I bought the Noctua NH-L12 CPU cooler. The SPCR article showed this CPU cooler allowing an AMD 95W CPU to rise by only 14 to 22 degrees Celsius, depending on fan speed. See http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1261-page6.html
My CPU is an Intel i7-3770S 65W CPU rather than the AMD 95W CPU used in the article, so I had expected that the worst temperatures I would see would be about 45 degrees (22 rise plus 23 ambient).
My actual results, with Prime95 for full CPU load and with both CPU cooler fans at 100% are 61 to 63 degrees, or a rise of 38 to 40 degrees. So twice as much of a CPU temp rise as I expected.
I am unsure if I should be concerned about the high temperatures I am seeing, and if this is the best the CPU cooler can do, so I asked Noctua support the following questions: Should I ask the retailer to re-install the CPU cooler? Perhaps they forgot to apply the thermal paste (TIM), or the CPU cooler is not seated correctly? Or is 63 degrees within the general range that you would expect?
The answer from support is:
62degrees are fine for your CPU under full load, because unfortunately Intel has decided to stop soldering the die of the CPU to the heatspreader which increased temperatures compared to previous generation CPUs. [...] In my opinion there is no need for action and I would recommend you to leave the CPU cooler alone.
[...] it is fairly normal that AMD temperature-readings are different from Intel readings, because Intel CPU temperatures are measured at the core of the CPU while AMD CPUs report Tcase (=temperature at the heatspreader) values.
To prevent any confusion, I am not saying the Noctua NH-L12 is bad. I am VERY impressed with the noise levels. At 40% PWM duty, I cannot hear the fans at all, even with side of the case open. My idle temps are 26-27, or 3-4 degree rise.
At 100% PWM, when the CPU is under full load, I can hear the fans, but it is not that bad. I can definitely tolerate that fairly low level for the times when the CPU will be at 100%, which I anticipate to be infrequent.
When I test the CPU temperature 20 seconds after stopping Prime95, the temperatures have already dropped to 29 or 31 degrees, or 6-8 degrees above ambient.
Any comments on the temperature of 63 degrees (40 degree rise) at full load? Is this safe? Is this what you would expect from a good CPU cooler?Mod: moved to CPU cooling forum.