Thermalright Archon SB-E Cooler Review (Part 2)

5/20/2013 6:21:02 PM

Compatibility and installation

Despite the reference in the name of the product, Archon SB-E can be installed not only in the Intel LGA2011 CPU, but also in any other modern platform. It is also compatible with Intel LGA775 and AMD Socket 939 platform. We described the installation procedure during which you can use a universal fastener with steel pressure and back plates in our review of the Thermalright Archon SB-E (we’ll soon cover it again in an upcoming review). So, we just remind you of the main factors with some photographs below:

Installation process

Installation process

As for compatibility with mainboards and memory modules, Thermalright Archon SB-E has a slightly high heatsink, over 50 mm, above the mainboard surface, but the fan is installed in such a way that its lower edge only 2 cm away from the motherboard to the nearest socket memory.

That is why we stated that the Archon SB-E is definitely not a product which is compatible with all platforms. Of course, the 150 mm fan may be higher, but the total height of the cooling device will be more than 190 mm and as a result you will find it very difficult to close the side panel of your system case.

Archon SB-E looks very comfortable in your computer:

Installed into the computer

Installed into the computer

Configuration and testing methodology

We've tested the whole cooling device in a closed system case with the following configurations:

·         Motherboard: Intel Sliler DX79SI (Intel X79 Express, LGA 2011, BIOS 0537)

·         CPU: Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition, 3.3 GHz, 1.2 V, 6x256 KB L2, 15 MB L3 (Sandy Bridge-E, C1, 32 nm)

·         Heat dissipation surface: ARCTIC MX-4

·         Graphic card: AMD Radeon HD 7770 1 GB GDDR5 128 bit, 1,000/4,500 MHz

·         System memory: DDR3 4x4GB Mushkin Redline (Spec: 2133 MHz/ 9-11-10-28/ 1.65 V)

·         System hard drive: Crucial m4 256 GB SSD

·         Drive for programs and games: Western Digital VelociRaptor (300GB, SATA-II, 10,000 RPM, 16MB cache, NCQ) inside Scythe Quiet Drive 3.5’’ HDD silencer and cooler

·         Back up drive: Samsung Ecogreen F4 HD204UI ?(SATA-II, 2 TB, 5,400 RPM, 32 MB, NCQ)

·         Case: Antec Twelvw Hundred (front panel: 3 Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe S-Series MF 12-S2 fans (1,020 RPM); back panel: 2 Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilent PRO PL-1 1,020 RPM; top panel: a 200 mm standard fan (400 RPM))

·         Control panel: Zalman ZM-MFC3

·         Power: Seasonic SS-1000XP Active PFC F13 1000 W (with a 120 mm default fan)

Preparing for the primary test and summary diagram, we've overclocked our 6-core processor with the clock generator frequency set at 125 MH, the multiplier at 34x and “Load-Line Calibration” enabled to 4.375 GHz Nominal Vcore of the processor was raised to 1,385 V in the mainboard BIOS. The "Turbo Boost" technology was disabled during this testing process, and the Hyper-Threading technology was enabled to increase heat dissipation. Memory voltage was at 1.65 V and its frequency is 2,000 MHz with timing parameters is 9-11-10-28. All other configurations are available in the mainboard BIOS and related to the overclocking process of the CPU or memory remained unchanged.

All tests were conducted under Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 operating system. We used the following software during our experiment:

The process used for the test:

·         Linx AVX Edition version 0.6.4 - to load the processor (memory - 4,500 MB, Problem Size - 24,234, 2 11-minutes cycles)

·         Real Temp GT version 3.70 - to control the processor core temperatures

·         Utility Intel Extreme Tuning version - for monitoring and visual control all system parameters during the overclocking process

Thus, the complete screenshot during the testing process looks like this:

Testing process screenshot

Testing process screenshot

The CPU was loaded with two consecutive LinX AVX test runs with the settings as indicated above. The stabilization period for the CPU temperature between the two test cycles was about 8-10 minutes. We took the highest temperature of the CPU core for the results chart. Furthermore, we also offered a table with temperature parameters for all cores including their average values. The ambient temperature was checked next to the system case with an electronic thermometer with 0.1°C precision that allows hourly monitoring of the temperature changes during the past 6 hours.  The room temperature during our experiment varied between 22.6 and 23.0°C.

The noise level of the cooling device was measured between 1:00 and 3:00 PM in a big closed room about 20 m2 by using CENTER-321 electronic noise meter. The noise level of each cooler was tested outside the system case when the only noise sources in the lab were the cooler and its fan.  The noise meter was mounted on a tripod and 150mm away from the fan impeller. The examined cooling system was placed at the edge of the table on a sheet of polyurethane foam. The lowest noise parameter that our noise meter can read is 29.8 dBA and the subjectively comfortable noise level in these testing conditions was around 36 dBA (do not confuse with low noise level) The rotational speed of the rotor were adjusted in entire supported range of in-house controller by changing the voltage with 0.5 V increment.

Voltage control device

Voltage control device

We will compare the cooling efficiency and noise level of the Thermalright Archon SB-E against the first Archon product with one TY-140 fan in the default configuration, as well as against the latest reference product Phanteks PH-TC14PE with two default PH-F140TS fans. I also want to add that besides a single TY-150 fan, both Archon models were also tested with two such fans installed for air intake and exhaust:

Testing process screenshot

Testing process screenshot

I would also add that the rotational speed of all fans was controlled by using a special controller similar to which I mentioned above with a ± 10 RPM precision.

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