In order to test the effectiveness of Gigabyte’s 3D Cooler, we grabbed our Athlon 64 3400+ test bed (which consists of a ASUS K8V Deluxe and at that particular time, a RADEON 8500 128MB and 512MB of Corsair XMS 3500 DDR SDRAM) AMD’s reference Athlon 64 heatsink, and Thermaltake’s Silent Boost K8, one of the quietest Athlon 64 solutions on the market. Temperatures were recorded with the latest version of Motherboard Monitor. Idle temperatures were taken after one minute of system bootup, while load testing was conducted after two runs of 3DMark 03. This was repeated three times and averaged.
AMD’s reference heatsink design combines a copper base plate with aluminum fins and a fan that operates at 3,600 RPMs. This setup is a pretty good compromise between price, performance, and noise level. Thermaltake’s Silent Boost K8 is a little more exotic in the sense that it’s composed entirely of copper, which has better thermal conductivity characteristics than aluminum (and also costs more) but in order to reduce noise levels, the fan only operates at 2,600 RPM.
Basically, we’re looking at three different cooling designs here.
As you can see, at idle the Gigabyte 3D Cooler Pro delivers an impressive 33 degree temperature at 4,000 RPMs, two degrees lower than the Thermaltake and three degrees lower than the AMD reference solution. The Gigabyte 3D Cooler Pro at 3,000 RPM comes in slightly higher than AMD reference, which isn’t too surprising considering they’re both designs that utilize copper base plates but the 3D Cooler’s fan is running 600 RPMs slower. At 2,000 RPMs we’re looking at 41 degrees Celsius.
Under load, the 3D Cooler Pro continues to deliver superior performance, with the processor operating at 42 degrees Celsius. The Gigabyte cooler finishes a surprising second as well at 3,000 RPM, coming in one degree below the Thermaltake cooler at 44 degrees Celsius. Based on our results, it looks like the higher RPMs of the AMD reference heatsink aren’t enough to offset the Gigabyte’s heat pipe design, as the 3400+ was running at 48 degrees under load.
Click here to download the MP3s of all three coolers in action (976KB zip)..