Installation and Testing
Mounting the Cooler Master Hyper 6 HSF requires access to the backside of the motherboard. For this review, I will be using an AMD Athlon 64 CPU so I attached the upper retention frame to the backing plate in the K8 configuration with two machine screws.
Once the retention frame assembly is securely attached to the motherboard the Hyper 6 can be carefully set into position (after properly cleaning the heatsink base and CPU, and applying thermal compound of course).
Attaching the two mounting clips proved to be a little trying — not nearly as straightforward or easy as some other K8 HSFs I’ve recently mounted. The clips required considerable force to lock into position and the tiny handles were too small for my wimpy fingers to grip. Once I finally managed to get them both clipped the Hyper 6 felt securely locked into place. I very much appreciated the robust IHS and could just imagine cracking an exposed XP core trying to mount this beast!
The Hyper 6 cooler was tested on an open frame K8 test rig consisting of the following components. The ambient room air temperature was maintained at 24Â°C Â±0.5Â°C. The CPU was loaded by running Folding@Home 24/7. Several dozen temperature reading were recorded and averaged over 24 to 48 hours for each test.
- Asus K8N-E Deluxe nForce3-250 motherboard
- AMD Athlon 64 3200+
- Seasonic SuperTornado 400 watt ATX power supply
- (2) Corsair CMX512-3200C2 DDR RAM
- ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
- WD800JB IDE HDD
- Sony 16X DVD, FDD
- Windows XP Pro with SP1
To facilitate taking accurate CPU temperature measurements I attached a very small Omega thermocouple to the side of the Athlon 64 IHS with Arctic Alumina thermal epoxy. The measurement equipment used during testing included:
- CPU/IHS — Barnant Model 115 digital thermometer (accuracy +/- 0.4Âº C)
- Ambient air — Barnant Model 115 digital thermometer (accuracy +/- 0.4Âº C)
- Extech Model 407736 digital sound level meter (accuracy +/- 1.5 dB)
In addition to the supplied Cooler Master variable-speed fan, I also used two 80mm Panaflo L1A fans in both a single and two-fan configuration and one 80mm Vantec Tornado.
The following data is presented for comparative purposes only. Your actual results may be different depending on the variables unique to your system (CPU, overclock, ambient temperature, case air flow, temperature monitoring, etc).
CPU — Temperature reported by Asus PC Probe utility (internal diode)
Tc — Temperature obtained with calibrated thermocouple attached to IHS
Delta T — Fully loaded Tc temperature rise above ambient
dBA — Sound pressure level recorded 3′ away (background ~30 dBA)
For comparison, here are the results from the stock OEM aluminum HSF that comes bundled with the Athlon 64 3200+ and the popular Zalman CNSP7000A-CU quiet cooling solution.
The first thing I noticed on powering up the test rig was how noisy the Cooler Master fan was. I was expecting it to be very quiet as the Hyper 6 is advertised as being silent, but it was not. Adjusting the speed from high to low helped a little, but even at low speed the fan still emits a lot of noise and vibration. Performance however was excellent.
Swapping over to an 80mm Panaflo L1A fan produced results that fell in between the Cooler Master fan at low and medium speeds. The Panaflo however was very quiet. Using two Panflo L1As in push-pull produced about the same results as the Cooler Master fan at medium speed but with much less noise.
To see what the Hyper 6 could do with uber airflow, I mounted a Vantec Tornado air-turbine in a pull position. The results were outstanding but the noise wasâ€¦ very loud.