Operation / Testing
Intel Core i7 920 LGA 1366 CPU
Gigabyte EX58-UD4P Motherboard
Kingston HyperX DDR3-2000 3GB Triple Channel Memory Kit
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic VaporX Video Card
Silverstone Decathlon DA-800 800 Watt PSU
NZXT Tempest Extended Midtower
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
There is another pair of vibration strips and a pair of fan clips for installation of a second fan on the NH-U12P, though the fan isn’t included.
Included in the bundle are two “Low Noise Adapters.” The black one runs the fan at 1100 RPM, the blue one, an “Ultra-Low Noise Adapter” runs the fan at 900 RPM. Standard speed of the fan is 1350 RPM. The fan at 1350 RPM isn’t particularly loud, though it is audible in a silent rig. I couldn’t hear it above the other fans in the test rig. At both 1100 and 900 RPMs, the fan is totally silent. There is another pair of vibration strips and a pair of fan clips for installation of a second fan on the NH-U12P, though the fan isn’t included.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have another LGA 1366 capable cooler to compare the NH-U12P with. My old C2 Quad Q-6600 was a very cool running processor, but totally incomparable to the i7, the C2Q is a pair of underclocked C2D processors, the i7 has four independent cores with two threads each, which often acts like eight processors rather than four. Plus the i7 has an L3 cache, and the processor draws 130 watts. I expect the i7 to get pretty warm at load.
During testing, all EIST functions were disabled, as was Intel Turbo Boost, so idle temp is at true idle, without the benefit of lowered CPU speed or Vcore. Idle temperature was taken using CoreTemp after the rig sat idle for 30 minutes. Load temps were taken after running Sandra’s Burn-In using only Processor Arithmetic for 30 minutes.
Ambient room temperature was 72F. I have found by experience that ambient room temperature makes a lot of difference in CPU temp in a well-ventilated case. For example, earlier that day the room temperature was around 68F, and my idle temp was 24C-26C. So be aware that these results can be much different with different ambient temperatures.
Next I overclocked the i7 to 3.88gHz, about a 50% overclock. I had to give a healthy increase to the Vcore and Uncore voltage to keep things stable, so I expected some pretty warm temperatures.
I did some surfing looking to see what kind of overclock load temperatures other people have been getting with the i7 920. At this kind of overclock, everyone seems to be getting in the 80s and 90s with aftermarket coolers, and the stock coolers don’t make the trip at all. I was a little uncomfortable with temps in the very low 70s, but it seems that is the exception rather than the norm.