CPU Deepcool FROSTWIN Cooler (Part 2)

4/26/2013 9:22:10 AM

Configuration and testing methodologies

We tested all cooling devices in a closed system case, and following are the configurations:

·         Mainboard: Intel Siler DX79SI (Intel X79 Express, LGA 2011, BIOS 0537 from 07/23/2012)

·         CPU:Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition, 3.3 GHz, 1.2 V, 6 x 256 KB L2, 15 MB L3 (Sandy Bridge-E, C1, 32 nm)

·         Thermal interface: ARCTIC MX-4

·         Graphics card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti SSC 1 GB

·         System memory: DDR3 4 x 4GB Mushkin Redline (Spec: 2133 MHz / 9-11-10-28 / 1.65 V)

·         System drive: Crucial m4 256 GB SSD

·         Drive for programs and games: Western Digital VelociRaptor (300GB, SATA-II, 10000 RPM, 16MB cache, NCQ) inside Scythe Quiet Drive 3.5” HDD silencer and cooler

·         Backup drive: Samsung Ecogreen F4 HD204UI (SATA-II, 2 TB, 5400 RPM, 32 MB, NCQ)

·         System case: Antec Twelve Hundred (front panel: three Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe S-Series MF12-S2 fans at 1020 RPM; back panel: two Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilent PRO PL-1 fans at 1020 RPM; top panel: standard 200 mm fan at 400 RPM)

·         Control and monitoring panel: Zalman ZM-MFC3

·         Power supply: Seasonic SS-1000XP Active PFC F3 1000 W (with a default 120 mm fan)

Preparing for today’s tests, we overclocked the 6-core processor with the clock rate of 125 MHz, the multiplier at 34x and “Load-line Calibration” enabled to 4.25 GHz. The nominal Vcore of the processor was increased to 1.35V in mainboard’s BIOS. The “Turbo Boost” technology was deactivated during the test, and Hyper-Threading technology was used to boost the cooling process. The memory voltage was at 1.65 V and its frequency was 2000 MHz with 9-11-10-28 timings. All other parameters available like mainboard’s BIOS and related to the overclocking process of the CPU or the memory module were kept unchanged.

All tests were conducted under the Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 operating system. Following are software using during the tests:

·         LinX AVX Edition version 0.6.4 – to load the processor (memory - 4500 MB, Problem Size – 24234, two 11-minute cycles);

·         Real Temp GT version 3.70 – to monitor the processor core temperatures;

·         Intel Extreme Tuning Utility version – for monitoring and visual control of all system parameters during overclocking.

Therefore, the complete picture of the testing process looks just like this:

Images for the testing process

Images for the testing process

The CPU was loaded with two consecutive LinX AVX test runs with the installation parameters as we have mentioned above. The period of time needed for the stabilization of CPU temperature between the two test runs was about 8-10 minutes. We took the highest temperature of CPU’s core to draw the result graph. Moreover, we offered a table with the temperature readings for all of the cores including their average values. The surrounding temperature was checked next to the system case with an electronic thermometer with 0.1°C precision, which allows monitoring the change in temperature every hour of the 6 hours of the tests. The room temperature during the test fluctuated in the range of 21.6 and 22.0°C.

The noise level of the cooler was measured from 1:00 to 3:00 AM in a closed 20 m2 room by using the CENTER-321 electronic noise meter. Each cooling device’s noise was tested outside the system case when the main noise-makers in the lab were the cooler and its fans. The noise meter was installed on a tripod and was always kept 150mm far from the cooler fan rotor. The tested coolers were located at the edge of the desk on a sheet of polyurethane foam. The lowest readable noise level on the meter was 29.8 dBA and the subjectively comfortable noise level in this test was 36 dBA (do not mix with low noise level). The rotor speed was adjusted in regulated range for in-house controlling device by changing the voltage with 0.5 V increment.

We are about the compare the cooling performance and the acoustics of the new Deepcool FROSTWIN with other price-equivalent products – Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120 with one 120 mm default fan:

Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120

Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120

All fans’ rotation speeds were controlled by a special controller that we have mentioned above with ±10 RPM precision and 200 RPM increments.


Cooling performance

Given are our cooling efficiency tests’ results on Deepcool FROSTWIN and its competitor in an LGA 2011 platform in the following table and diagram:

Result comparison table

Result comparison table

Result comparison diagram

Result comparison diagram

Although having dual-array heatsink and two 110 mm fans, Deepcool FROSTWIN has not achieved any exceptional result today. Its efficiency was just in average level like other cooling products’ feature of this class. Unfortunately, with both maximum-speed fans, Deepcool FROSTWIN was even hotter than Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120 7°C and under the rate of 1000 RPM, the difference reached 10°C. Even at the slowest speed of 800 RPM, Thermalright was still cooler 2°C than Deepcool FROSTWIN when being set at 1200 RPM. While the truth is TRUE Spirit 120 also has 4 copper heatpipes which are 6 mm in diameter, the heatsink effective cooling surface with the same dimension and only one instead of two like in Deepcool FROSTWIN won this competition.

Good, because cooling efficiency tests are not Deepcool FROSTWIN’s advantage, there might be other impression waiting for us in terms of acoustics?

Acoustics performance

The noise levels of both devices were nonstop tested when their fans rotated at their max capabilities, and here is the result:

Acoustics measurement

Acoustics measurement

Unfortunately, we cannot applause Deepcool FROSTWIN here, either. Once again, Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120 does a better job than Deepcool FROSTWIN. Although FROSTWIN still fulfills its task finely, it is not always, just at 800 RPM with both of the fans. We would like to remind you because there is no way to manually adjust the fan speed from the outside, which means the speed is constant at 1650 RPM (according to our measurement). This, in fact, surely affected the acoustics of the whole system, and not the best way as you can imagine.


Deepcool FROSTWIN which turns out to be such a normal cooler with an average price is anyway an available product on the current market. The promising dual-array heatsink would optimized the airflow, two fans, four heatpipes and Core Touch Technology did not bring it to the top position in this segment. FROSTWIN did not stand out with its acoustics parameter, although we have put so many hopes in this aspect. Its disputable advantages are the universal design, simple installation and reliable retention mechanism, as well as the compact size. But honestly, are all of those features worth considering as unique today? No. Hopefully, the NEPTWIN version will give us more surprise. Time will answer it.

CPU Deepcool FROSTWIN Cooler specifications

·         Dimension: 151x121x121 (120x25 mm, 2 fans)

·         Weight: 712g

·         Heatsink material and design: two heatsink arrays of aluminum fins on four copper heatpipes 6 mm in diameter forming the cooler base (Core Touch Technology)

·         Heatsink fins: 76 (38 x 2)

·         Heatsink fin thickness: 0.5 mm

·         Gap between the fins: 2 mm

·         Fan rotation speed:1600 RPM; 900 – 1600 RPM

·         Airflow: 55.5 x 2 (max.)

·         Noise: 21/17.8 – 21 dBA

·         Nominal/ startup fan voltage: 12/7 V

·         Supported CPU sockets: LGA 775/1155/1156/1366/2011, Socket 939/ AM2(+)/ AM3(+)/FM1/FM2

·         Additional: Patented Core Touch Technology in the base, central fan with PWM control, Deepcool thermal past.

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