EVGA CLC 120, 240, 280mm Liquid / Water CPU Cooler RGB Roundup Review: Page 7 of 8
Posted by Mark Taliaferro on Monday, October 9, 2017 - 8:00am
Testing & Performance
Now keep in mind this represents the 7700K with no chassis fans, no ambient air movement, fan profile set to 100% fan at a CPU temperature of 20oC. Every virtual core (8) driving at 100% for an entire hour. This isn't a circumstance normal computing will ever see in most circumstances.
Running 4.5 GHz
The EVGA CLC 120mm held it's own and tossed us a 29oC Idle and a load of 63oC not bad for a 120mm radiator single fan AIO. The CLC 240mm dropped a 61oC load and 29oC idle. Idle temperatures were incredibly consistent even up to 4.9GHz. The CLC 280mm amazed us pulling close to the EKWB triple radiator and giving a 30oC idle and 59oC. We studied the dual radiator vs triple radiator conundrum for a few moments then realized that the EVGA CLC was driving 74+CFM and the EKWB fans were lower CFM and RPM.
The CLC 120mm ran us a 31oC idle and a 64o C load while the CLC 240mm was an identical idle and a 61oC which isn't bad for all 4 core thumping at 100% for an hour. The Big dog CLC 280MM punched out a 30oC idle and a 60oC load a mere 2o C below the EKWB Predator 360. With the fans at maximum RPM and on an open testbed chassis the 39.9dBA was audible but not hair-raising annoying. Inside a chassis even at 100%, which you won't need all the time anyway, the noise level would be considerably lower.
At 4.7GHz the CLC 120mm was starting to warm up a little but at the end of an hour, it was holding at 71oC. We wouldn't recommend the CLC 120mm for 100% load 24/7 on all 4 cores as you will probably get coolant temperature creep but we wouldn't recommend 24/7 operation at 100% for any computer or cooler. These are extremely harsh conditions for a machine and cooler. The CLC 240mm idled at 32oC and at load gave us a 66oC while the 280mm idled at 31oC and loaded at 64oC just 2oC below the triple radiator kits. Again we suspect if you strapped the excellent EVGA fans on the triple radiator kits they would get better results but we are testing stock out of the box kits.
At 4.8GHz and 1.312v the CLC 120mm was running 73o C load with minor but steady upward coolant temperature creep, the 120mms idle was still low at 31oC. The CLC 240mm idled at 31oC while the load came in at 68oC a respectable temperature for a dual radiator AIO kit. The CLC 280mm was beginning to show it's advantage hitting 65oC load and holding steady while the idle hit 31oC.
The EVGA CLC 120mm really wasn't built for such an extreme OC with 100% core usage and we cut the test off at 85oC which is our cutoff as we don't like to run any of our CPU's past 85oC. We know the upper limit is 100oC and built-in throttling will prevent damage but past 85oC our brains start melting down. Since the CLC 120 isn't built for this we won't use the 4.9GHz test in scoring it. The CLC 240 pulled a 78oC after an hour of brutal 100% CPU utilization so you know we are happy with that result. The EVGA CLC 280mm ran a highly respectable 74oC at 4.9GHz and testing results on all 3 EVGA CLC kits just shows you how well engineered they are.