Corsair have a system in place which allows the AirFlow Pro to measure IC temperature and the six LED's in the centre of the device show current temperature readings. Green is the ideal ‘low temperature' position, then it moves from yellow to red as the memory gets hotter.
This video shows the AirFlow Pro readout adjusting the colours of the LED when the fans are disabled. We obviously have no way to tell precise IC thresholds ourselves, but we have attached several diodes to the heatspreaders to monitor how effective the AirFlow fan system is maintaining lower temperatures. We take our readings from both diodes and average them out (normally within 1-2c). Load temperatures were measured after 1 hour of continual stress testing to ensure an accurate result.
Room ambient temperatures were maintained at 25c throughout testing. Stress testing was performed with Super Pi 32M.
These results show remarkable improvements to memory temperature when the fans are running with heatspreader temperatures down 9c under load and 2c when idle.
Recently we have changed our method of measuring noise levels. For most reviews we have built a system inside a Lian Li chassis with no case fans and have used a fanless cooler on our CPU. We are using a heatpipe based passive power supply and an Intel SSD to keep noise levels to a minimum. The motherboard is passively cooled and we use a Sapphire HD5670 Ultimate Edition graphics card which is also passively cooled. Ambient noise in the room is kept as low as possible. We measure from a distance of around 1 meter from the chassis and 4 foot from the ground to mirror a real world situation.
Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on only the components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.
We use a SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) from a distance of 1 meter.
KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum
Noise levels of the Airflow unit are surprisingly low and blend in with the majority of system fans. We were expecting it to be slightly higher but clearly Corsair have tweaked the dBa to around the same levels as a performance enthusiast system.