Gelid Silent Spirit & Scythe Samurai ZZ CPU Coolers

Cooling
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TESTING

Before thermal testing, we took some basic physical measurements.

Approximate Physical Measurements
Heatsink Gelid Silent Spirit Scythe Samurai ZZ
Weight
280 g
350 g with fan
390 g
480 g with fan
Fin count 43 47
Fin thickness
0.36 mm 0.33 mm
Fin spacing
1.77 mm 1.74 mm
Vertical Clearance*
53 mm 35 mm
Horizontal Overhang**
-23 mm
+4 mm (AMD mounting clips)
-21 mm
* measured from the motherboard PCB to the bottom fin of the heatsink.
** measured from the far edge of the heatsink to the top edge of the motherboard PCB.

Comparison: Approximate Fin Thickness & Spacing
Heatsink
Fin Thickness
Fin Spacing
Scythe Big Shuriken
0.33 mm
1.19 mm
Scythe Samurai ZZ
0.33 mm
1.74 mm
Gelid Silent Spirit
0.36 mm
1.77 mm
Xigmatek HDT-SD964
0.38 mm
1.86 mm
Scythe Ninja Mini
0.42 mm
3.46 mm

Testing was done on our new AM3 heatsink testing platform for small and low-profile heatsinks. A summary of the test system and procedure follows.

Key Components in Heatsink Test Platform:

  • AMD Athlon II X4 630 AM3, 2.8GHz, 45nm, 95W TDP.
  • Asus M4A785TD-V EVO ATX motherboard. 785G chipset.
  • Kingston SSDNow V 30GB 2.5" solid-state drive. Chosen for silence.
  • 2GB Corsair Dominator DDR3 memory. 2 x 1GB DDR3-1800 in dual channel.
  • FSP Zen 300W ATX power supply. Fanless.
  • Arctic Silver Lumière: Special fast-curing thermal interface material, designed specifically for test labs.
  • Nexus 92 fan (part of our standard testing methodology; used when possible with heatsinks that fit 92x25mm fans)

With a fanless power supply and a solid state drive, the test system is silent under the test conditions, except for the CPU cooling fan(s). At full load, the total system power draw is 132~140W AC, with the CPU and VRMs drawing 85~91W DC (measured at the AUX12V connector), depending on their respective temperatures.

Smaller Heatsink Test Platform:
Full Load Power Details
System
132-140W AC
CPU+VRM
85~91W DC

Normally, our reference fan is used whenever possible, the measured details of which are shown below.

Reference Nexus 92 mm fan
Anechoic chamber measurements
Voltage
SPL@1m
Speed
12V
16 dBA
1470 RPM
9V
12 dBA
1150 RPM

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Extech 380803 AC power analyzer / data logger for measuring AC system power.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate the fan speed during the test.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer: SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower
  • Various other tools for testing fans, as documented in our standard fan testing methodology.
  • SpeedFan, used to monitor the on-chip thermal sensors. The sensors are not calibrated, so results are not universally applicable.
  • CPUBurn, used to stress the CPU heavily, generating more heat than most real applications.
  • CPU-Z, used to monitor the CPU speed to determine when overheating occurs.
  • Thermometers to measure the air temperature around the test platform and near the intake of the heatsink fan.

Noise measurements are made with the fans powered from the lab's variable DC power supply while the rest of the system was off to ensure that system noise did not skew the measurements.

Load testing was accomplished using CPUBurn to stress the processor, and the graph function in SpeedFan was used to ensure that the load temperature is stable for at least ten minutes. The stock fan was tested at various voltages to represent a good cross-section of airflow and noise performance.

The ambient conditions during testing were 10~11 dBA and 21~23°C.



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