SPCR, do you have any direct comparisons between the 1155 & 1366 platforms? (Can't find any, but maybe it's me...) I understand why compact HSFs have their own category, but I'd prefer seeing an overall hierarchy of performance. That's a lot harder for me to figure out on my own than which coolers fit my case.direct comparisons between the 1155 & 1366 platforms
-- what does that mean exactly? how could this be done?
The smaller HS test platform was developed because many small, low profile HSF designed for HTPC or SFF use cannot handle the heat from a 130W TDP 1366 or 2011 CPU. Most would perform poorly with that much CPU heat, and it would be hard to differentiate among them. Testing such coolers on the cooler CPU allows you to see the differences between the various smaller models, especially when they are run really quiet (ie -- with the fan slowed right down).
There is not easy way to get around this. Put them all in one chart based on the hot test platform, and most of the smaller coolers would be squashed near/at the bottom.
The assumptions are:
1. If you have room you should go for a bigger, higher performance cooler, because then you have more headroom to play with, so you can run fans at super slow/quiet speed.
2. If you are working on a SFF or HTPC, you will NOT have a 130W CPU and you will not have the room for the best big HS.
That's why we think it's unimportant that coolers tested on the cooler platform cannot be compared to those on the hotter one.
The Panther is slightly oddball: It does not have a 1366 mounting option, so it cannot be tested or used on the hot platform anyway.