Noctua puts their new NH-U12S on a diet

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 25, 2013 - 01:37 PM |
Tagged: noctua, NH-U12S, heatsink

Noctua have attempted to strike a balance between performance and profile with the NH-U12S, slimming it down to allow for tall heatspreaders to be used on RAM but without shaving off too much performance.  From the tests performed at [H]ard|OCP it seems that Noctua did exactly what they claimed, there is plenty of space to fill all your DIMM slots with any brand of RAM and the performance at stock speeds was better than average.  It is a little more expensive than some alternatives and is not the best at cooling an overclocked CPU but but of you want a slim profile and reasonably quiet performance this is a good choice.

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"The Noctua NH-U12S is well known in enthusiast circles for a few reasons. Noctua states it is because, "the NH-U12S is a complete premium quality solution that combines outstanding performance, quiet operation and excellent compatibility." And quite frankly Noctua would be very correct. Where does the value stand today?"

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Tech Talk

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD Releases Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2 Driver To Correct Performance Variance Issue of R9 290 Series Graphics Cards

Subject: Graphics Cards, Cases and Cooling | November 8, 2013 - 02:41 AM |
Tagged: R9 290X, powertune, hawaii, graphics drivers, gpu, GCN, catalyst 13.11 beta, amd, 290x

AMD recently launched its 290X graphics card, which is the new high-end single GPU solution using a GCN-based Hawaii architecture. The new GPU is rather large and incorporates an updated version of AMD's PowerTune technology to automatically adjust clockspeeds based on temperature and a maximum fan speed of 40%. Unfortunately, it seems that some 290X cards available at retail exhibited performance characteristics that varied from review units.

Retail versus Review Sample Performance Variance Testing.jpg

AMD has looked into the issue and released the following statement in response to the performance variances (which PC Perspective is looking into as well).

Hello, We've identified that there's variability in fan speeds across AMD R9 290 series boards. This variability in fan speed translates into variability of the cooling capacity of the fan-sink. The flexibility of AMD PowerTune technology enables us to correct this variability in a driver update. This update will normalize the fan RPMs to the correct values.

The correct target RPM values are 2200RPM for the AMD Radeon R9 290X "Quiet mode", and 2650RPM for the R9 290. You can verify these in GPU-Z. If you're working on stories relating to R9 290 series products, please use this driver as it will reduce any variability in fan speeds. This driver will be posted publicly tonight.

From the AMD statement, it seems to be an issue with fan speeds from card to card causing the performance variances. With a GPU that is rated to run at up to 95C, a fan limited to 40% maximum, and dynamic clockspeeds, it is only natural that cards could perform differently, especially if case airflow is not up to par. On the other hand, the specific issue pointed out by other technology review sites (per my understanding, it was initially Tom's Hardware that reported on the retail vs review sample variance) is  an issue where the 40% maximum on certain cards is not actually the RPM target that AMD intended.

AMD intended for the Radeon R9 290X's fan to run at 2200RPM (40%) in Quiet Mode and the fan on the R9 290 (which has a maximum fan speed percentage of 47%) to spin at 2650 RPM in Quiet Mode. However, some cards 40% values are not actually hitting those intended RPMs, which is causing performance differences due to cooling and PowerTune adjusting the clockspeeds accordingly.

Luckily, the issue is being worked on by AMD, and it is reportedly rectified by a driver update. The driver update ensures that the fans are actually spinning at the intended speed when set to the 40% (R9 290X) or 47% (R9 290) values in Catalyst Control Center. The new driver, which includes the fix, is version Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2 and is available for download now. 

If you are running a R9 290 or R9 290X in your system, you should consider updating to the latest driver to ensure you are getting the cooling (and as a result gaming) performance you are supposed to be getting.

Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2 is available from the AMD website.

Also read:

Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information on the Radeon R9 290 series GPU performance variance issue as it develops.

Image credit: Ryan Shrout (PC Perspective).

Source: AMD

Are you still lapping your heatsinks?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 4, 2013 - 04:14 PM |
Tagged: lapping, heatsink, DIY

Back in the ancient past of aircooling, when heatsinks did not weigh a kilogram and 120mm fans were a novelty item and not the standard many enthusiasts practiced the art of lapping.  With a water tray and automotive grade sandpaper of increasingly fine grit you could not only flatten the base of the heatsink, something that was all too necessary for some models, you could also acheive a mirror finish which helped your heat paste spread evenly.  Today you do not hear much talk of lapping either heatsinks nor the integrated heatspreader on CPUs and SPCR decided to test if it remains a good practice.  Check out the difference a proper lapping job still makes, though keep in mind lapping the IHS on your CPU will void the warranty and could weaken its structure.

SPCR_a4.jpg

Not what you want to see!

