Testing heatsinks always involves evaluating how they can handle CPUs during idle and load conditions. It also involves pitting them against stock coolers that come with the CPU. Additionally, we paired the Monsoon III LT against Zalman’s CNPS9900 LED. Our idle results came right after booting into Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit. Our load tests were recorded after running three instances of Cinebench 10 (64-bit version). Here are the results from our tests:
The results were very interesting as the Monsoon III LT absolutely demolished the stock cooler and was on par with the CNPS9900 LED through idle tests and even through most of load testing. It did fall behind the Zalman heatsink during load tests, but only by a few degrees. But, what do these few degrees mean? It means that there is a little more headroom for users to overclock the processor. Remember when I said heat is the top killer of CPUs? Well, having a few degrees to play with might equate to a 100-200 MHz more in performance. While that might not seem like a lot to some, those performance increases might put someone over 4GHz and make all the difference during gaming and encoding video.