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Review: Intel Ivy Bridge CPU 7-way cooler group test

by Parm Mann on 27 July 2012, 09:44 4.0

Tags: Arctic, be-quiet, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Noctua, NZXT, Sapphire, SilverstoneTek, Thermaltake (3540.TWO)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabj5z

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Benchmarks: Core i7-3770K at 3.5GHz

For our first benchmark, our Intel Core i7-3770K processor is dialled in at stock settings, which provides a Turbo Boost speed of 3.7GHz when all cores are working flat out.

The chip understandably gets hot, but it's still a surprise to find Intel's reference cooler struggling to keep core temperature below 80ºC. It's a shame, really, that Intel is no longer bundling a DBX-B tower heatsink with its top-of-the-range K-series chip.

But Intel's merely-average reference cooler leaves the door ajar for third-party manufacturers, and all of the coolers in our round-up are a clear step up. It's no surprise to see that two of the largest coolers on show - SilverStone's Heligon HE01 and be quiet!'s Dark Rock Pro 2 - lead the pack, but the surprise package here is Arctic Cooling's Freezer 13; it's a noticeable upgrade over Intel's stock cooler and costs only £20.

All of the non-reference coolers are able to keep the stock-clocked Core i7-3770K running at comfortable temperatures under extreme load, but what happens when you bump the chip up to 4.4GHz and inject a little extra voltage into its veins?