The hardware chosen was picked to reflect that of a relatively modern computer system that an enthusiast may own. The configuration of the system is as follows:
Noctua's NT-H1 thermal compound was used for all CPU cooler testing results. In our last thermal compound roundup, we found it to be one of the best performing thermal compounds tested. Application of the thermal compound was done as recommended by the installation guide provided by the cooler manufacturer. If no method was recommended, then a pea sized amount was applied to the center of the CPU's heatspreader (with pressure from the installed cooler to spread it).
We employ an open test bed (not installed in a case). This is to remove positive/negative factors that a case can apply to coolers depending on design. Keep in mind that temperatures achieved in this article will be lower than what a user will achieve when the cooler is installed in a case. The ambient environmental temperature is maintained at 24 degrees celcius (plus/minus 1 degree celcius).
CPU temperatures are recorded using OCCT. Since the temperature of each core is recorded individually, the average of these measurements is used to represent the 'Average' measure in the results. The highest temperature recorded during testing among the individual cores is used to represent the 'Maximum' measure in the results. Stress testing measurements are conducted using OCCT's CPU Test with the Small Data Set. This is left to run for 30 minutes. Idle measurements are taken 30 minutes after the the stress test has been completed (same method as the 'Average' stress test results).
The following motherboard configuration was used:
In terms of price, the Effizio EFZ-120HA5 is comparable to Corsair's A50 we reviewed late last year. Comparing cooling performance, the SilenX cooler isn't as good as the A50. The EFZ-120HA5 is able to closely follow the A50 configured in low speed mode. But one thing to keep in mind is that the SilenX cooler running at full speed is quieter than the A50 in low speed mode. Since the're both in the same price range, if you want a good balance of cooling performance and low noise, but have a weight the low noise side a bit more, the Effizio EFZ-120HA5 is a good choice.
If you're upgrading from the stock Intel boxed cooler, the EFZ-120HA5 had better cooling performance while installed on our overclocked and voltage boosted processor than the Intel cooler did while the processor was running stock.
In our testing, it was easy to see that SilenX was able to accomplish their goal for the Effizio EFZ-120HA5 of having good cooling performance without compromising acoustic performance. When installed in a computer case, this cooler is essentially silent. The mounting system is versatile and easy to use, and it even includes LGA2011 support out of the box. Finally, being available for purchase under $30US, there is no reason why you should settle on using your CPU's stock cooler.