System Testing

The COOL water cooling kit was tested on an Athlon 64 3200+ test rig consisting of the components listed below.  The ambient room air temperature was maintained at 24°C ±0.5°C.  The CPU was loaded by running Folding@Home 24/7.  Several dozen temperature reading were recorded and averaged over 2~3 days for each of five test mountings.  The system was tested with the 120mm radiator fan running at 12V and 7V.


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  • Thermatake Tsunami mid-tower aluminum case
  • Asus K8N-E Deluxe nForce3-250 motherboard
  • AMD Athlon 64 3200+ (0.13 µm Newcastle core)
  • Seasonic SuperTornado 400 watt ATX power supply
  • (2) Corsair CMX512-3200C2  DDR RAM
  • ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
  • Sony 16X DVD, FDD
  • Windows XP Pro with SP2

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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 +/- 0.4º C)
  • Ambient air — Barnant Model 115 digital thermometer (accuracy +/- 0.4º C)
  • Extech Model 407736 digital sound level meter (accuracy +/- 1.5 dB)


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). 


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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, I also included the results for the Cooler Master Aquagate Mini R120 water-cooling kit, a Thermalright XP-120 HSF (with 120mm Panaflo L1A and 120mm Delta SHE) and the stock OEM aluminum HSF that comes bundled with the Athlon 64 3200+.  All cooling systems were tested on the same CPU under the same conditions.


As you can see, the COOL water cooling kit from Corsair did an excellent job of cooling the A64 3200+ processor with minimal noise.  The average water temperature (measured in the reservoir) was 4.2°C over ambient.  For even better performance, the low speed Panaflo fan could be replaced with a higher speed, higher flow model that could potentially lower the average water temperature and CPU temperatures another ~2°C.


Decreasing the radiator fan voltage to 7V made the system virtually silent but increased the CPU temperature 2.3°C.  The average water temperature rose to 6.4°C over ambient.


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