ZEROtherm Nirvana CPU Cooler

Cooling
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TEST RESULTS

Stock Fan Testing

Stock Fan Measurements
Voltage
SPL@1m
Speed
12V
31 dBA
1930 RPM
10V
26 dBA
1580 RPM
9V
20 dBA
1180 RPM
8V
15 dBA
760 RPM
7V
14 dBA
550 RPM

Fan @ 12V: The noise generated is very buzzy, but the abundance of turbulence masks a slight tone that can be heard in close proximity. Needless to say it's far too loud at 31 dBA.

Fan @ 10V: At 10V there is a 5 dBA reduction in noise which is significant but not enough to make it tolerable. Two distinct noises also emerge: A low-pitched hum which is likely caused by vibration, and tonality in the fan's bearings/motor.

Fan @ 9V: At this level the fan noise becomes bearable. The lack of turbulence from the fan brings focus to the humming mentioned earlier.

Fan @ 8V/7V: At 8V and below, the vibration and tonality make the fan sound "wobbly." This effect is audible at 1m in an open testing environment but would likely be masked inside a case where it would be essentially inaudible.


Tonality evident at ~800 Hz.

Cooling Results

ZEROtherm Nirvana
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Temp
°C Rise
°C/W
12V
31 dBA
36°C
14
0.18
10V
26 dBA
38°C
16
0.21
9V
20 dBA
39°C
17
0.22
8V
15 dBA
44°C
22
0.28
7V
14 dBA
49°C
27
0.35
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.

The Nirvana performed well at high fan speeds with a thermal rise of 14°C at 12V. Cooling suffered little when the fan speed was dialed back to 10V and then 9V, despite a dramatic reduction in noise. When the fan finally entered quiet territory at 8V, performance decreased by 5°C and then another 5°C at 7V even though the SPL was barely affected. At low fan speeds heat dissipation takes a nose dive. This is typical for heatsinks with tight fin spacing, but the rate at which its effectiveness degrades is still quite rapid.



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