Testing Configuration and Procedures

Rather than use one of our normal test benches I put together an ITX build specifically for testing this configuration. Ideally, I would have been using an even smaller case, but the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX is small enough to test some fitment issues but it does allow for taller heatsinks than true SFF cases would allow so keep that in mind. From there I mostly just patched together what I could find including a Corsair RM650X that they sent over to help.The ram was picked because the two kits were the shortest and tallest kits I had on hand with known Ryzen support.

Testing Hardware

Case

Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX

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Motherboard

Gigabyte AB350N Gaming WiFi

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Video Card

Asus Strix RX 570

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CPUs

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X

AMD Ryzen 3 1200

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Ram

Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4

GeIL EVO X RGB DDR4

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SSD

Apacer AS720

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Power Supply

Corsair RM650X

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Thermal Paste

Noctua NT-H1

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OS

Windows 10 Pro

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With the hardware, all put together I also locked down the testing plan. The goal here was to cover most questions you would have when looking at ITX coolers while also making the testing repeatable for anyone who would want to check our work or compare the results of one of their own coolers to any of the coolers tested.

Testing Procedures

Fitment

The goal with fitment testing is to make sure each of the cooler will fit the cramped ITX board. While doing this I am also checking for compatibility with both a low profile ram and a tall ram. In addition, we are documenting the overall cooler height from the CPU pad to the top of the cooler. Not every case is going to fit every cooler tested, but with the heights, you should be able to figure out if it will work with your case.

Noise Testing

The noise testing is done with the side panel off and the fan manually set to 50% and 100% fan speeds. The meter is 18 inches away from the fan when testing. This is done using a Protmex PT02 Sound Meter that is rated IEC651 type 2 and ANSI S1.4 type 2. Tests are done set weighted to A and set to a slow response using the max function. The ambient noise level in the testing area is 33.3 decibels using the test settings.

Cooling Testing

The temperature testing is all done using the stress test in AIDA64 set to FPU only for the maximum heat then again with CPU Stress for a more real world test. Onboard temperature results are typically not the most accurate, but in this case, I am comparing results directly from the exact same CPU and motherboard for each cooler. Each cooler was tested with three different CPUs (see the hardware listing). I also did every test twice, once at stock fan settings and another with the fan at 100%. Each test requiring at least 15 minutes of full load unless it gets dangerously hot. If the results are still climbing at 15 minutes the test will be extended out until an equilibrium is reached. It is also important to know that because I will be swapping CPUs out often I can’t use the stock thermal compound that is included with the coolers. For consistency, I am using Noctua NT-H1, simply because that is what I have an ample amount on hand of.

 

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