As we usually test CPU coolers using a Z97 motherboard with an Intel Core i7-4790K, our tests today using the LGA 2011-3 platform are not comparable. However, we devised a special ‘stand-alone’ method of testing the Predator 280.
First, we installed the Predator 280 to the CPU only. Our graphics card – the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW – was cooled by its out-of-the-box air-cooler. With the system in this configuration, we stressed the hardware using Prime 95 and 3DMark Fire Strike to get a ‘baseline’ temperature reading for each component.
After that, we tested again, but this time with the GPU block installed to the GTX 1080, with the graphics card now cooled by the Predator 280 as well. This will show us any temperature improvements gained by watercooling the graphics card.
Our test system today consists of the following components:
- Intel i7-5820K CPU
- MSI X99A SLI Plus Motherboard
- 4X4GB Panram Ninja V 3000MHz DDR4 RAM
- EVGA GTX 1080 FTW GPU
- Corsair RM750i PSU
- OCZ Trion 150 SSD
Creating excess heat
To stress the CPU we ran Prime 95’s (version 26.6) Small FFTs test for 15 minutes. At the same time, we ran 3DMark Fire Strike’s built-in stress test – which simply loops the regular benchmark numerous times. This allows us to stress the CPU and GPU to 100%, generating maximum heat and thus pushing the Predator 280 to its limit.