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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
The Cooler Master Seidon 240M is the best self-contained, CPU water cooling
unit we've tested, primarily because it addresses our biggest complaint about
such coolers: Pump noise. The previous integrated liquid coolers we've examined
from Corsair and Antec suffered from lousy sounding pumps that had a heavy buzz
and rattle, even gurgling on occasion, making them unfit for any true silent
PC enthusiast. The 240M's pump is fairly innocuous by comparison, and it can
be undervolted to muted levels with little impact on cooling performance.
Despite this improvement over other watercoolers, the 240M fails to change
our general opinion of such devices. Liquid coolers may be well-suited for performance
enthusiasts who push their components to their limits and thus have to pair
them with high airflow, high noise coolers, but if you're looking for quiet
cooling, traditional heatsinks remain superior. The 240M is an excellent performer
when fan speeds are cranked up but once you drop it down to quiet or near-inaudible
levels, its efficiency falls off considerably.
We expect a US$100 cooler to be lights-out, but the Seidon is barely
competitive with air cooled heatsinks that are half the price. It also takes
up fan positions that could otherwise be used for supplemental case fans. In
addition, the dual fan nature of the 240M negates one of best assets of water
coolers, the ability to fit in smaller cases with restrictive CPU heatsink height
requirements most compact cases lack the necessary twin 120 mm fan mounts
to accommodate the 240M.
In our view, this type of cooling would be better applied to GPUs, as high-end
models produce considerably more heat than current CPUs, and the space on or
around a VGA card for a heavy duty heatsink simply doesn't exist. For CPUs,
the only real usefulness of such watercoolers is to cool hot CPUs in small cases
without enough room for big air-only coolers. But the big radiator of the Seidon
240M makes it unsuitable for such a purpose.
Our thanks to Cooler Master
for the Seidon 240M CPU cooler sample.
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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Phanteks PH-TC12DX CPU Cooler
Phanteks PH-TC90LS Mini Cooler
Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120M CPU Heatsink
Zalman CNPS9900DF Dual Fan Flower Heatsink
SilverStone Heligon HE02: Monster Fanless CPU Cooler
Antec Kühler H20 620 & 920 CPU Water Cooling Units
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this article in the SPCR forums.
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