Testing Results & Conclusion
We use CPU cooler test data from previous reviews to provide standardized results for comparison. For this review, we will be evaluating the EVGA 240 CLC against the Zalman Reserator 3 Max Dual, the Gamer Storm Captain 240, and the Arctic Liquid Freezer 240, because each cooler makes use of a 2x120mm heat exchanger.
As previously mentioned, our setup of the EVGA 240 CLC is expelling warm air generated by our 4.2 GHz Intel i7-5930K CPU through the top vent of the Corsair Graphite 760T case. The EVGA 120mm fans are factory configured as push, while also providing the most appealing look for the cooler.
The standard CPU load test yields some very solid results for the EVGA 240 CLC. Reported load temps show a difference of 11°C or greater for both 100% and 50% fan speeds compared to others in the group. Although the EVGA cooler uses the highest fan speeds of the test group to produce the lowest temperatures, interestingly enough, the Arctic Liquid Freezer 240, which has the second lowest temperatures, has the slowest fan speeds at just over 1400 RPM. It would appear that these two coolers utilize different approaches in fan and radiator efficiency to achieve their goals.
And speaking of those EVGA 2400 RPM fans, they do produce a significant amount of noise while running at full tilt, although not quite to the degree we experienced from the Gamer Storm Captain 240. Decibel readings on the EVGA 240 CLC at full and half speeds are in the range of what you would expect, although not to the whisper levels achieved by the Arctic Liquid Freezer 240.
The EVGA 240 CLC turns out very good cooling results, allowing the cooler a respectable, all-around acoustic efficiency rating, but it still lags behind the Arctic Liquid Freezer 240. The thermal test results of the EVGA 240 CLC just weren’t enough to overcome the superb acoustic levels of the Arctic Liquid Freezer 240 when both of these tests are evaluated together.
Seeing how much of an impact the fans made both from a cooling and sound value perspective leads us to an interesting evaluation when we now factor in cooler retail price. The EVGA 240 CLC falls behind the Arctic Liquid Freezer 240 in this category; the latter shows a commanding spread over all coolers in the test group. In the end, the EVGA’s noise levels and slightly higher pricing weren't outweighed by its solid thermal performance.
Given that the EVGA 240 CLC offers very minimal difference in acoustic value (2.5dB) between full and half speeds, there is little reason not to run the fans at full speed and take advantage of the +20% cooling difference. The available EVGA software suite does provide the ability to wrangle those noisy fans, though, as setting custom fan curves could easily keep the system running quietly until high performance is absolutely needed. This can be easily customized from the desktop UI, whereas the other coolers in the comparison can only be controlled via BIOS or other third party PWM controllers. The EVGA Flow Control Software alone provides substantial value: you get the ability to quantify the performance of the EVGA 240 CLC in the way that best suits your needs with a simple click of a mouse.
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