[ad#content_main]Since I didn’t use the fan controller, I depended on the BIOS to determine fan speed. At idle, the fan was silent, and a quick look at Gigabyte ET6 told me that the fan was running at 1063 RPM. To make a long story short, once things heated up, the fan did ramp up enough to be heard. It wasn’t loud or annoying, but audible. At my overclock load, the fan did whine a bit, again not annoying, but there. It started about 1600 RPM.
I compared the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme against two coolers. When I began I already had a Corsair H50 liquid cooler installed, so I figured what the heck, I’d compare the Tuniq with the fully enclosed liquid cooler. I also had my Zalman CNPS 10X Extreme handy, the best performing air cooler I have, so used it too.
Temperatures were measured with Lavalys Everest Ultimate and Gigabyte’s ET6. (they both always gave the same CPU temp, I just wanted to make sure) Idle temperatures were taken after the system sat idle for 30 minutes. CPU 100% load was attained by running “Torture Test” from the latest version of Prime95, which not only loads all four of the i7′s cores, but also fully loads the four virtual cores. I used the “Large FFTs” which causes the i7 to generate the most heat. Ambient room temperature for all testing was 70F.
At stock clock the Tower 120 Extreme held its own against the other two coolers, it actually outperformed the liquid cooler at stock clock load. But as always, the real performance of a CPU cooler is determined at overclock.
I overclocked the i7 920 to 3.86gHz. This isn’t my highest overclock with that CPU, but it is a very healthy overclock that requires the Vcore and QPI voltage to be raised considerably, which causes the CPU to generate a lot of heat. I’ve had coolers that exceeded shutdown temperature at that overclock.