Thermaltake ISGC-400 CPU Cooler - Installation and Testing

Article Index
Thermaltake ISGC-400 CPU Cooler
Features and Specifications
Installation and Testing
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

 

Thermaltake ISGC-400 CPU Cooler Testing and Installation:

Much like the installation of the ISGC-300, the ISGC-400 installation was easy and pain-free. For all applications you're going to have to remove the motherboard, however once you've got it removed from the case you'll be able to get the ISGC-400 installed properly in under 10 minutes. 

 

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Thermaltake ISGC-400 - Heatsink Installed (no fan)
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Thermaltake ISGC-400 - Heatsink Installed (no fan

 

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Thermaltake ISGC-400 - Installed (Top View)
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Thermaltake ISGC-400 - Installed (Side View)

 

As you cans see in the pictures above the ISGC-400 has a very space-efficient design and fits right over top of your memory and should allow you to get a pretty hefty system into a small case. In these pictures I have a Radeon HD-4870 installed and the cooler isn't much higher than the card and on a Mini-ATX board like the one pictured you can pack a high-end system into a small space.

 

Testing:

Test Setup:

We've recently re-designed our Cooler testing setup to show how new coolers are able to handle the new quad-core CPU's from both AMD and Intel, which produce more heat than traditional Dual and Single Core CPU's. We will be providing test results from both a Intel Quad Core processor (LGA775), as well as a AMD Phenom X4 CPU (AM2+) in all our reviews to give readers a better estimate of how this cooler will work on their CPU, as well as a better estimate of what the cooler being reviewed is capable of.

For Intel (LGA775) testing we will be using the Intel Quad Core Q9400 CPU, which produces 95 Watts of heat. This could be considered a mid-range processor, and while most Dual-Core processors produce ~50-80 Watts of heat, this should give you a pretty accurate estimate of what type of temperatures a cooler will provide you with. Click here to go to Intel's Processor Spec Finder website to find out how many watts of heat your Intel processor produces.

For AMD (AM2+) testing we will be using the AMD Phenom X4 Quad-Core 9950 CPU, which produces 140 Watts of heat and is currently one of the hottest running processors available. This processor should give us a very good estimate of how a cooler will perform with one of the hottest CPU's available. Click here to go to AMD's Processor Spec Finder to find out how many of watts your AMD processor is producing.

For both AMD and Intel testing, we have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp v.0.99.4. CoreTemp takes a temperature from the CPU core, and allows for much more uniform results across different motherboard and CPU platforms. These temperatures may seem higher than other temperature recordings; because chances are they are taking temperature recordings using the diode underneath the CPU, which isn't able to be as accurate, and can really fluctuate between different brands of motherboards.

For all tests we are using the Highspeed PC Top Deck Tech Station , and we are using no additional cooling in our testing. All temperatures are recorded in a controlled environment that is set to 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) to provide fair results between coolers.

For all tests we use Arctic Cooling MX-2 High-Performance Thermal Compound (Paste), We use the same thermal paste in all our testing so that we can keep our results consistent. If a cooler is shipped with thermal paste pre-applied, it will be removed and we will re-apply it with Arctic Cooling MX-2 to provide fair results.

 

Intel Test System:

 

AMD Test System:

 

 

Here come the testing results....

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

In our Intel testing we found the ISGC-400 to do pretty well, especially when you consider the fact that it is more of a "low-profile" cooler. When compared to the ISGC-300 cooler from Thermaltake in which there are quite a few similarities (including the same fan), I found the performance to be quite similar and it was actually closer to the ISGC-300 than I was expecting.

Overall I was pretty impressed with the performance of the ISGC-400 in our Intel Quad-Core testing even though the performance didn't set any records it was more than able to keep up which is pretty impressive for a cooler with a lower profile than most of the other coolers we were comparing it against.

Let's see how the ISGC-400 did against our AMD Quad-Core.

 

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

The results are in and as you can see in the chart above the ISGC-400 was able to handle the 140 Watt AMD CPU without any problems. The final results weren't groundbreaking; however it wasn't too far off from most of the other coolers we tested it against. While the drop in temperature when compared to stock cooling wasn't huge, the biggest thing to note is that while reducing stock cooling temperatures the ISGC-400 also reduces noise significantly and may be able to fit into places where other coolers can't.

Overall in both the AMD and Intel testing I was very pleased, and when considering how much lower of a profile the ISGC-400 is, I'd say the results were very favorable and make a strong case for this cooler.