by Rob Williams on April 19, 2006 in Water-Cooling
It may come as a surprise to some, but memory moguls Corsair actually threw together quite a great water cooling kit called COOL. Well, now they are testing different waters.. an external kit! We will be testing it on a very, very hot Intel Dual Core, so let’s see how it does.
Of course the most important thing of any water cooling setup is how well it keeps your components cool. Because the base Nautilus kit only includes a CPU block, I am only worrying about grabbing temperatures from it. I gather temperatures using EVEREST Ultimate Edition 2.8, which does a great job of logging everything to an easy to read file. In order to stress the CPU to 100%, I ran two instances of Prime95, one on each core. At the same time, a Super Pi 32M run was also run on each core. This effectively kept the CPU active to 100% for the entire duration for maximum heat. Each one of these tests lasted for 15 minutes before I continued onto the next.
For Idle scores, the system was booted up and left at the desktop for five minutes. For an Average result, I played through one of my favorite levels in Half-Life 2. The load result is grabbed after the stress test mentioned above, including two instances of each Prime95 and SuperPi. The test system we are using is as follows:
- CPU: Pentium D 820 @ 2.8GHz
- Motherboard: ASUS P5WD2-E Premium
- Memory: Corsair 2GB PC2-6400 PRO
- Video: BFG Tech 6800GT 256MB PCI-E
- Sound: Realtek HD Audio
- Storage: WD 200GB 7200 8MB
- Odds and Ends: D-Link WiFi PCI Card
- Etcetera: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows x64 Professional SP1, NVIDIA 81.98 Drivers
The 820 CPU is a good test, because everybody knows that Intel chips can run hot. Their Dual Cores are only that much better though, especially at full load. There is a LOT of heat beneath that IHS under max load, so the results will be interesting.
More times than not, using Arctic Silver instead of the stock thermal paste usually makes a 1°C or 2°C difference, and it’s no different here. At absolute stock, the Nautilus cut 11°C off the idle temp to sit at a respectable 30°C. At the same speed, the max load was 40°C, which I was very pleased to see. For an Intel Dual Core, it’s usually rare to see such a low figure ;)
Of course, what’s the fun of stock. None! My 820 D seems to top out at 4.2GHz; I’ve been unable to get it anywhere past that. On the stock air cooler, it topped out at a staggering 76°C. This is unsafe for the most part, but Intel’s are designed to handle a fair amount of heat. I am not sure if 76°C can be considered only a ‘fair amount’ though. At max load, the Nautilus cut off a full 19°C off the temp to sit at 57°C. This is a much better figure that I feel more comfortable with. For a 33% overclock, 57°C is not bad at all.