AMD Stock Cooler
AVC DE07015B12U Thermally-controlled Fan
Maximum rating of 41cfm @ 5400rpm ; 44dBA
Estimated at ~23cfm @ ~3100rpm ; ~30dBA
All-aluminum sink with heatpipe
SilverStone FM121 120mm Fan
HIGH Speed rated 110cfm @ 2500rpm ; 39dBA
All-aluminum sink with heatpipe
Thermaltake A2018 120mm Blue LED Smart Case Fan
HIGH Speed rated 93cfm @ 2800rpm ; 46dBA
During testing it was observed that the AMD fan was spinning from 3110 to 3130rpm, well below its advertised maximum rating. Since it is a thermally-controlled fan it seems the ambient temperatures were not high enough to force it to turn faster. Based on the rotation speed, the amount of air flow and noise rating were estimated from the fan specification sheet.
Idle conditions indicate <3% CPU utilization sitting at a Windows desktop.
Load conditions were measured using Folding@Home to generate 100% CPU utilization.
CPU temperatures were taken from MBM5 average readings over 15-20 minutes.
Temperatures were corrected to 24° C ambient for all tests.
At stock speeds, all the coolers perform adequately and within a few degrees of one another. It is interesting to note that the passively-cooled HR-01 nearly equals the stock AMD heatsink in performance. By installing the duct the HR-01 temperatures drop 3° C to barely edge out the results of the SI-120 with fan directly attached.
With a bump in frequency of a full gigahertz and a modest increase in core voltage, we now start to see the Thermalright coolers demonstrate how much better they are. Passively-cooled, the HR-01 still manages to stay within a few degrees of the stock AMD HSF, and when connected to the fan duct, it finishes dead-even with the SI-120.
Thermalright has once again produced a quality, well-performing cooling product. I won't lie to you, the HR-01 is not an end-all, beat-all extreme heatsink package. But it's not designed to be. It's designed to be a passively-cooled (re. no fan - no noise) cooler, and it performs this task admirably, just maybe not exceptionally. It does demonstrate (quite well) that heatpipe technology is no gimmick, and in fact is capable of cooling a modern CPU through indirect cooling alone. With the large surface area and a total of 8 heatpipes, this heatsink is capable of the task without any fan either directly attached, or even blowing across it.
What is surprising are the results of the HR-01 performance when coupled with a simple plastic fan duct, connecting the heatsink to an already-in-place case exhaust fan. By pulling interior air through the HR-01 fins, and forcing that heated air directly out of the case, not only does the CPU cooling performance increase, but also the ambient temperature inside the case improves enough to match the likes of one of Thermalright's top of the line coolers, the SI-120. The addition of the duct pulls load temps down a whopping 8° C and should most definitely be considered a necessity if you plan on any extreme overclocking. Since the addition of the duct does not introduce any more noise, there really isn't any reason not to take better advantage of the existing case cooling.
No fitment issues (despite size)
No dedicated fan required
May interfere with side panel attachments
Given that this is Thermalright's first passive heatsink design, I think they've done a exemplary job of it (as usual) and have awarded the HR-01 our OCIA.net seal of approval.
Thanks to Thermalright for providing the HR-01 for review.