In the past I have focused my testing of coolers to Intel CPUs because they were the most challenging to cool and consumed the most power. Some of you may remember that when Alder Lake was released, I remarked that the thermal difficulty of cooling the 12900K was more difficult compared to prior generation products, and in turn most coolers were unable to keep the CPU under TJMax under the most intensive workloads.
Raptor Lake was even harder to cool, and as a result I had to change my testing methods because literally no cooler (at least, none that I had tested) was able to keep the CPU under TJmax under the most intensive of workloads.
Well, that’s no longer just an Intel thing – modern AMD CPUs are also designed to run at their peak temperatures during their most intensive workloads. As the manufacturing processes of CPUs continue to shrink their thermal density continues to rise – meaning that the difficulty of cooling processors will only increase in the future.
I have been interested to see how different levels of cooling performance effect both AMD and Intel platforms for some time. Thanks to our partner ASRock this is now possible – they us a sample of their B650E Taichi for testing purposes. I will be taking a closer look at this motherboard in the future – but in the meantime check out reviews of this pristine motherboard on Funkykit & Tom’s Hardware.
For this first review, we’ll be checking out IceBerg Thermal’s G4 Silent and focusing specifically on how AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700x performs with entry level air cooling – but future reviews will include testing on both Intel and AMD platforms to explore how different levels of cooling effect both platforms.
Introducing IceBerg Thermal’s IceSLEET G4 Silent Air Cooler
Iceberg Thermal is an American company based in Tempe, Arizona. We’ll be starting our thermal testing of AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X with IceBerg Thermal’s G4 Silent, which they sent us for testing.
While on the books Iceberg Thermal was only founded 3 years ago, their team of experts have over 15 years experience designing cooling products. Their companies lineup currently includes fans, air coolers, thermal pastes, and more. Their expertise doesn’t end with consumer products – they are also experts in industrial cooling solutions with some of their clients including BMW, Panasonic, ASUS, and many other well known brand names! I briefly spoke with IceBerg Thermal’s CEO at CES 2023, you can read more about that at our previous article: A new player enters the cooling game: chatting with Iceberg Thermal at CES 2023
While it’s not something that would sway my mind in a purchase, I really do appreciate the efficiency of IceBerg Thermal’s packaging. The G4 Silent is packed in a small cardboard box. Opening the box first reveals another box – the accessories. Below it is a box which surrounds the heatsink and fan, and is easily disassembled.
The G4 Silent comes with pre-applied cooling paste, a single fan with a unique way of attaching it to the cooler which makes removing – and installing – the fan easier, a quick start guide, and mounting hardware for both AMD and Intel platforms.
AM4 and AM5 Installation
Installing Iceberg Thermal’s IceSLEET G4 Silent was extremely easy on my ASRock B650E Taichi.
Step One: Remove the default retention module
Step Two: Install the standoffs and mounting brackets
IceGale 120 Series fans with Slide Lock Technology, 150K hours rated lifespan
There’s more to a cooler than just it’s heat sink, the fans paired with a cooler have a huge impact both total cooling potential and noise levels. Included with the IceSLEET G4 Silent is a 120mm IceGALE series fan with slide lock technology.
The IceSLEET G4 Silent has a unique method of securing the fan utilizing slide locking technology which makes the installation – and removal – of the fan much easier than using standard fan clips. This not only makes it simpler to install, but also improves its RAM clearance
As I have limited time to test coolers on this platform, today’s article will be more of an overview than a typical review. For thermal results, I’ve tested the CPU in three configurations: At the default PPT, with a 95W PPT enforced, and with a 75W PPT enforced.
At the default PPT of 105W, the most intensive loads can be difficult to cool and often result in the CPU running at TJMax. As such, we’ll be looking at 3 Metrics in this situation: Noise levels, watts cooled, and clockspeeds maintained.
The total system noise levels were positively superb, measuring under 40DBA. While the comparison results above are limited, below are results at full fan speeds from my Intel thermal testing rig. Keep in mind that these results are not precisely comparable due to differences in configurations.
In this situation where the CPU hits TJmax, another metric which is useful to compare cooling performance is the total watts cooled by the cooler.
From the limited testing above, we can see that higher end cooling solutions will have limited returns when paired with AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X. Fractal’s Celsius+ S28, which is one of the best liquid coolers on the market, was only able to cool 14.7% more watts than IceBerg Thermal’s entry-level IceSLEET G4 Silent in this scenario.
How well does that 14.7% higher power consumption while using stronger cooling translate into improved performance? Not very much at all. At 19298 vs 18774 points, we’re looking at 2.7% total increase in performance overall. This is a much smaller gap than I would have expected from Intel’s i9-13900K, where I’ve seen a 6% drop in performance using basic air cooling.
95W PPT & 75W PPT
Imposing even a minor power consumption limit on AMD’s Ryzen 7700X reduces cooling difficulty dramatically, resulting in lower temperatures.
With a 95W PPT, IceBerg Thermal’s G4 Silent kept the CPU at 58.5 C over a 22C ambient temperature (80.5C actual temp), with a total system noise level of 39.6 DBA. This lowers Cinebench performance slightly, down to 18425points vs 18774 at the default settings.
Lowering the PPT to 75W further reduces the cooling difficulty, bringing temperatures down to 48.9 over ambient. Total system noise level is virtually unnoticable at these levels, measuring only 37.3 DBA.
Unfortunately, at this time I do not have comparative data for the 75W & 95W PPT scenarios – but as I continue to test other coolers I will expand the results with more comparative information.
IceBerg Thermal’s G4 Silent is an excellent pairing with AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X. This cooler remains true to it’s name, running whisper silent even in the hottest of workloads. Despite being “only” a single tower air cooler, it provides performance (when paired with Ryzen 7700X) just a tiny bit behind high end liquid coolers.
For it’s combination of value, silence, and performance I am awarding Iceberg Thermal’s G4 Silent our Gold Tier Award. You can’t go wrong with the G4 Silent.
For more information on how this cooler performs, I’ve also tested it with Intel’s i9-13900K. That review is available at Boring Text Reviews.
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