|Ultra ChillTec TEC CPU Cooler ULT33186|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 13 August 2007|
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ChillTec Testing & Results
CPU Cooler Testing Methodology
Testing was conducted at a series of temperature intervals, with the ambient room temperature measuring the same for each coolers reading. Lavalys EVEREST rounds up temperature readings to the nearest whole number, however all ambient temperatures were recorded and accurate to one-tenth of a degree Celsius.
EVEREST Ultimate Engineer Version 4.00.976 was utilized to measure all CPU temperatures. It should be noted that temperatures obtained through software most always reflect the thermistor readings as recorded by the BIOS. All of the units compared in the results were tested on the same motherboard using the same BIOS. These readings are not absolute or correct, but they are relative since every BIOS is programmed differently.
For each test, the computer system was powered on and left idle for ten minutes prior to recording the idle temperature with EVEREST. After idle temperatures have been recorded, two console versions of the Folding @ Home client were simultaneously run to create full load on both CPU cores. After ten minutes of full load, the temperature was again recorded. This process was identical for all cooling solutions used in this test, and was repeated for each ambient temperature interval.
Ultra ULT33186 Results
Up first is the results under heavy load. The first item you see in the chart colored light blue is the ambient room temperature, followed by each of the CPU cooler's tested after it. In this test battery, the OEM cooler provided by Intel with the Core 2 Duo E6600 was used as a reference, and ends the chart with the highest temperature readings.
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 increases, all of the coolers I tested would also record higher readings. However, in the case of the ChillTec the readings would remain very low; sometimes less than the ambient temperature. This was obviously a direct result of the thermo electric cooling effect. While it was interesting to record each result and watch for an increase, there wasn't much activity. This very nearly convinced me that I had the equivalent of dry ice sitting atop the CPU, but I wasn't ready to sell my testing process short. The heat had just started to be applied, and now it was time for real cooling under serious load.
Based on the results under full load, the Ultra ULT33186 ChillTec TEC CPU Cooler performed very well. However, with the consideration of performance comes the consideration of price, and the ChillTec is a very expensive product to have only done "very well". As indicated in the chart above, the Ultra ULT33186 did better than others under load, but not better than all of the others. This is where I believed a product like the ChillTec should have really shined; but the best I got was a lot of sparkle.
There are some mixed results to be interpreted here. On the one hand you have extremely low idle readings, lower than every other unit tested. On the other hand you have good results under full load, but not the best out of the field. When it comes down to my final decision to rate the Ultra ULT33186 ChillTec TEC CPU Cooler, I place a lot more weight behind results under load than those recorded without it. Additionally, For a product this large and expensive, the recorded temperatures under full load should be directly proportionate to the size and price of the product. They are not.