Armored: ASUS Z87 Gryphon Reviewed - Thermal Armor Test Results Featured

So we tested the Z87 Gryphon in both open air and a closed in case to get to know the Thermal Armor and answer the question as to if it actually works. 

The Thermal Armor works although you have to test it 'right'. In the interests of testing the design, we wanted to max out the CPU and GPU at the same time so we "Folded" to keep the system toasty. In the interests of consistency, we used the MSI GTX 760 HAWK as the non reference cooler doesn't exhaust the warm air like a stock cooler. Our GPU nudged 70 degrees on occasion but held a maximum temperature of 69 degrees when folding and at 100% load. 

In the open air test bench, I couldn't notice a consistent or clear difference in the sensor readings on the motherboard with the armor fitted compared to the standard Gryphon. I tested it twice but the difference was within margin for error and by no means conclusive. This is because the airflow outside a case negates the effect of the thermal armor.

The water-cooled test in the closed case was a different story. the case had reasonable airflow but due to the water block, airflow across the motherboard was nothing like our Noctua NH-U12S on the open air test bench.

The temperatures in degrees Celsius are below - these were all recorded with an ambient room temperature of 25 degrees. Note that this is with the system under full GPU and CPU load with the CPU overclocked to 4.6GHZ @ 1.3 volts

Sensor Open Air
(Armor Kit)
Open Air
(No Armor)
Good Airflow
Closed Case
(Armor Kit)
Good Airflow
Closed Case
(No Armor)
Closed Case
(Armor Kit)
Closed Case
(No Armor)
CPU  79 80 80   80 79 82
Motherboard  31 32 31  31  35 36
VCORE  50 49 51  52  51 56
VCORE (Black)  42 42 38  40  42 47
DRAM  49 50 46  47  53 58
PCH  43 44 42  42  48 50
PCIE 1  37 37 36  36  44 45
PCIE 2  33 35 33  33  40 41
Ambient Case Internal Temp N/A N/A 32 32 35 37


In the Open Air scenario, the results were consistently within a degree of each other and what we considered to be margin for error. The thermal armor added no thermal advantage in a test bench situation but it did provide physical protection.

In the situation of a standard build with good airflow through the case and across the motherboard, we saw a trend although minor towards the thermal armor adding value in keeping components cool but it wasn't what we would consider to be significant.

When we obstructed the (intake) airflow through the case the difference became more obvious with the VCORE and DRAM benefiting to the tune of about 5 degrees. The ambient temperature also read at a lower  temperature, possibly because of the additional airflow of the 40mm fan

The 40mm fan was not audible on the Silent or Standard ASUS profiles.

When moving the board between cases and installing and removing the thermal armor, it was obvious that I felt more comfortable installing the board with the Thermal Armor fitted. We are always really careful but when you install and uninstall gear for testing and concept build as much as we do, accidents can happen - especially if you are tired or in a hurry.


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Last modified onMonday, 10 March 2014 23:22

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