Overall Score 3.9  

The Intel i7 LGA2011-v3 and i7-5820K setup is basically a high end set up that will stress the CPU cooler under stock and overclocked load conditions. We also record idle temperature and sound performance. This is our basic test setup for most of our reviews, compatibility permitting.

We use a standardized set of software for both load test and temperature capture;

We ran the AIDA64 Engineer stability test in 30 minute batches and recorded the results. We used the Core Max result as there is typically a variance across the cores of a couple of degrees.

We only select the cache, FPU and CPU tests, so no other component would generate impacting heat during the tests. We always “run in” our CPU cooler installations, essential to maximizing the performance of the cooler before testing begins.

BIOS Setting

We used the default PWM setting for all CPU cooler testing on the Intel X99 platform.


Sound Level Testing

We used a standard generic digital sound level meter at 15 inches. It is important to note we use the MicroCool Banchetto 101 Chassis for testing which is an open chassis. This means you are hearing the CPU coolers fan unobstructed. If you place any fan or cooler in an enclosed chassis, the results should be quieter in most situations.

Thermal Paste

We use Arctic MX-2 for all heatsink cooler tests and in fact we use it for all builds, test or otherwise. We run the AIDA64 Engineer stability test as our burn in programme for thermal paste, which allows the paste to spread out and share the love across the mating surfaces. It is worth doing, we always notice a drop in temperatures even after only 30 minutes of burn in. 

Consumer Experience