Bevy of Blocks

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SUMMARY: Watch out copper; here come new waterblocks that can cool CPUs as well as you but at lower costs.

Chip Eckert over at Overclock-Watercool sent me three very interesting waterblocks. The first one is a bored out aluminum block that opens up a bunch of water channels for extra cooling. The other two are Lexan blocks that encase aluminum heatsinks; one small one and one using a Swiftech heatsink.

Six Blocks

At the same time, I received another of Surlyjoe’s “copper beehive” blocks, this one using 3/8″ tubing instead of 1/4″. After testing the first beehive with 1/4″ tubing, I wondered what difference 3/8″ tubing (increased waterflow) would make in performance. Surlyjoe is quick if nothing else – a new beehive with 3/8″ tubing shows up on my doorstep.

THE TEST

The usual rig: Two stacked peltiers (about 100 watts), Swiftech radiator and 150 gph Beckett in-line pump. Each block was greased and mounted on the peltiers and temperatures recorded. I included the copper BeCooling unit as a reference.

RESULTS

The following table lists observed temps:

Waterblock

Temp

BeCooling

-29.0

Surlyjoe 3/8″

-28.7

OC-Watercool Swiftech

-28.5

Surlyjoe 1/4″

-27.8

OC-Watercool Squat

-27.5

OC-Watercool Bored

-27.3

A good copper block is hard to beat, but these designs are in the same neighborhood. Of particular interest is the Swiftech design – a good air-cooled heatsink will make a good water-cooled heatsink as well; should be no surprise there.

Guess what – size does matter – at least when it comes to water flow. Surlyjoe’s two blocks, the same design except for tubing diameters, show the benefit of the larger size – about 1 C better performance. Considering the cost difference is nil, this is just smart construction.

All told, a bunch of interesting designs which show that, with some creative thought, high performance waterblocks can come in a host of different sizes, shapes and materials.

PS: Chip has met my challenge for a $50 CPU water cooling system – check out what he’s offering HERE. Looks like for not much more than an Alpha, you can see what water cooling can do for you.

Email Joe


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