Thermaltake V1: "Peacock Tail" Cooler

Cooling
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TESTING

Testing was done according to our unique heatsink testing methodology, and the reference fan was profiled using our standard fan testing methodology. A quick summary of the components, tools, and procedures follows below.

Key Components in Heatsink Test Platform:

  • Intel Pentium D 950 Presler core. TDP of 130W; under our test load, it measures 78W including efficiency losses in the VRMs.
  • ASUS P5LD2-VM motherboard. A basic microATX board with integrated graphics and plenty of room around the CPU socket.
  • Samsung MP0402H 40GB 2.5" notebook drive
  • 1 GB stick of Corsair XMS2 DDR2 memory.
  • FSP Zen 300W fanless power supply.
  • Arctic Silver Lumière: Special fast-curing thermal interface material, designed specifically for test labs.

Test Tools

  • Seasonic Power Angel for measuring AC power at the wall to ensure that the heat output remains consistent.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate the fan speed during the test.
  • Bruel & Kjaer (B&K) model 2203 Sound Level Meter. Used to accurately measure noise down to 20 dBA and below.
  • Various other tools for testing fans, as documented in our standard fan testing methodology.

Software Tools

  • SpeedFan 4.32, used to monitor the on-chip thermal sensor. This sensor is not calibrated, so results are not universally applicable
  • CPUBurn P6, used to stress the CPU heavily, generating more heat than most real applications. Two instances are used to ensure that both cores are stressed.
  • Throttlewatch 2.01, used to monitor the throttling feature of the CPU to determine when overheating occurs.

Noise measurements were made with the fan 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 make sure that the load temperature was stable for at least ten minutes. The stock fan was tested at various voltages to represent a good cross-section of its airflow and noise performance.

The ambient conditions during testing were 19 dBA and 21°C.

TEST RESULTS

V1 Stock Fan Measurements
Fan Voltage
Fan Speed
Noise Level
12V
2060 RPM
42 dBA@1m
9V
1650 RPM
36 dBA@1m
7V
1340 RPM
30 dBA@1m
5V
955 RPM
24 dBA@1m
3.5V
630 RPM
21 dBA@1m

The fan included with the V1 is similar to those used previously by Thermaltake, with a low starting voltage of 3.5V and spinning between 600 and 2000 RPM with noise levels between 21 and 42 dBA. It's a loud fan with complex overtones. Being hard-mounted and secured on only one side only exacerbates the noise level.

Cooling Results

12V
Thermaltake V1
Fan Voltage
Noise @1m
Temp
°C Rise
°C/W
12V
42 dBA
33°C
12
0.15
9V
36 dBA
36°C
15
0.19
7V
30 dBA
37°C
16
0.21
5V
24 dBA
39°C
18
0.24
3.5V
21 dBA
43°C
22
0.28
Load Temp: CPUBurn for ~10 mins.
°C Rise: Temperature rise above ambient (21°C) at load.
°C/W: based on the amount of heat dissipated by the CPU (measured 78W); lower is better.

Fan @ 12V: With a 42 dBA@1 SPL, it was unbearable. Along with the aggressive turbulence accompanying the high amount of airflow, there was also a slight rattle, possibly caused by vibration. On the bright side, performance was top-notch at only 12°C over ambient.

Fan @ 9V: The sound level was more managable but well beyond our comfort level. The acoustic profile mainly comprised of turbulence and some mechanical/electrical buzzing close up. The CPU temperature increased by only 3°C.

Fan @ 7V: It was still too loud for our liking, but the overall sound was smooth though the buzzing was still evident, especially when one foot away or closer. Cooling was only one degree off compared to at 9V. This is about the minimum setting of the built-in speed control.

Fan @ 5V: At 24 dBA, the SPL reached an acceptable level. Much of the noise emenating from the fan was now from the motor. It was quite tonal, and the buzzing present at higher voltages transformed into a hum and a low-pitched ticking. The CPU temperature was a respectable 18°C over ambient.

Fan @ 3.5V: From up close, the motor exhibited a very harsh, grinding ticking sound. At 1m it was barely audible. Little cooling was sacrificed over the 5V speed. Note that that is well below the minimum level provided by the built-in speed control.



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