Thermalright HR-02 Passive Heatsink
To test heatsinks, we boot into Windows and let the system sit idle for 10 minutes, then measure temperatures. We then load the CPU cores to 100% using Prime95 for 20 minutes and then again measure the temperatures. This entire process is done twice and then averaged to avoid any minor discrepancies that might occur. Ambient temperatures are kept at 25?C, and Arctic Cooling MX-2 is used for the thermal interface material. CoreTemp was used to record all temperatures. Temperatures are reported to the nearest whole degree Celcius; anything less than one degree can be attributed to slight testing variances. Frankly, the tolerances at less than one degree are extremely minute for testing such as this. All throttling features in BIOS are disabled.
Our test platform and CPU of choice is LGA1156 with a Core i7 870 quad core CPU at 2.93GHz. Needless to say, this chip is a monster and will likely push the heatsinks to the limit in a passive cooling setup. We’re testing the HR-02 against two of the other top heatsinks on the market, the Noctua D14 and Prolimatech Megahalems. These are the only 3 coolers that should be able to passively cool this setup, so we didn’t bother including any other products; frankly, we know they’d fail.
First up, we have the passive (fanless) cooling results:
As we can see, the HR-02 is doing well off the bat, sitting at the top of the pack in the passive setup. Even with the dual finned tower design, the Noctua D14 cannot match the performance of the Thermalright HR-02. As we suspected, the CPU is pushing these heatsinks to the limit, as the vaunted Prolimatech Megahalems failed the test and we had to stop before damaging the CPU beyond its safe limits.
Next, we installed the TY-140mm fan on each heatsink to see how they fared with active cooling. Below are the results:
Here the temperatures drop significantly, but the HR-02 loses ground against the other two coolers. Our suspicion is the densely-packed fins on the Thermalright heatsink hindered the performance slightly. The TY-140 fan is not a high-output fan, and the higher fin density on the HR-02 was probably not well-suited, whereas the Noctua has lower fin density and a more open dual-tower design. The diference isn’t much though, and the HR-02 is one of the top heatsinks we’ve tested, but it will benefit much more from a higher-RPM fan if you want to go with active cooling.