Noise Levels & Fan Speeds
Testing ProcedureFan noise testing is done at 25%, 50%, and 100% fan speed, with the dBA level being recorded by a Pyle PSPL25 sound pressure level meter at a distance of 30 cm. The fan(s) RPM results are taken at the same 25%, 50%, and 100% settings. The selected speeds are handled by MSI's Command Center software, and a Lamptron FC6 fan controller is also used as a secondary method of confirming RPM and dBA readings in case MSI's Command Center cannot control the fan(s), which ensures that proper results can still be obtained if the software fails. To give users the noise profile of the tested CPU cooler, testing is done using fan speed percentages instead of various load levels.
The single 120 x 120 x 25 mm fan Raijintek has included with the Themis cooler is definitely not the quietest of the bunch, hitting 49 dBA at full speed. While it almost cracks the 50+ dBA barrier, which would increase noise noticeably, its noise output is mostly due to air being pushed through the heatsink; my review sample suffered no serious motor noise or clicking. The Themis is a bit louder than the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO; however, the difference is just 3 dBA, which, while noticeable, is not drastic.
RPM readings show the included fan to have an RPM of 1152, which is the highest RPM reading of any cooler tested at 25% speed. This continues to hold true at 50%, and it is not until pushed to 100% that the the fan hits 1851 RPM, falling back behind the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO and others. Its high RPM also explains the high dBA readings.
Overall RPM and dBA readings show that the Raijintek Themis needs higher RPM fans to beat the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO, which increases noise levels. While not enough to be annoying, it is a noticeable difference, and its improved cooling performance in exchange for a little bit more noise is worth it at this price range.