In the benchmarks that will be run, we used an Intel 4770k clocked at 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost and the low power state enabled. Turbo Boost allows the 4770k to hit up to 3.9GHz right out of the box. Stock results will be utilizing auto for the multiplier and v-core, which reads 1.1750v in Core Temp, and overclocking will utilize manually entered multiplier and voltage numbers. In this case, our Intel Core i-7 4770k was able to obtain a 4.4 GHz overclock at 1.185 volts.
To record temperatures, we used Core Temp, logged the temperatures for 15 minutes or while each program was active, and averaged all 4 cores.
Slimming down on the benchmarks from previous reviews, we’ll be strictly using Prime95 to stress the CPU and no games. This will peg all four cores and eight threads to 100% with the In-Place Large FFT test, which will help us to understand exactly how hot this CPU can get with each cooler. The extreme punishment from Prime95 will allow you to be the judge if this cooler can handle your gaming or encoding needs, as you will never see above these load numbers.
Ambient temperature during all testing was 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since this is a reset of our cooler reviews, we pulled out a few of the top performing coolers from previous reviews and will have them for comparison against the cooler that we’re reviewing today. You might also notice that numbers are a bit different from the previous review, and the answer is pretty easy. Since this is a brand new computer on a different motherboard, several different components driving it, different operating system, and a different ambient temperature, this all results in completely new and different data.
ALL COOLERS will be using Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound, which requires zero cure time.
Overall Results: This is a reset of our cooling, and I did not have a stock Intel HSF handy to compare these air coolers to. Instead, we pulled out a few liquid coolers to start. We know that air coolers are nowhere near as efficient as liquid coolers, but some sure can put up a fight.
I was a bit disappointed with the Prime95 test results on the MasterAir Pro 3, as we’re nearly pegging the thermal limits on the stock frequency. When the CPU was overclocked, the CPU did throttle briefly when the MasterAir Pro 3 was installed, but the MasterAir Pro 4 did not. This goes to show that the $5 difference means a lot of performance gain. Overall they both did decent, however.