ZEROtherm CORE92 Direct-Touch CPU Cooler

Cooling
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Comparables

The CORE92 does very well compared to other 92mm coolers, even the Coolermaster N520, which is equipped with two fans.

ZEROtherm CORE92: Comparables
SPL @1m
Cooler Master
Hyper N520
Zalman
CNPS9300
ZEROtherm
CORE92
dBA
°C Rise
37
14
34
9
30
17
17
25
18
23
19
21
23
20
12
19
22
16
19
15
29
14
29

At higher fan speeds (generating 20 dBA and higher), the CORE92 easily beats the other two coolers above. It's only at the lowest fan speeds that the Hyper N520 performance matches that of the Zerotherm.

Thermal Rise:
ZEROtherm CORE92 vs. Xigmatek HDT-SD964
Fan Voltage
HDT-SD964
CORE92
12V
21
26
9V
26
32
7V
31
40
Both heatsinks equipped with reference 92mm fan.

Compared to Xigmatek's 92mm direct-touch heatpipe cooler, the HDT-SD964, the CORE92 does not fare as well. Using our very quiet, but low airflow reference Nexus 92mm fan, it lost by 5°C at 12V, 6°C at 9V and 9°C at 7V. The SD964 has four heatpipes vs. the CORE92's three, though we don't think that was the deciding factor. The SD964's heatpipes are spaced so far apart that the ones at the edges barely make contact with the CPU heatspreader.

Most likely, the CORE92's tightly-spaced fins increase airflow resistance so that our reference Nexus fan, with its low airflow, has a tough time pushing air through it. The embedded fan design doesn't help here, as it increases the amount of pressure required to pull air in.

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 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 setting again.



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