LGA775 Low Profile Heatsink Roundup

Cooling
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TEST RESULTS

Note: All the comparison tables below are aligned to the closest SPL levels.

Intel Stock Cooler: Aluminum vs. Copper Core
Intel Aluminum HSF
Intel Q6600 HSF
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Thermal Rise
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Thermal Rise
 
12V
31 dBA
24
12V
25 dBA
30°C
9V
23 dBA
29
9V
19 dBA
37°C
8V
21 dBA
34
7V
14~15 dBA
46°C
7V
16 dBA
42
6V
13 dBA
50°C
 

The Q6600 heatsink at 9V is quieter and slightly cooler compared to the all-aluminum heatsink at 12V. This is the only point of comparison where it has a clear advantage. At the next two lower fan speeds, the Q6600 cooler delivers temperatures 3-4°C lower while generating an extra 2 dB noise. At best, the copper core design is only marginally better than its aluminum counterpart.

Mid-sized Battle: Micro Silencer vs. Alpine 7 GT
Thermolab Micro Silencer
Arctic Alpine 7 GT
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Thermal Rise
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Thermal Rise
12V
37 dBA
26°C
 
9V
29 dBA
29°C
12V
26 dBA
38°C
7V
20 dBA
36°C
9V
20~21 dBA
39°C
5V
15 dBA
48°C
7V
15 dBA
46°C
 
6V
14 dBA
52°C

The Micro Silencer makes an interesting opponent for the Alpine 7 GT. Both heatsinks have almost the same height and fin thickness, but the Alpine is taller, has much wider fin spacing and a smaller fan. At 7V, the Micro generates a similar level of noise to the Alpine at 9V, but takes a 3°C lead in temperature. Both coolers can be considered quiet at this level. At 5V the Micro is the same noise level as the Alpine at 7V, but this time, the Alpine has a 2°C advantage. As airflow is reduced, the Alpine's wider fin spacing gives it the edge.

Vertically Challenged: Intel Q9550 HSF vs. Thermolab Nano Silencer
Intel Q9550 HSF
Thermolab Nano Silencer
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Thermal Rise
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Thermal Rise
 
12V
31 dBA
29°C
12V
26 dBA
26°C
9V
22 dBA
37°C
9V
18 dBA
40°C
8V
18 dBA
42°C
7.8V
15 dBA
51°C
7V
15 dBA
49°C
7.5V
14 dBA
55°C+*
 
*Testing stopped after thermal rise exceeded 55°C.

Of the two smallest coolers in our roundup, the larger Q9550 stock cooler dominates the Nano Silencer at 12V, generating 5 dBA less measurable noise while simultaneously delivering better cooling — 3°C's worth. The difference narrows at the 18 dBA level. The Nano does not surpass the Q9550 heatsink until the fan is dialed down so that it produces 15 dBA of noise. At this point however the CPU temperatures are so high that we would not recommend using either unit.



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