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ID-Cooling SE-204K Review


ID-Cooling SE-204K Testing:

Testing of the SE-204K will be accomplished by installing the cooler into the test system case, rather than a test bench. Most systems are built and mounted into a (relatively) sealed chassis, so this method will be used to generate the idle and load results to give a real world view as to the cooling performance one can expect, based on the test system listed below. Of course, your results may vary by several degrees due to case design, case fan placement, and ambient air temperature. The CPU load is generated by Prime 95 version 27.9 for a period of two hours, with a cooldown period of one hour after the computer has returned to an idle state. Then an overclock of 4.2 GHz is applied, and the system is retested. Real Temp 3.70 is used to log the temperatures with the highest and lowest averages across the four cores of the Core i7 4770K test CPU. Ambient temperatures are kept at 24 °C during the testing to minimize the effect of temperature variations. Each cooler is tested with the manufacturer-supplied thermal compound as delivered.

Testing Setup:

Comparison Heat sinks:







ID-Cooling was nice enough to send us a second fan, so we will be testing with two fans. The SE-204K comes in with single and dual fan idle temps at the lower end of the chart at 26 °C, which is not a surprise. When we get the heat rolling with a load, them temps peak at 79 °C with one fan and 78 °C with two fans. Not much of a difference, but a degree is a degree and I'll take every one I can get. And staying below 80 °C is certainly reasonable.

Now when we overclock, the idle temps of course jump up a bit to 35 °C with one fan and 34 °C with two fans. Nothing remarkable, and again there is a one degree separation between one and two fans. Time for the overclock with a full load on the CPU and this is where we really crank up the heat. At 4.2GHz things get a little toasty, but the dual fans show more of a benefit. Single fan temp hits 88 °C, which is pushing my comfort level, but the dual fans keep things a little more tolerable with a four degree drop to 84 °C. And even with two fans spooled up, the fan noise was not annoying. You can hear them, but they don't steal the show.

Would I want to run it at 80+ °C 24/7? No, but you have to keep in mind that most people don't hammer on their systems by overclocking and then putting a constant load on the CPU, but if you do, you will likely want to invest in a larger cooler with more capacity. As for being a daily driver in a mild gaming rig? Well. the SE-204K can do the job just fine.

  1. ID-Cooling SE-204K: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. ID-Cooling SE-204K: Closer Look (Continued)
  3. ID-Cooling SE-204K: Specifications & Features
  4. ID-Cooling SE-204K Testing: Setup & Results
  5. ID-Cooling SE-204K: Conclusion
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