Four Water Blocks Reviewed

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SUMMARY: A new face on the scene, Overclock-Watercool, introduces an aluminum water block that is user-customizable.

Chip Eckert, who runs Overclock-Watercool, sent me an email about his product line and was nice enough to send a very interesting design for testing.

Four Blocks

The Overclock-Watercool block measures 2″ x 2″ x 1″ (50 mm x 50mm x 25mm)

As you can see from the pic above, Chip’s design bristles with plugs. What’s great about this idea is that the user can unscrew the hose barbs and place them in any hole – tremendous flexibility! The pic below compares the profile for each block; the Overclock-Watercool unit is the highest – sort of looks like a pillbox. I ran a test to compare this design to others by BE Cooling, CoolChip and 2CoolComputer.

Lineup

THE TEST

The test is fairly simple – I use two stacked peltiers to simulate a 100 watt heat source. The fan is the BE Cooling coupled with a 120mm 12 volt fan; the water pump is the Becket G90 (90 gph). The blocks were run over two separate tests and results were averaged (no substantial difference between the tests). Two power supplies are used – one for each peltier with one also powering the fan.

RESULTS

UNIT

TEMP

BE Cooling

-30.3 C

2 Cool Computer

-28.7 C

Overclock-Watercool

-28.0 C

Cool Chip

–27.8 C

Ambient 27.2 C

CONCLUSION

Be Cooling’s copper unit continues to outperform the aluminum blocks. All three aluminum blocks are fairly tightly clustered – less than 1 C separates the three. I would have expected more of a difference considering the Overclock-Watercool unit has more channels than the other two, but apparently not.

Having tested a fair amount of waterblocks, I am beginning to observe that base material may be more of an influence than design, at least for those blocks which are built from solid blocks of metal. Water is incredibly efficient at removing heat, and it may take an innovative design to wring more performance out of them (One thought here).

In addition, flow rates through the blocks will have an impact, although even here I have not found substantial differences (HERE) – a case of diminishing returns perhaps. I will be doing more testing on these issues to see if we can come to some definitve concusions.

Thanks again to Overclock-Watercool, BE Cooling, 2 Cool Computer and Cool Chip for sending samples to evaluate.


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