Thermalright Silver Arrow vs Noctua NH-D14
Published: 18th November 2010 | Source: OC3D | Price: |
To make sure that our results are as accurate as possible to those that you'll achieve, we've setup our test system in a case rather than on our Dimastech bench table. We'll run our processor at three different speeds and three different voltages. Because voltage is the main cause of heat you can compare what your processor needs voltage-wise to get an approximation of how the cooler will perform on your system.
To make certain that everything is above board, rather than just report our maximum temperature we'll be taking the ambient temperature and using that to give us the Delta temp as well as the maximum.
Delta is measured as the difference between two values, sometimes load and idle but for today between maximum recorded temperature and the ambient of the room.
Each cooler was mounted and tested three times to eliminate any slight variances in thermal paste or pressure. For our average results in the graph we've taken an average of all four cores because of the slight variances that occur.
Case : BitFenix Survivor
Motherboard : Gigabyte UD3R-v2
CPU : Intel Core i7-950. 4 GHz @ 1.25v. 4.2 GHz @ 1.35v and 4.4GHz @ 1.45v.
RAM : 6GB Mushkin Radioactive RAM @ 2000MHz
PSU : Corsair HX850
GPU : ASUS HD6870
CPU Coolers : Thermalright Silver Arrow and Noctua NH-D14
At 4 GHz the Silver Arrow just manages to edge out the Noctua being 0.7°C cooler after 30 minutes of Prime thrashing away at all four cores.
It's a very close contest so far but the Thermalright just edges the round 10-9.
Both fighters are up off their stools early looking to get into the nitty gritty.
At the 1.35v used to achieve 4.2 GHz on our test i7-950 the results are pretty much the same. Although the average temperature is only a quarter of a degree cooler, thanks to the higher ambient temperature the delta of the Silver Arrow is 0.8°C cooler than the Noctua. Again not a lot but every little helps.
Another very close round, but once again the Silver Arrow just edges the judges scorecard 10-9.
The challenger is looking the fresher of the two as we head into Round Three, although the Noctua has been landing some telling blows too.
With 1.45v on the Core i7-950 to achieve 4.4 GHz the Noctua keeps everything cool as before but the Thermalright Silver Arrow hit 100°C after only 15 minutes of Prime and so the test was halted to save damage to the chip. Naturally this counts as a fail.
And it's unbelievable. A sudden flurry of punches and the challenger is down and unable to answer the referees 10 count. It's a knockout blow! Quite shocking considering the Silver Arrow was looking the better of the two up to that point.