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Best CPU Cooler Performance LGA1366 Q3-2009 E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling
Written by Olin Coles   
Friday, 09 October 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Best CPU Cooler Performance LGA1366 Q3-2009
Thermally Conductive Element Reference
Cogage TRUE Spirit
CoolAge CA-X120TF Wind Tunnel
Corsair H50 CWCH50
Scythe Kabuto SCKBT-1000
Scythe Mugen 2 SCMG-2000
Tuniq Tower-120 Extreme
ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 PWM Premium
Cooler Surface Preparations
Cooler Test Methodology
Test Results: Stock Cooling Fan
Test Results: High-Output Fan
Enthusiast Fan Comparison
CPU Cooler Final Thoughts
Best CPU Cooler Conclusion

Conductive Elements

Manufacturers have made a small fortune off of confusion tactics and misinformation. Marketing departments often times neglect to refer back to solid science when making their bold claims, which is why we have assembled a complete list of thermally conductive elements in the reference chart below.

It's very well known that Silver, Copper, Gold, and Aluminum together comprise the top four most thermally conductive elements. However, without knowing the thermal conductance of these elements you might be fooled into thinking the performance was close. As it turns out, Silver and Copper both offer nearly twice the performance of Aluminum when transferring thermal energy such as heat. The reason Aluminum is used in so many applications is because it's the least expensive top-tier metal available. Most Thermal Interface Material and CPU coolers use several different elemental ingredients to work together, but after a careful inspection of the performance levels it comes as a surprise to me that some of the most popular products make use of such poor conductive elements.

Thermal Conductance Element Name Symbol
4.29 W/cmK Silver Ag
4.01 W/cmK Copper Cu
3.17 W/cmK Gold Au
2.37 W/cmK Aluminum Al
2.01 W/cmK Calcium Ca
2.01 W/cmK Beryllium Be
1.74 W/cmK Tungsten W
1.56 W/cmK Magnesium Mg
1.5 W/cmK Rhodium Rh
1.48 W/cmK Silicon Si
1.47 W/cmK Iridium Ir
1.41 W/cmK Sodium Na
1.38 W/cmK Molybdenum Mo
1.29 W/cmK Carbon C
1.17 W/cmK Ruthenium Ru
1.16 W/cmK Zinc Zn
1.024 W/cmK Potassium K
1 W/cmK Cobalt Co
0.968 W/cmK Cadmium Cd
0.937 W/cmK Chromium Cr
0.907 W/cmK Nickel Ni
0.876 W/cmK Osmium Os
0.847 W/cmK Lithium Li
0.816 W/cmK Indium In
0.802 W/cmK Iron Fe
0.718 W/cmK Palladium Pd
0.716 W/cmK Platinum Pt
0.666 W/cmK Tin Sn
0.599 W/cmK Germanium Ge
0.582 W/cmK Rubidium Rb
0.58 W/cmK Dubnium Db
0.575 W/cmK Tantalum Ta
0.54 W/cmK Thorium Th
0.537 W/cmK Niobium Nb
0.506 W/cmK Technetium Tc
0.502 W/cmK Arsenic As
0.479 W/cmK Rhenium Re
0.47 W/cmK Protactinium Pa
0.461 W/cmK Thallium Tl
0.406 W/cmK Gallium Ga
0.359 W/cmK Cesium Cs
0.353 W/cmK Lead Pb
0.353 W/cmK Strontium Sr
0.349 W/cmK Ytterbium Yb
0.307 W/cmK Vanadium V
0.276 W/cmK Uranium U
0.274 W/cmK Boron B
0.243 W/cmK Antimony Sb
0.23 W/cmK Hafnium Hf
0.23 W/cmK Rutherfordium Rf
0.227 W/cmK Zirconium Zr
0.219 W/cmK Titanium Ti
Thermal Conductance Element Name Symbol
0.2 W/cmK Polonium Po
0.186 W/cmK Radium Ra
0.184 W/cmK Barium Ba
0.179 W/cmK Promethium Pm
0.172 W/cmK Yttrium Y
0.168 W/cmK Thulium Tm
0.165 W/cmK Neodymium Nd
0.164 W/cmK Lutetium Lu
0.162 W/cmK Holmium Ho
0.158 W/cmK Scandium Sc
0.15 W/cmK Francium Fr
0.143 W/cmK Erbium Er
0.139 W/cmK Europium Eu
0.135 W/cmK Lanthanum La
0.133 W/cmK Samarium Sm
0.125 W/cmK Praseodymium Pr
0.12 W/cmK Actinium Ac
0.114 W/cmK Cerium Ce
0.111 W/cmK Terbium Tb
0.107 W/cmK Dysprosium Dy
0.106 W/cmK Gadolinium Gd
0.1 W/cmK Lawrencium Lr
0.1 W/cmK Einsteinium Es
0.1 W/cmK Berkelium Bk
0.1 W/cmK Californium Cf
0.1 W/cmK Fermium Fm
0.1 W/cmK Curium Cm
0.1 W/cmK Nobelium No
0.1 W/cmK Americium Am
0.1 W/cmK Mendelevium Md
0.0834 W/cmK Mercury Hg
0.0787 W/cmK Bismuth Bi
0.0782 W/cmK Manganese Mn
0.0674 W/cmK Plutonium Pu
0.063 W/cmK Neptunium Np
0.0235 W/cmK Tellurium Te
0.0204 W/cmK Selenium Se
0.017 W/cmK Astatine At
0.00449 W/cmK Iodine I
0.00269 W/cmK Sulfur S
0.00235 W/cmK Phosphorus P
0.001815 W/cmK Hydrogen H
0.00152 W/cmK Helium He
0.00122 W/cmK Bromine Br
0.000493 W/cmK Neon Ne
0.000279 W/cmK Fluorine F
0.0002674 W/cmK Oxygen O
0.0002598 W/cmK Nitrogen N
0.0001772 W/cmK Argon Ar
0.0000949 W/cmK Krypton Kr
0.000089 W/cmK Chlorine Cl
0.0000569 W/cmK Xenon Xe

