Testing methodologies will be the same as they were for my CPU cooler reviews at HardOCP, however if you are not familiar with them, here is a refresh.
The initial setup and installation of the cooler test platform is where everything begins. Firstly the CPU and the mating surface of cooler being testing will be thoroughly cleaned using 99% isopropyl alcohol. Next a thin layer of Prolimatech PK-3 Nano Aluminum thermal compound is applied to the CPU using a finger cot. Prolimatech PK-3 while being a little tricky to apply has proven to be extremely stable, consistent, and requires no cure time.
After mounting the cooler the four K-type thermocouples from our Sperry DT-506 Quad Input Thermometer are placed strategically in the case. Thermocouple 1 measures the temperature of the air at the intake side of the cooler or radiator. Thermocouple 2 is measuring the exhaust temperature of the cooler or radiator. Thermocouple 3 is attached to measure the temperature of the case exhaust fan. And finally we have thermocouple 4 measuring the case intake temperatures from the 140mm fans.
A single 10 minute run of a relatively easy testing program does not a through test make. Therefore our testing is done in two separate, 1 hour tests. The first test is “CPU Only,” in this test we stress only the CPU using Small FFTs in Prime95. The second, or “combined” test is another 1 hour test, this time with Prime95 running Small FFTs on the CPU, and Furmark running on the GPU. Fans on the cooler being tested will be set to 100% speed for all tests, and the case fans will stay set at a static 60% speed, which we have found to be “silent.”
A single 10 minute run of a relatively easy testing program does not a through test make. Therefore our testing is done in two separate, 1 hour tests.
During both tests temperatures from all the thermocouples, package power, and CPU temperature will be logged every 5 minutes. CPU temperatures, fan speeds, power draw and the like will be read using HWiNFO64.
Sound testing will be performed using a BAFX Products BAFX3370 Digital Sound Level Meter from 4 feet from the side panel of the case. With everything off and the room silent, we get a measurement of 39dB(a).
This level of testing allows us to have complete repeatability from cooler to cooler, and the length of the test allows us to average out any swings in ambient temperature of the testing room, as we are not in a laboratory, although we have managed to get to the point where there is a maximum of a 2*f swing possible.
Final Points & Summary
I honestly can’t say how happy I am that myself and my compatriots here at TheFPSReview are still going to be able to provide the PC community with the thorough, real world, no BS reviews that it deserves. I look forward to getting back to the test rig, and torturing our Ryzen 1700. Feel free to send me some feedback and if you have any ideas, I’m all ears. firstname.lastname@example.org