Testing and Results

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 and minimum load on the system's memory. We use the freeware application Core Temp to measure the temperature of our CPUs, as it reads data from the DTS (digital thermal sensor) embedded inside each core of Intel's modern processors and thus provides as accurate a reading as possible. We always take the temperature of the hottest core for consistency, and do so after 15 minutes of the Prime95 test, 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.

Xigmatek Loki II Review Xigmatek Loki II Review - Testing and Results
Click to enlarge

Any cooler that causes one of our CPUs to hit its Tj Max, the maximum temperature at which the CPU will operate before downclocking itself, is considered a fail. If a cooler has multiple available fan speeds, we retest at appropriate speeds to highlight the differences. Unless otherwise stated, closed loop liquid coolers are installed with their fans as exhausts. Finally, any cooler that is PWM (pulse width modulation) capable is tested both at full speed and using the standard PWM setting on our motherboards.

Intel LGA1155 Test System
  • Intel Core i7-2600K overclocked to 4.4GHz (44 x 100MHz) using a vcore of 1.275V
  • Asus Maximus V Formula
  • 2 x 2GB Crucial Ballistix 1,600MHz low-profile RAM
  • PNY Performance 60GB SSD
  • Corsair HX750W PSU
The system runs Windows 7 64-bit, are built inside a Corsair Carbide 500R and use an AMD ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB. Coolers are tested with both of the case's side panels fully attached and with its two 120mm front intake fans and rear 120mm exhaust fan operating at consistent speeds, providing interior airflow that is more realistic than a benchtable or our previous set-up. The cases have been cable tidied and had their front drive cages removed to optimise airflow.

Intel LGA1155 CPU delta T

Arranged by 100 per cent CPU load delta T value

  • NZXT Kraken X60 (Maximum profile)
  • Corsair Hydro H110
  • Corsair Hydro H100i (Maximum profile)
  • Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E Extreme
  • Noctua NH-D15 (dual fan)
  • Corsair Hydro H105
  • Antec Kühler H2O 920 (Extreme profile)
  • NZXT Kraken X60 (Silent profile)
  • Phanteks PH-TC14PE
  • SilverStone Tundra TD02
  • NZXT Kraken X40 (Maximum profile)
  • Noctua NH-D15 (one fan)
  • Corsair Hydro H80i (Maximum profile)
  • Corsair Hydro H100i (Balanced profile)
  • Corsair Hydro H105 (PWM)
  • Noctua NH-D14
  • SilverStone Tundra TD02 (PWM)
  • Thermalright Archon SB-E X2
  • Corsair Hydro H75
  • Alpenföhn K2 Mount Doom
  • Noctua NH-D15 (dual fan LNA)
  • Zalman Reserator 3 Max
  • Antec Kühler H20 950 (Extreme profile)
  • Thermalright SilverArrow SB-E Extreme (PWM)
  • Noctua NH-D14 (low noise adaptor)
  • Phanteks PH-TC14PE (PWM)
  • Raijintek Ereboss
  • SilverStone Argon AR01
  • SilverStone Tundra TD03
  • Corsair Hydro H80i (Balanced profile)
  • Antec Kühler H20 650
  • Noctua NH-D15 (one fan LNA)
  • Corsair Hydro H75 (PWM)
  • Corsair Hydro H90
  • Noctua NH-D14 (PWM)
  • SilverStone Tundra TD03 (PWM)
  • Cooler Master Seidon 120M
  • Alpenföhn K2 Mount Doom (PWM)
  • Thermalright Archon SB-E X2 (PWM)
  • Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3
  • Gelid GX-7 Rev. 2
  • Raijintek Ereboss (PWM)
  • Thermalright True Spirit 120M
  • Corsair Hydro H80i (Quiet profile)
  • Antec Kühler H2O 920 (Silent profile)
  • Alpenföhn K2 Mount Doom (7V adaptor)
  • Corsair Hydro H100i (Quiet profile)
  • SilverStone Argon AR01 (PWM)
  • Zalman Reserator 3 Max (PWM)
  • NZXT Kraken X40 (Silent profile)
  • Noctua NH-D14 (PWM; low noise adaptor)
  • Deepcool GAMMAXX S40
  • Phanteks PH-TC12DX
  • Antec Kühler H20 950 (Silent profile)
  • Gelid The Black Edition
  • Thermalright True Spirit 120M (PWM)
  • Noctua NH-U12S
  • Raijintek Pallas
  • Gelid GX-7 Rev. 2 (PWM)
  • Raijintek Pallas (PWM)
  • Gelid The Black Edition (PWM)
  • Xigmatek Loki II (third party thermal paste)
  • Arctic Cooling Freezer i30
  • Noctua NH-U12S (low noise adaptor)
  • Gelid Tranquillo Rev. 2
  • Deepcool Gamer Storm Gabriel
  • Deepcool Gamer Storm Gabriel (PWM)
  • Thermalright AXP-100
  • Thermalright AXP-100 (PWM)
  • Xigmatek Loki II (included thermal paste)
  • Zalman FX100 Cube
  • Intel Stock Cooler
  • 34
  • 36
  • 37
  • 37
  • 38
  • 38
  • 38
  • 38
  • 38
  • 38
  • 39
  • 39
  • 40
  • 40
  • 40
  • 40
  • 40
  • 40
  • 40
  • 40
  • 40
  • 41
  • 41
  • 41
  • 41
  • 42
  • 42
  • 42
  • 42
  • 42
  • 42
  • 42
  • 42
  • 43
  • 43
  • 43
  • 43
  • 43
  • 43
  • 44
  • 44
  • 44
  • 44
  • 44
  • 44
  • 44
  • 44
  • 45
  • 45
  • 45
  • 45
  • 45
  • 45
  • 46
  • 47
  • 47
  • 47
  • 47
  • 47
  • 49
  • 49
  • 50
  • 50
  • 51
  • 52
  • 52
  • 55
  • 56
  • 58
  • 59
  • 69
  • 79
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
Delta T (°C) (lower is better)

Read our performance analysis on the next page.
Discuss this in the forums

QUICK COMMENT

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

WEEK IN REVIEW

TOP STORIES

SUGGESTED FOR YOU