"Lapping the CPU in a heatsink test platform is probably a controversial move that's bound to provoke reactions. Funny thing is, it was done a year ago, and photos of the CPU showing the copper top exposed by the lapping have been featured in many of our reviews. Yet, not a single comment. This article goes through the problems, investigations and explorations that led us to lap our Core i7-965 Extreme test CPU, and analyzes the results and implications."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Price, performance and efficiency from be quiet!, the Pure Power L8 700W

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 29, 2013 - 05:23 PM |
Tagged: PSU, be quiet!, Pure Power L8, 700W, 80 Plus Bronze

Be Quiet! could have a value-priced winner with their Pure Power L8 700W PSU, which has enough power to handle SLI/CrossFire but with a non-modular design which should keep the price fairly reasonable.  With two 12V lines capable of providing up to 53 amps you will be able to run two powerful GPUs, though perhaps not paired flagship cards.  As far as efficiency goes, Legit Reviews found it to deserve the 80 Plus Bronze rating it carries and the power regulation and ripple were both very good for any PSU, let alone a value priced one.  You can't buy it yet but you can see the review right here.

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"Be Quiet! is an European company which, despite the strange name, is a very well-known manufacturer amongst enthusiasts, mostly for their high quality (and notoriously expensive) power supply units. We had an encounter with their very impressive Dark Power Pro 10 series a few months ago; however, impressive as it was, the price tag of such a power supply would certainly drive the vast majority of users away. Today we will be having a look at the least expensive PSU series currently offers, the Pure Power L8."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Manufacturer: Thermalright

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of Thermalright

Thermalright is an established brand in the CPU cooling arena with its track record for innovative creations designed to best remove the heat from your prize CPU. The latest incarnation of their cooler line for Intel and AMD-based CPUs takes the form of the Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme, a massive nickel-plated copper cooler sporting two 140mm fans to aid in heat dispersal. We tested this cooler in conjunction with other all-in-one and air coolers to see how well the Thermalright cooler stacks up. With a retail price at $99.99, the cooler has a premium price for the premium performance it offers.

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Courtesy of Thermalright

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Courtesy of Thermalright

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Courtesy of Thermalright

Thermalright took their cooler design to a whole new level with the Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme. The cooler features a nickel-plated copper base and heat pipes with two massive aluminum thin-finned tower radiators to help with heat dissipation. The Silver Arrow SB-E contains eight total 6mm diameter heat pipes that run through the copper base plate, terminating in the two aluminum tower radiators. The base plate itself is polished to a mirror-like finish, ensuring optimal mating between the base plate and CPU surfaces.

Continue reading our review of the Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E CPU air cooler!

Hide your CPU under a Dark Rock Pro

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 25, 2013 - 06:18 PM |
Tagged: be quiet!, Dark Rock Pro 2, LGA1150

The be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 is an imposing cooler standing 166mm tall, 147mm wide and 138mm deep (6.5x5.8x5.4") and weighing in at 1.25kg which means not all cases can accommodate it and it will dwarf an mATX board.  The two fans are mismatched, one is 135mm and one is 120mm however [H]ard|OCP's testing proved that does not mean it is a loud cooler.  It's cooling ability is quite impressive and puts it at the top of the chart; unfortunately so does its $90 price tag which is higher than other competitive coolers.  If you can find it on sale it is well worth investing in.

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"CPU air cooling and huge cooler sizes have become synonymous. One thing that is not synonymous with high end air cooling are muted sound profiles. be quiet! looks to remedy this issue with its Dark Rock Pro 2 CPU air cooler that sports a tremendous 220 watt cooling capacity all in that be quiet! package."

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CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Corsair Announces Hydro Series H75 Liquid CPU Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 24, 2013 - 01:34 PM |
Tagged: liquid cooling system, Hydro Series, H75, corsair

Fremont, California — October 24, 2013 — Corsair, a worldwide designer of high-performance components for the PC hardware market, today announced the Hydro Series H75 dual-fan 120mm liquid CPU cooler. The easy-to-install H75 provides PC users with quieter and more effective cooling than stock CPU coolers, all in a 120mm footprint that is widely compatible with most PC cases on the market. The Hydro Series H75 will be available in November at a suggested retail price of $84.99 (USD).

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The Hydro Series H75 is comprised of a low-profile CPU cooling block connected to a 120mm radiator and fan assembly via kink-resistant rubber tubing. The H75’s new cooling block is designed with a micro-fin copper cold plate and a high-quality, ceramic bearing pump that provides reliable, low-noise heat transfer away from the CPU. The slim 25mm thick radiator is surrounded by dual SP120L PWM 120mm fans resulting in design that is quieter and thinner than other dual fan coolers, and more effective at dispersing heat than single fan designs. The H75’s fans work with PWM motherboard fan headers, allowing users to control the fan speed and noise levels from their motherboard’s built-in software or BIOS.

“The H75 is a great choice for PC enthusiasts who want the streamlined features of our H60 120mm cooler but desire the additional cooling performance of a dual fan design,” said Xavier Lauwaert, Director of Product Marketing at Corsair.

The Hydro Series H75 features a simple, tool-free mounting system and wide Intel and AMD socket compatibility. Like all Hydro Series liquid CPU coolers, the H75 is completely self-contained and does not require filling or maintenance.

