Test Setup

As the H5 SF is only compatible with mini-ITX motherboards, we were unable to use any of our standard CPU cooler test systems, so carried out an isolated test using Corsair's H80i GT and Noctua NH-L9i for comparison. As the cooler is very case specific, we carried out tests outside of a case to gauge what results you might expect in near-perfect conditions. We also used an Obsidian 250D case to see how the H5 SF performs in the restrictions of a typical mini-ITX gaming-orientated case. As such, these results aren't comparable with any of our other tests as we've used completely different hardware.

We place our test rigs under load using the Small FFTs stress test in the free application Prime95, as this test is designed to place maximum load on the CPU. We use the free application HWMonitor to measure the temperature of our CPUs. We always take the maximum temperature for consistency and do so after 15 minutes, which is enough time for temperatures to plateau.

The results provided are the delta T results; the difference between the recorded CPU temperature and ambient temperature at the time of testing. Our labs are not temperature controlled, so this provides the most accurate method of comparison for coolers tested on different days. Any cooler that causes one of our CPUs to reach its thermal limit and downclock is considered a fail.

Intel Test System

  • Intel Core i7-2600K (Stock speed)
  • ASRock B75M-ITX
  • 2GB Crucial low-profile DDR3


Results

Following feedback from our readership, we now differentiate air and liquid coolers in our charts - air coolers are coloured red and water coolers are coloured blue. If you have any other feedback as to how we can make them clearer, please let us know.

CPU delta T (open-air test bench)

Value after 15 mins of 100 percent CPU load

  • Corsair H80iGT (max speed)
  • Corsair H5 SF
  • Corsair H80iGT (min speed)
  • Noctua NH-L9i
    • 26
    • 35
    • 40
    • 54
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
  • Delta T (°C)

CPU delta T (Corsair 250D)

Value after 15 mins of 100 percent CPU load

  • Corsair H80iGT (max speed)
  • Corsair H5 SF
  • Corsair H80iGT (min speed)
  • Noctua NH-L9i
    • 27
    • 37
    • 42
    • 62
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
  • Delta T (°C)

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