Low profile CPU cooler tests

Currently testing several low-profile CPU coolers, in my newly (re)built OBS streaming system.

System specifications as follows:

CPU:
Intel i5-13500
Mainboard:
MSI B760I Edge Wifi DDR4
RAM:
32 GB DDR4 3600 (Corsair Vengeance LPX)
Storage:
1 TB NVMe (PCI 4)
PSU:
Fractal Design Ion SFX 650W Gold (SFX-L)
GPU:
Asus Phoenix RTX 3050
Case:
Shiny Snake / Miningeek Neo S400
Case fans:
2x slim 120 mm, 1x Silverstone Air Slimmer ARGB, 1x Scythe Kaze Flex Slim 120
OS:
Manjaro

Coolers used for the test:

  • Be Quiet Silent Loop 2 280 mm – liquid cooling solution in the original build (Meshlicious w/ full mesh panels)
  • Thermalright AXP-120×67
  • Thermalright SI-100 – open panel only
  • Noctua NH-L12S
  • Mars Gaming MCPU220

Base levels for testing:

Room temperature is approx. 21~ C, testing is done with CPU in idle, 100% load and mixed mode (in its original purpose, ie. streaming using OBS Studio, ProjectM visualizer and VLC running).
Optionally doing noise level tests, although the case fans tend to be louder than the CPU fan. Currently using the “neodym magnet” mod, which moves the case fans as far to the front as possible; also rerouting the PSU extension through the GPU slot opening, to reduce heat impact (the original routing sits right above the VRM and PCIe riser cable, the hottest part in the case during CPU loads).

CPU load is being induced using the simple but very effective method called “Yes Stress Test”, which uses the ‘yes’ binary, which is part of the GNU core utils package (ie. part of all normal Linux installations), to utilize one core at a time.
‘yes’ repeats the letter ‘y’ (or any other string you define) until its process is killed, utilizing 100% CPU load per core / thread. Also see the article “How to stress test your CPU on Linux” for a more detailed explaination.

All temperatures are in Celsius.

Test results so far:


CPU coolerFanIdle100% loadMixed loadNotes
Be quiet Silent Loop 21x Silent Wings 3 140 HS, 1x Silent Wings 4 120 HS w/ 120-to-140 Noctua adapter21 °C53 °C50 °CFans set to exhaust; Mixed load after ~4 hours of intense streaming; both open and closed front panel in the Meshlicious (no difference in thermals)
Thermalright AXP-120×67Silverstone Air Slimmer ARGB (intake)24 C71 C63 COpen side panel
26 C74 C65 CClosed side panel; Additional thermals: NVME idle: 32 C, Wifi idle: 33 C; NVME 100% load: 34.9 C, Wifi 100% load: 36 C
Silverstone Airblazer 120RW (intake)25 C74 C59 CSemi-closed panel; Implements a mod using neodym magnets to allow for up to 82 mm of width instead of 65 mm.
Silverstone Airblazer 120RW (exhaust)2677Semi-closed panel using the neodym magnet mod (see above)
Thermalright SI-100Thermalright E-12W-S (ARGB)26 C63 C(tbd)Open side panel; Additional thermals: NVME idle: 34.9 C, Wifi idle: 35 C; NVME 100% load: 36.9 C, Wifi 100% load: 39 C

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