OCZ Tempest CPU Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 08-03-2006
Provided by: OCZ Technology

The launch of the Tempest couldn't have come at a better time. With the drop in AMD prices recently I had just upgraded my 3000+ processor to a 3800+ X2, and the dual-core chip generates quite a bit more heat then the cooler-running Venice, perfect for putting a CPU cooler through its paces. The test hardware consists of:

Chaintech VNF4 Zenith
A64 3800+ X2 Manchester
2x512 OCZ 3700 Gold Rev2

I'll be using the stock AMD cooler to compare with, as well as my trusty Thermalright XP-90. Rather than applying the included thermal paste I opted to use Arctic Silver 5 for all tests.

Load conditions were simulated using 2 instances of Folding@Home to generate 100% CPU utilization on each core. CPU temperatures were taken from MBM5 average readings and ambient temperature was at 24 C during all tests.

For the first test, I ran all 3 coolers with the chip at stock speed and voltage. As I've seen many times before, the retail AMD cooler performs nearly as well as any aftermarket heatsink when not overclocking.

OCZ makes products for enthusiasts however, not for stock applications. When the CPU frequency and voltage are increased, the AMD cooler just can't keep up and the system hangs under load. The Tempest and XP-90 are running neck-and-neck however.

At the max voltage available, both aftermarket coolers allow the 3800+ to boot into Windows and idle at 2.9 Ghz, however neither is capable of keeping things under control once full load is thrown onto the cores. The Tempest does edge out the XP-90 slightly at idle.

Final remarks and conclusion just ahead.

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