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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS
These recordings were made with a high
resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's
own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps
encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation
from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of
what we heard during the review.
These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds
in actual use one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer
or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient
noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware
that very quiet subjects may not be audible if we couldn't hear it from
one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!
The recording starts with 5~10 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan
at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that
the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume
Comparable CPU cooler sound files:
The updated heatpipe cooler that AMD ships with their high power AM3 processors
is rather disappointing compared to the previous AM2/AM2+ version. Switching
to a smaller heatsink with a thicker fan resulted in a significant drop in thermal
performance. It managed to cool our processor adequately at a reasonably quiet
17 dBA@1m, but at 15 dBA@1m it failed completely, causing the CPU to throttle.
This is the first time this has occurred on our AMD heatsink test platform which
is driven by a 95W TDP Athlon II X4 630. If tasked with keeping a 125W Phenom
II X4/X6 stable at full load, the minimum operating noise level would be much
The older stock heatpipe cooler is heftier and despite its thinner fan, is
a much stronger heatsink. At noise levels around 14~15 dBA@1m, its cooling proficiency
is more or less equal to that of the Arctic Cooling Alpine 64, one of the most
popular budget AMD heatsinks. It would actually be a better choice in cases
with a low CPU heatsink height limit as the Alpine 64 is 3 cm taller. In that
situation, it's well worth shelling out say $10 for one.
While these two heatsinks are lacking in performance like most stock coolers,
the fan on both models have decently smooth acoustics once undervolted. All
the Intel stock coolers we've
used have a very dry-sounding tonal hum that doesn't go away unless the fan
is set to near inaudible levels. When compared at equivalent measured noise
levels, the AMD fans sound smoother by a country mile.
Our thanks to AMD
for the stock heatsink samples.
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Articles of Related Interest
Intel LGA1366 Stock Cooler: Good Enough?
Gelid Silent Spirit &
Scythe Samurai ZZ CPU Coolers
Scythe Grand Kama Cross CPU
Titan Fenrir & Coolermaster Hyper
212 Plus: Direct Touch Revisited
Corsair Hydro H50 CPU Water Cooler
SPCR's 2010 CPU Heatsink
Test Platform [Updates: 10 April & 31 May]
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this article in the SPCR forums.
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