View Full Version : My mini review on the Thermalright XP-90

05-19-05, 05:33 PM
I recently purchased a Thermalright XP-90 after discussing the possibilities of alternate cooling solutions for my Athlon64 3500+ Newcastle in a thread here at nV News. Originally I just wanted to replace the stock fan with a quieter one because right now the CPU fan is the loudest component of my system. It was brought to my attention that maybe I should buy a new heatsink as well to further drop my temperatures.

I started out looking at the Zalman 7700-CU as a possible solution. I was concerned about the weight of it (918g!!) and after reading several reviews decided it wasn’t my best option. I also considered the version of the Zalman cooler that was mostly aluminum but again from reading multiple reviews I wasn’t sure if it was the right choice. I then stumbled across Clay’s review here on nV News on the Thermalright XP-90. I was impressed by the results he was getting as he has the same CPU as me (A64 3500+ Newcastle) and was reporting about the same idle temperature as me.

I decided to order up an XP-90 and a Panaflo M1A fan to go with it. The Panaflo M1A was also recommended to me for its quiet operation and ample air flow. A few days after ordering it, it showed up on my doorstep. Installation was very straight forward as I have a removable motherboard tray in my case. It took about 10 minutes to get the new HSF installed. When I first started up my computer after the installation, my idle temps were the same if not higher than my original idle temps. I determined that the cause of this was poor air flow in my case. I had 3 hard drives sitting in front of my 2 front intake fans and they were blocking most if not all of the air flow to the XP-90. I solved this by putting one of them in a 3.5” bay and the other 2 in a 5.25” bay with the use of a couple of adaptors I bought. This made a huge difference. It dropped my temperatures 10C instantly. This goes to show that good air flow is critical in a case. Now on to the benchmarks.

I performed most of the same benchmarks as Clay did in his review to determine my load temperature. I did this because I wanted to compare my results with the ones in his review. The benchmarks I tested are shown below in the ‘Benchmarks’ section.

System Configuration
AMD Athlon64 3500+ Socket 939 (Newcastle) @ default clocks
Asus A8V Deluxe Rev.1
1 GB (2 x 512MB) Kingston HyperX PC3500 DDR Ram
XFX 6800 Ultra @ default clocks (425/1200) w/NV5 Silencer
Antec True Power 480W
Audigy 2 ZS 7.1 sound card
Lian-Li PC65 Mid-Tower
Samsung 172x 17” LCD
Western Digital 120GB SATA 7200RPM Hard Drive in Raid 0 (2)
Maxtor 80GB 7200RPM Hard Drive (1)
NVIDIA Forceware WHQL 71.89
Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2
Thermalright XP-90 w/ Panaflo M1A

Windows at idle – 30 minutes
Prime95 Small FFT Torture Test – 30 minutes
Prime95 In Place Large FFT Torture Test – 30 minutes
3DMark 2005 (Build 3.60) CPU tests – looped 5 times each
3DMark 2003 (Build 1.20) Full test – Run once
Sisoft Sandra CPU Arithmetic Benchmark – looped 20 times

Alright, here’s the part you want to see, the graph. I borrowed Clay’s idea of backgrounds for the different bars (hope he doesn’t mind :D )


Other notes
Room temperature at time of tests was 18°C
Lian-Li PC65 Mid-Tower has four 80mm fans – (2 front intakes, 1 blowhole on top, and one exhaust on back)
2 front intake fans and blowhole fan set to high speed and back exhaust controlled by motherboard using Q-Fan at 11/15
Case was fully enclosed for all tests
AMD Stock HSF was mounted using Arctic Silver 5 as was the Thermalright XP-90

Although my results aren't as good as Clay's, I'm happy with them. Not only is it running about 10C cooler, it's a lot quieter. Thank you to all those who helped in my decision to buy this awesome product.


05-29-05, 06:09 PM
I was browsing through this forum and I ran across your review. Well done and thanks for putting it together.

I'm using the XP-90 on a 3.4GHz Prescott and it made a huge difference over the stock HSF. My results were similar to Steve Angelly's in his review of the XP-90C.



05-29-05, 06:55 PM
Wow, this post slipped by me. Nice comparison job there einstein_314. I wonder, have your temps dropped a few degrees more since your thermal compound has had time to cure. By the way, what kind of thermal compound did you use? I applied AS5 and used the "rice grain" technique which had better results than spreading it thin with a razor blade.

Also, did you try mounting your fan both blowing towards and also away from the XP-90C?

05-30-05, 11:38 AM
I missed this earlier as well. Good job on the mini-review einstein_314.