Evercool Silent Shark CPU Heatsink Review

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Testing

Okay, I should give you some info on my lab.  I have one room with not much more than computer hardware in it.  The only PC running in this room is my testing unit, which is what I’m using to test the Shark.  It has an AMD FX-4170 CPU rated at 4.2Ghz in it, with 8GB of DDR3 (Cut down to 2GB due to this coolers low profile), a 250GB SATA HDD, and an MSI motherboard.  I keep my machine uncluttered, with all wires tied back and every available fan mount fitted with a fan.  I like to think you all allow such generous airflow for your machines as well.  If not, then shame on you.  Oh yeah, and the temperature in the lab is a steady 68° F at all times.

 

The first thing I wanted to do is check the decibel level of the fans.  I wanted to let the machine run for a full hour at idle before checking base temperatures anyway, so I took the opportunity to check the noise level of the fans.  This heatsink has two fans on it.  The middle fan is their Silent Fan, and the outside fan, which can be opened outward up to 30 degrees, is their Silent Shark Fan.  It is named so because of the shark fin appearance of the blades on the fan.  I tested this one first, as it was easier to get to.  Just as advertised, I got right at 16.4 dBA.  Not too shabby.

Now I had the issue of getting a reading on that center fan.  I had to maneuver it out just enough that I could get my microphone up to it.  It didn’t want to let go at first, but I got it out far enough and ran my test.  It clocked in at a respectable 25.8 dBA.  Just for reference, the stock cooler that came with my CPU could get to well over 30 dBA while playing Skyrim.  So this is nice change of pace.

 

Now for the fun part.  I let my computer sit at idle for nearly an hour while I did the fan tests and did some light reading.  Now it was time to see what kind of temperatures this baby could suppress.  I got an idle reading first to see how she did just sitting pretty.  At stock, I was getting 27 C.  With the Silent Shark installed, I was getting 26° C.  That may not seem like much, but in Fahrenheit, that’s a difference of running at over 80 degrees at stock to down at 78 degrees with the Silent Shark.  Not a mind-numbing jump in temps, but this is only the idle test.  Now we’ll do the load, and then the Overclock.


I fired up Prime95 and let it run for fifteen minutes.  What I got at the end of that time frame was a solid 37° C temperatures.  A little higher than the 34° C that the Noctua NH-D14 provided, but certainly better than the 45° C that stock cooling gave me.  Now it’s time to do a little overclocking and see what kind of cooling power she provides with higher loads on the CPU.

 
Left: Silent Shark Idle Temp.  Right: Silent Shark Load Temp

I overclocked my FX 4170 from the stock 4.2Ghz up to 4.8Ghz.  I’ve seen people get theirs over 5Ghz, and that would have been a little better for heat generation, but I just can’t seem to find that stable sweet spot on the 4170 beyond the 4.8 Ghz mark.  But even so, it still generates some heat, so let us see what kind of temp we get at idle on an overclocked CPU.  I let her sit for a little over an hour while I did a little editing and surfed the web, then came back to check the idle OC temp.  26° C.  Exactly the same as the stock idle temp.  Odd, but the load test will show the true jump in temp on an overclocked CPU.

 
Left: Overclocked idle temp.  Right: Overclocked load temp

So I fired up Prime95 once again and let it run for a full half hour.  Fifteen minutes would have been sufficient, but I wanted to make absolutely sure.  I allowed Core Temp to run the whole time to make sure I didn’t miss a single degree fluctuation.  At the end, I was very happy with the results.  39° C on Core Temp.  A degree less than the Noctua NH-D14, and I was overclocked a little higher for this test than for the Noctua.