good and fine considering that these three products are considered by many to be the best of the best, but now that the HDT-S1283 has so much competition (along with a less-expensive Kingwin RVT-12025 clone) it doesn't make good sense anymore.
When I tested each cooler, I made certain to keep the hardware settings identical across the test platform. This would enable me to clearly compare the performance of each product under identical conditions. While the ambient room temperature did fluctuate between 20~21°C, this would not be enough to cause a noticeable impact on our test results.
Now for the test that matter most to overclockers: the high-output vertical position benchmarks. Nearly every single overclocker uses a tower computer chassis, which stands upright. Additionally, it's probably a safe bet that most overclockers don't particularly mind the noise that these high-output fans create. So for this test segment, I tested each cooler for a total of fifteen test samples, and averaged the thermal difference results below.
When the testing was complete and the results were calculated, it surprised me to find these coolers performing so close to one another. In most cases, I would normally dismiss some portion of my results as margin of error, but each of the tests were very much identical to the entire collection for each product. For a short while I had suspected that the Thermaltake Ultra-120 eXtreme would beat the entire bunch, but then I remembered how the TRUE actually did better in the horizontal position than it does in vertical environments. So it didn't really surprise me when the Ultra-120 eXtreme produced the same (exact) thermal difference for both positions, because it actually got worse in the vertical position testing under low-output fan testing.
Once again, OCZ Vendetta 2 produced a very-narrow lead ahead of the Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme, making the OCZVEND2 our most highly-recommended cooler. This isn't going to make many people happy, since I have heard nothing but petty complaints from several members of the overclocking community who seem to be personally attached to their small investment. So for them, I'll dedicate a few more words: move on. Technology changes, and the two year old design of Thermaltakes Ultra-120 eXtreme isn't going to get any better with time... in fact, their upcoming TRUE Black edition is exactly identical with anodized black fins. That's not what I consider progress from the manufacturer. But I will avoid a long dialog slamming the design flaws of the TRUE, and instead shed some light on where super-enthusiasts can go from here in the next section.