ZEROtherm CoolMaxx 2000 GPU Cooler

Cooling
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TEST RESULTS

Test Results: ZEROtherm CoolMaxx 2000
Fan Voltage
Fan Speed
SPL@1m
Avg. Core Temp
Avg. VRM Temp
12V
2510 RPM
22~23 dBA
83°C
126°C
9V
2030 RPM
20 dBA
90°C
138°C
7V
1650 RPM
18 dBA
95°C
149°C
5V
1210 RPM
15 dBA
N/A
N/A
Test Results: HIS 4890 Turbo Stock Cooler
Auto
2340 RPM
26 dBA
82°C
94°C
Ambient temperature: 23°C
Ambient Noise Level: 11 dBA
(12 dBA with the test system on)

@12V: The GPU core temperature was close to the stock cooler's result, but quieter by 3~4 dB. VRM cooling was a massive 30°C worse, due primarily to the location of the fan. The HD 4890 stock heatsink has a clear advantage as its fan blows directly over the voltage regulators. The generated noise was loud, whiny and turbulent.

@9V: Core and VRM temperatures increased by 7°C and 12°C respectively. At 9V the pitch of the fan lowered, producing a prominentt hum and a slight rattle, though only up close. At 1m it sounded fairly smooth though measuring 20 dBA, it was louder than we would've liked.

@7V: Temperatures continued to increase, with the GPU core heating up an additional 5°C and the VRMs approaching 150°C. Acoustically, most of the fan's more troublesome characteristics disappear, leaving only a low pitched hum, and at 18 dBA it can be considered quiet.

@5V: We discontinued testing as our test card typically fails when the VRMs approach 155~160°C.

The cooler is more than capable of dealing with the GPU core of the HD 4890, but without direct airflow over the voltage regulators, VRM temperatures soar, especially when airflow is limited. The included fan controller allows the speed to be adjusted from 1270 to 2410 RPM, which is approximately equivalent to 5V~12V, but we wouldn't use it under 9V on a HD 4870/4890.

Comparatives

Comparison @ 20 dBA (+/- 1 dB)
GPU Cooler
SPL@1m
Avg. Core Temp
Avg. VRM Temp
Scythe Musashi @ 10V
19 dBA
90°C
117°C
Accelero S1 @ 11V
(2 x Scythe 100mm)
19 dBA
94°C
117°C
CoolMaxx 2000 @ 9V
20 dBA
90°C
138°C
Zalman VF1000 @ 9V
20 dBA
100°C
139°C

Core temperatures in the 90°C range may seem high, but it should be noted that more impressive, dual fan coolers don't perform particularly well on the blistering hot HD 4890 either. At the 20 dBA level (+/- 1 dB), the CoolMaxx matches the Scythe Musashi in core temperature, and beats the Accelero S1 (with two 100mm Scythe fans strapped to it) by 4°C. Having a second fan definitely has its advantages however, with both the Musashi and S1 posting a whopping 20°C lead in average VRM temperature over the CoolMaxx.

As far as single fan GPU coolers go, the CoolMaxx is formidable, besting the heavier, all-copper Zalman VF1000 by 10°C in core temperature.



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