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Air Cooling Question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ok so just came across a post a bit ago commenting on these vendata cooling systems (specifically a review) or what ever - I never realized before but how come when we review cooling systems - especially air - we rarely record the room temperature???

I know ive read loads of different reviews on these things and now that I thought of it - I don't remember ever seeing a listed room temperature...

I didnt even consider it when i wrote it down for my System stats...

Any comments? Shall we start keeping track of this? I mean it must be important to some degree correct - If i set a air conditioner right next to my computer and run it on full blast and get 4.8GHz w/ my q6600 w/o over heating it does that still count?? LOL


Lets hear it.
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post #2 of 11
Listing ambient temps are really important when talking about aircooling, and you'll actually find a sticky'd thread at the top of the aircooling forum about it. As for the reviews, most of the ones that i've looked at have measured the temperature above the ambient. Thats how frostytech.com and Benchmarkreviews do it anyway.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.ph...1&limitstart=6

the temps listed there are how high it was OVER the ambient, and it lists the ambient as being between 20-21c during the course of the review.

You're right though, its a common mistake to forget about ambient... especially when it goes from winter to summer, and people start freaking out about their temps.
Edited by logan - 7/6/08 at 11:05pm
post #3 of 11
The review states 24.5 ambient so isn't it a matter of subtracting?
That's what the graphs show anyway.
post #4 of 11
In reviews it is often not shown because it's only important when comparing two people with the same cooler or same case, etc. In a review when they are all the the same room/case, you can see the performance just with the CPU temps.
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrienspawn View Post
In reviews it is often not shown because it's only important when comparing two people with the same cooler or same case, etc. In a review when they are all the the same room/case, you can see the performance just with the CPU temps.
That doesn't mean the ambient temperature stayed the same throughout the test. Testing one fan/heatsink will usually take at least an hour, and if you're testing quite a few coolers, you could go from mid-day heat to late evening cool if you're not paying attention. Especially given how close most high-end coolers already are, even a few degrees difference in ambient temperature can make or break a cooler.
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post #6 of 11
It's a terrible mistake to not account for the ambient temperature when it comes to anything requiring air for cooling. Even in water cooling, the ambient temperatures (the temperature of the room, not necessarily the temperatures inside the case) have some effect on your radiator's performance. Radiators depend on fans, after all. Granted, the effect may not be as pronounced on straight air cooling, but there is still an effect which should never be discounted.

In my opinion, the best way to measure the effectiveness of a cooling solution is to measure peak load temperatures (such as that generated by a program like Orthos/Prime95, OCCT, or S&M) and get the difference compared to the ambient temperature. The smaller the difference between ambient and peak load temperatures (delta T), the more efficient the cooling solution is.
    
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Especially given how close most high-end coolers already are, even a few degrees difference in ambient temperature can make or break a cooler.
That is especially my point.
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayvinAzn View Post
That doesn't mean the ambient temperature stayed the same throughout the test. Testing one fan/heatsink will usually take at least an hour, and if you're testing quite a few coolers, you could go from mid-day heat to late evening cool if you're not paying attention. Especially given how close most high-end coolers already are, even a few degrees difference in ambient temperature can make or break a cooler.
If it does take a long time, then usually what they do is record temps right before running each test.

Usually (I'm guessing) the tests must be done in a big, probably conditioned room. The people who do the tests (other than frostytech) probably know very well about the effects of ambients and wait to achieve the same ambients before each test.

At least that's what they should do, am I living in a dream world?
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post #9 of 11
I'm sure most review sites to record it, but they should make note of the temperatures recorded in each test. I'm no physicist or anything, but I think certain types of coolers may actually perform marginally better in cooler/hotter environments. Something to do with fin spacing - in a hotter environment tighter-spaced fins will most likely be ideal, but in a cooler environment having wider spacing between your fins allows more cool air to hit the fins.

Or maybe that's a poor extrapolation on my part. At any rate, major sites should definitely list what ambient temperatures were at the time of testing. I know some sites test in unrealistically cold environments (like 15c), which will give you much different results than most of us living in ~25c ambient environments will get.
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post #10 of 11
I agree, RayvinAzn. And your theories regarding fin spacing and how ambient air temps might affect cooler performance depending on the fin spacing are interesting. (They are worthy of some private testing. )

Air cooling is extremely contextual. As the sticky in this section says, "Your temps are meaningless without info on ambient temperatures."
    
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