Cooler Master Hyper Z600 CPU Cooler: A Real Heavyweight

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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.
  • Nexus 120 fan (part of our standard testing methodology; used when possible with heatsinks that fit 120x25mm fans)
Nexus 120 Noise and Airflow Characteristics
Noise (SPL)
1080 RPM
29 CFM
850 RPM
23 CFM
680 RPM
19 CFM
490 RPM
13 CFM

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 22°C.


Cooling Results

Cooler Master Hyper Z600
Fan Voltage
SPL @1m
°C Rise
22 dBA
~19 dBA
<19 dBA
<19 dBA
Load Temp: CPUBurn for ~10 mins.
°C Rise: Temperature rise above ambient (22°C) at load.
°C/W: based on the amount of heat dissipated by the CPU (measured 78W); lower is better.

With Active Cooling: The Z600 performed very well with our quiet, low speed reference 120mm fan. The temperature rise above ambient was modest throughout testing, even with the reference fan at 5V.

As mentioned on the previous page, the one inch gap between the fan and the center portion of the heatsink's fins probably limits the cooling performance with a low airflow fan like our reference fan. With a higher speed / airflow fan, we would expect the performance to rise in more than linear fashion.

One way to improve performance might be to simply close the top and bottom openings between the fan and the fins, which would force more of the airflow to go through the fins, rather than to escape out the gaps at the top and bottom. Closing the bottom opening is probably unwise, however; the wash of airflow from this gap helps to cool the VRM and other hot components on the motherboard around the CPU.

Passive Cooling: Due to our testing setup (outside the case, flat on the test bench with no extra airflow), no heatsink has ever managed to cool our test processor passively. The Z600 did a lot better than others in this regard however. Without a fan, the temperature rose leisurely, taking more than 10 minutes to pass the 70°C barrier. However, the temperature continued to increase after this point, showing no signs of stabilization. The test was stopped at 75°C.

Inside a real system, there is almost always peripheral airflow from other fans, mainly the exhaust case fan, and the power supply fan, both of which would normally be positioned very close to the Hyper Z600 on a typical motherboard. Under such conditions, the Z600 could easily cool many a CPU without a fan directly attached to it, much like the Scythe Ninja has done in so many SPCR-enthusiast systems.

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