Closed-loop liquid cooler roundup: 9 AIO coolers reviewed

  • Published in Cooling reviews

Testing

For the round-up, I used the water-cooler ASUS Maximus III motherboard and an overclocked Intel I7-970 processor. The CPU might be somewhat old, but it has a TDP over 180, so it should push some of the coolers to their limits.

To get things heated - I only used Prime 95 for about ten minutes on each test. During peak stress-testing, the maximum load temps for each core were written down. Afterwards, the system returned to idle for about five minutes. To ensure accuracy, we ran the benchmark twice a day, two days in a row. By repeating the results, we made sure the results were consistent.

To register the temperatures, we used RealTemp 3.70 for the most accurate CPU reading, and for fan-spees we used AIDA 64.

Following the benchmarks - the peak core temperatures were noted, then averaged the overall CPU temperature per test. Afterwards, another average was done for the entire benchmarking sessions. As a result, the graphs don't show extremes, since those aren't stable occurences, but overall performance, since trends are far more important.

The measurements were taken under Max fan speed conditions (which also means max noise) and an audiometer was used at 1m away from the enclosure to measure the noise-level.

The room temperature was kept at a stable 23° C.

Lastly, here's the test-setup:

CPU

Intel Core i7-970 @ 4.0GHz (180W TDP)

TIM

Arctic MX-4 (for all AIOs)

Motherboard

Asus Rampage III Extreme

RAM

2GB Team Xtreem LV DDR3-2000

Storage

OCZ Agility III 60GB

Video card

Nvidia GTX 750

Monitor

Samsung Syncmaster 2433

PSU

OCZ Fatal1ty 1000W

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