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Features and Specifications

  • 120mm aluminum radiator
    • 120mm x 152mm x 25mm
  • Two SP120L PWM 120mm high static pressure fans
    • 120mm x 25mm
    • 2000 RPM (+/- 10%)
    • 54 CFM
    • 31.4 dBA
  • PWM fan control for customizable cooling
  • Support for AMD and Intel CPUs
  • AM2, AM3, FM1, FM2, LGA 1156, 1155, 1150, 1366, 2011
  • Advanced copper cold plate and manifold design
  • Tool-free bracket for simple installation on most Intel and AMD motherboards
  • Sealed all-in-one design, pre-filled and maintenance free
  • 5-year limited warranty

Video Overview of the Hydro Series H75 A video overview the Hydro Series H75 and the installation process can be viewed here:

To learn more about Corsair PC cooling products, please visit: http://www.corsair.com/cpu-cooling-kits/hydro-series-water-cooling-cpu-c...

Source: Corsair

Seasonic PSUs Will Power HashFast Bitcoin Miners

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Systems | October 22, 2013 - 07:10 PM |
Tagged: seasonic, Power Supplies, mining, bitcoin, asic

Seasonic (Sea Sonic Electronics) has announced a design win that will see its power supplies used in HashFast’s bitcoin mining rigs. The upcoming HashFast mining rigs feature the company’s “Golden Nonce” ASIC(s) and all-in-one water coolers. HashFast has a single ASIC Baby Jet and multi-ASIC Sierra rig. Both units will be available December 15 starting at $2,250 and $6,300 respectively.

The Seasonic power supplies are high efficiency models with Japanese capacitors and at least 80 PLUS Bronze. On the high end, Seasonic has PSUs that are up to 93% efficient. HashFast stated that it chose Seasonic for its mining rigs because of the build quality and efficiency. The Baby Jet and Sierra mining rigs allow users to overclock the ASICs, and the systems can be rather demanding on PSUs.

HashFast Baby Jet BTC Miner.jpg

The Golden Nonce ASIC is a 28nm chip that is rated at 400 GHash/s and 0.65 Watts per Gigahash.

Beyond that, the companies have not gone into specifics. It is good news for Seasonic, and should mean a stable system for bitcoin miners (the 93% efficiency rating is nice as well, as it means less wasted electricity and slightly more bitcoin mining profit).

The full press blast is below for reference.

Read more about Bitcoin @ PC Perspective!

Source: Seasonic

Cooler Master Launches New GM Series Power Supplies

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | October 21, 2013 - 01:39 AM |
Tagged: c7, modular psu, gm series, cooler master, 80 Plus Bronze

Cooler Master has launched a new series of power supplies aimed at gamers. The new Cooler Master GM Series is a line of 80 PLUS Bronze rated semi-modular PSUs that come in 450W, 550W, 650W, and 750W models.

Cooler Master GM Series G750M Semi-Modular PSU.jpg

The GM series feature a semi-modular design with a permanently attached ATX and CPU cable paired with modular ports for attaching the flat ribbon power cables with SATA, Molex, and PCI-E power connectors. The power supplies have a single 120mm cooling fan and a 3D circuit board that eliminates some internal cabling and improves cooling as a result (according to Cooler Master). The 80+ Bronze PSUs have a single 12V rail design that can deliver up to 62 amps on the 12V rail. They are also compatible with Haswell’s C6 and C7 sleep states.

Cooler Master GM Series G750M Power Supply Internals.jpg

The G750M, which is the 750W PSU, has the following connectors:

  • 1 x 24 pin ATX
  • 1 x 4+4 pin CPU
  • 4 x 6+2 pin PCI-E
  • 8 x SATA
  • 6 x Molex
  • 1 x Floppy power

More information on the new GM series can be found on the Cooler Master website. As is usually the case with product launches, exact pricing and availability in the US is still unknown.

Corsair's RM750 struggles to match the competition

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 19, 2013 - 03:46 PM |
Tagged: rm750, PSU, modular psu, corsair, 80 Plus Gold, 750w

As the picture below makes clear, the Corsair RM750 is a fully modular PSU which lets you pick and choose exactly what cables you want present in your system.  The single 12v rail is rated at 62.5A which should handle two fairly powerful GPUs, there are four 6+2 PCIe power connectors to do so.  This unit is rated 80 Plus Gold and it did live up to that rating in [H]ard|OCP's testing.  Unfortunately the efficiency and silent operation were the only things [H] was impressed by as this unit really struggled in their testing and even those tests where it could manage a passing grade the PSU lagged behind the competition.

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"We have all read about Corsair power supplies and it is quite likely that many [H]'ers have one in their computer case right now. Today we are looking at Corsair's newest RM series power supply rated at 750 watts. The RM is built, "fully modular and optimized for silence and high efficiency." Let's see how it handles our grueling power tests."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP