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Thermalright XP-90 - Page 1 of 4

INTRODUCTION

Stock cooling solutions by both AMD and Intel have improved over the years. Like they say though, there's always room for improvement. If the typical 50°C~60°C load temperatures on your AMD system bother you then read on. The Thermalright XP-90 will not disappoint.

The Thermalright XP-90 has been available for quite a few months now. During that time, it has become a very popular choice for cooling many of today's CPUs. I will be testing it in both horizontal and vertical orientations as well as with the fan blowing down into the XP-90 and pulling air away from it.

PACKAGING & CONTENTS

The product packaging follows Thermalright's established plain cardboard box. I've always liked this minimalist approach.


Brown Box

The best part is how Thermalright uses clever folding, placement, and cut-out techniques to make the packaging very secure.

Look Inside

This inner folded box area is ingenious as it basically suspends the XP-90 in the center of the box without any direct contact to the external sides. This may not seem worth mentioning except that the XP-90's fins are very thin. So thin, in fact, that simply brushing your hand across them can cause them to fold over. Regarding heat dissipation, though, thin is good...very good.

Origami Anyone?

So, what did Thermalright manage to place in this little brown box? Everything you'll need for mounting either an 80mm or 92mm fan is included:

  • XP-90 w/ 2 Mounting Clips
  • 80mm Fan Wire Clips (2)
  • 90/92mm Fan Wire Clips (2)
  • Thermal Paste in Syringe
  • White Rubber Vibration Damper Strips (2)
  • K8 Adaptive Mounting Bracket
  • M3 15mm Screws
Contents

But what about the fan? Right? Well, this review is not of Thermalright's retail package (which does include a fan). Thermalright also offers the XP-90 without a fan so you can save a few bucks and choose your own fan. Online retailers like CrazyPC.com offer a few different fan options that you can add to your order or simply order with no fan and use one that you may already have.

CrazyPC provided me with the Sunon 92x25mm, 56cfm, 3400RPM, 39dBA fan.

I also had an Enermax 92mm Clear Ultra-Cool Speed Dial that I love and decided to test with:

  • Low: 1800 RPM, .13A, 1.56W, 47.34 CFM, 28.0 dB
  • Medium: 2300 RPM, .20A, 2.4W, 52.25 CFM, 32.6 dB
  • High: 2800 RPM, .28A, 3.36W, 64.15 CFM, 34.3 dB

NOTE: The Enermax I used is a slightly different model than the one CrazyPC offers. Both are manually controllable variable speed fans via rheostat. Below are the specs for the one CrazyPC offers:

  • Enermax 92x25mm Adjustable Fan - 3pin with RPM, 12vdc, 1200-2500RPM, 41-52CFM, 26-33dBA.

I also tested with a third fan; the stock 80mm fan that came with my AMD Athlon 64 3500+.

For a base to compare against I tested with the stock AMD heat sink and fan as well.

TESTING CONFIGURATION

System Specifications

  • ASPIRE Turbo Case X-Dreamer Black Mid-Tower
  • AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Socket 939 (Newcastle) @ default clocks
  • Gigabyte GA-K8NS Ultra-939
  • Mushkin 1GB(512MBx2) PC-3500 Level One Dual Pack
  • Antec True Power 480W
  • Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 40GB 7200RPM ATA-133 Hard Disk Drive (2)
  • Hitachi CM721F CRT Monitor - 19-Inch
  • 32-Bit Color / Vsync Disabled / 85Hz Refresh Rate
  • NVIDIA ForceWare WHQL 66.93 - Quality - Default Optimization Settings
  • NVIDIA nForce 5.10
  • Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft DirectX 9.0c
  • BFG Technologies GeForce 6800 Ultra OC @ default clocks (425/1100)
  • Thermalright XP-90
  • Stock AMD 80mm, Sunon 92mm, and Enermax 92mm fans (details above)
Benchmarks
  • Windows at idle - 20 minutes
  • Far Cry v1.3 - Research Map - 1600x1200 - 4xAA/8xAF - looped 10 times
  • Sandra 2005 - CPU Arithmetic Benchmark and CPU Multi-Media Benchmark - looped 20 times
  • Prime95 Small FFT and In Place Large FFT Torture Tests - 30 minutes each
  • 3DMark 2005 (1.20 build patch)
  • 3DMark 2003 (3.60 build patch)
  • SpeedFan v4.20 (compared against case thermal probe for reference/accuracy)

Environmental Notes

  • Ambient room temperature was 20°C
  • Ambient case temperature was 25°C
  • ASPIRE Turbo Case X-Dreamer Black Mid-Tower with four (4) Vantec Stealth fans - (one topside blowhole, two rear exhaust and one side intake)
  • Case was fully enclosed for all tests.
  • Arctic Silver 5 was used instead of the provided Thermalright thermal compound.

 

Next Page: Photos & Specifications

 


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