Danger Den Cooling Cube

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SUMMARY: A terrific radiator for space constrained cases with lots of “cooling overhead” for double peltier setups.

Cube

I have outlined in black marker how a 120mm fan fits; note that drilling holes to mount the fan will be tricky. I used nylon ties instead.

The guys at Danger Den were nice enough to send over a sample of their new Cooling Cube radiator. What’s great is that the dimensions allow you to fit this into just about any case you have (minis – no). The minimum dimension you need is a space about 4 3/4″ high by 7″ deep – I could even shoehorn this into the front of a mid-tower case! The Cooling Cube opens up a lot of possibilities.

Critical Dimensions:

  • Back Cutout: 4″ x 4 3/8″
  • Clearance Space Required: 5 3/8″ x 4 3/4″ x 7″
  • Copper Tubing: About 110″ total length

Back

Mounting a 120mm fan is best done using nylon zip ties. You can drill mounting holes in the flange, but they are right on the flange’s crease (see top pic for outline). If you want to use bolts, I think self-tapping metal screws would be the best bet. I used nylon zip ties instead without any problems. You might want to smooth down the flange’s edge – it’s sharp and potentially could cut through the zip tie.

Tie

To mount the Cooling Cube, you will have to cut a 4″ x 4 3/8″ opening in the case. You also have to drill mounting holes in the rear flange to bolt it onto the case.

Fan

TESTING METHODOLOGY

To evaluate the Cooling Cube’s performance, I compared it against a slim radiator I have – it measures 5″ x 6 3/4″ x 3/4″. The copper tubing is about 30″ long in total. I measured the total fins surface area and estimate the Cooling Cube at 7 square feet and the slim at 4 square feet.

I used a Danner 1.5 submersible pump, the Swiftech MCW462 waterblock, an ADDA 120mm fan, ABIT KT7, Duron 800 @ 1000, 1.93 volts. The only change in to setup was using a different radiator.

Comparison

I took CPU temps by a thermocouple drilled into the side of the waterblock’s copper plate; CPU back temps were recorded using a thermocouple epoxied to the back of the CPU. Ambient temp was measured at the radiator fan’s intake. I used an Omega HH23 digital thermometer to measure all temps. Prime95 was used to stress the CPU, running for at least one hour to stabilize temps.

TEST RESULTS
Radiator

CPU Temp

Ambient Temp

Delta

C/W

Back Temp

Cooling Cube

28.9 C

21.5 C

7.4 C

0.14

40.6 C

Slim

29.8 C

21.8 C

8.0 C

0.15

44.5 C

Delta = CPU temp – Ambient Temp
C/W = Delta / CPU Watts

Interpreting C/W: For every watt the CPU radiates, the heatsink will cool the core by the (C/W x watts) plus ambient temp. For example, at an ambient temp of 25 C, a C/W of 0.25 with a CPU radiating 50 watts means that the CPU temp will be 50 x 0.25 = 12.5 C over ambient temp, or 37.5 C. The lower the C/W, the better.

I found the difference in back temps interesting – remember, exactly the same setup except the radiator.

I also measured water and radiator exit air temps and found the following:

Radiator

Water Temp

Exit Air Temp

Cooling Cube

23.8 C

23.0 C

Slim

24.9 C

23.2 C

Clearly the slim is not as efficient as the Cooling Cube in dumping waste heat.

You may well ask why you don’t see more of a difference between the two. Don’t forget: Water is much more efficient than air, and we are not cooling something that is very hot compared to the system’s total cooling potential. A CPU generating something like 50 to 75 watts that’s a real challenge for air cooling is a cake walk for water cooling.

All things being equal, the radiator with a larger surface area will cool better than a smaller one. However, diminishing returns sets in fairly quickly given the heat load; if you were to use a car radiator, I don’t think you would see much of a difference compared to the Cooling Cube.

Putting the whole picture together, the Cooling Cube is a good solution for space constrained cases – the 4 3/4″ width opens up a lot of possibilities for front and rear mounting. I also like the mounting flanges as it makes installation much easier. Coupled with a variable speed 120mm fan, the Cooling Cube can give you top notch performance at low noise levels (note that the cooling fins are not so close together to seriously inhibit air flow).

Thanks again to Danger Den for sending the Cooling Cube to test out.

Email Joe


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