To test CPU coolers we boot the PC up with a freshly installed copy of Windows Vista and measure temperatures under idle and load states. The onboard temperature sensor is disregarded and instead the CPU’s own diode is used.
For idle testing, we simply let the rig sit doing absolutely nothing for 30 minutes and take the most representative temperature of the last 10 minutes. The same is used for the load testing, but instead of letting the PC do nothing; we load all four cores to 100% using Prime95
The thermal paste used on all the coolers was Noctua NT-H1 and all temperatures were recording using Core Temp. Temperature readings for both idle and load were taken with the i7 920 at stock speed (2.66GHz) and overclocked to 3.6GHz. In order to achieve the overclock, the base clock was set to 180 with Vcore and QPI voltages of 1.35 and also an IOH voltage of 1.24.
Ambient Temperature was 20 degrees Celsius.
Looking at the temperature readings, it’s easy to see that the Tuniq cooler is situated somewhere in the middle of pack. Sure, the performance is pretty respectable but I can’t help but feel it’s a little sub-standard for a cooler of this size and quality – perhaps the central mounted fan or HDT technology lets the product down but it’s hard to pinpoint an exact area as to why the cooler doesn’t challenge more at the high end.
The noise outputs were very good though and this is one area that the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme does much better in. It’s just about audible but certainly not high end to cause any real issues.
The cooler comes in at around the £40 which is the sort of price tag we’ve come to expect for coolers of this sort of build quality and size – too high!