Recipes usually call for only the finest ingredients, and the very same principle is true for overclocker and hardware enthusiast products. Thermal pastes are often times mixed from at least a dozen different components, while heatsink coolers may use only one or two different metals. Armed with the knowledge above, you might expect any silver-based product to be a clear-cut winner... but building a superior product by design is different than what you receive in execution. Production and material costs usually dictate how the product is designed and fabricated.

Keep these materials in mind as we take a look at the new products Benchmark Reviews has collected for this round-up article, beginning with our first contender...



 

Comments 

 
# March 11th cooler article?Hugo Martinez 2010-03-11 22:26
Where I am, it's March 12th. I've been looking forward to your March 11th "Q1-2010 Best CPU Cooler Performance LGA1366" article that was scheduled for March 11th. Is it already up but I'm too blind to find it? Or are you running late?

I need to buy a cooler but I promised myself to wait until I read the report.

Thanks!
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# Worth the waitOlin Coles 2010-03-12 07:39
Hello Mr. Martinez:

This article has grown much larger than first planned, and is expected to be published later this afternoon (3/12). It's worth the wait! :)
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# Hope it is worth the waitRaul Tano 2010-03-12 15:40
I'm in the same boat as Mr. Martinez. I eagerly await the article.
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# DiamondsJava_Az 2010-05-24 10:43
although Diamond is a polymorph of the element carbon.Diamond conducts heat better than anything - five times better than the second best element, Silver! I wonder what a diamond heatsink would set you back
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# MikeMichael 2010-09-26 09:34
Diamond only conducts heat in such a manner when it's aligned properly - therefore, you must grow a diamond, or fashion a diamond into a heatsink - you cannot combine diamonds as they would not match in alignment on the molecular level. This means you would need to start with a massive diamond.
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# wrong specificationjason 2010-08-10 13:19
Editors, can you correct the weight in the above specifications?
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# RE: wrong specificationOlin Coles 2010-08-10 13:20
Be more specific, and list your source.
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# RE: wrong specificationsjason 2010-08-12 01:41
#benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=371&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=6

SCMG-2000 Specifications
Weight: 870 g
30.7 lb

It should be 30.7oz.
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# RE: wrong specificationsjason 2010-08-11 11:08
Sorry I was talking about the specifications of SCMG-2000.

#benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=371&Itemid=62&limit=1&limitstart=6
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# Can Mugen 2 fit in ThermaltakeV3 BE or Cooler Master 430 elite?Deen 2011-02-26 12:52
Can Mugen 2 fit in ThermaltakeV3 BE or Cooler Master 430 elite?
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