Innovatek X-Flow

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Waterblock Test – Joe

SUMMARY: Good choice for CPU cooling, but requires a high power waterpump to hit 1 gpm water flow – optimized for ¼” fittings.

Xflow

The good guys at High Speed PC were nice enough to send a Innovatek X-Flow waterblock to test (Go HERE for Innovatek’s website).

Innovatek’s X-Flow features

  • 8mm/¼” (OD) compression fittings
  • Weight 370g
  • Size 65 x 60 x 16 mm
  • Copper base 9mm thick
  • Extruded aluminum top

What I found interesting is this characterization of the X-Flow:

“The X-Flow achieves maximum performance due to a new and revolutionary flow guidance design within the interior of its compact dimensions. A unique turbulence principle makes optimal utilization of the cooling agent possible without cross-section contraction. Therefore, this water block does not create any back pressure nor stress the water pump.” (my emphasis)

I’m not quite sure I would agree with this statement, as you’ll see that the pressure drop to get 1 gpm through this block is quite high. A high pressure drop is to be expected as the 8mm compression fittings will exact a toll on flow rate – really no surprise here, although the blurb from Innovatek might lead you to think otherwise.

In addition, if you look inside (which I do not recommend – it’s a real pain to get the “O” ring set right), you’ll see that the interior design is quite restrictive:

Xflow Inside

The thumb print is free with the block.

The channels sit 180º from each other, so water has quite an involved path to the outlet. Couple this with ¼” fittings and you get a good idea of why the pressure drop is very high.

The base shows slight signs of polishing marks:

Base

They are not apparent to the touch.

THE TEST

The Innovatek X-Flow was tested using the CPU Die Simulator and Waterblock Test Rig.

WATERBLOCK TEST RESULTS

Test Conditions: Inlet Water Temp: 28.5 C; Mounting force: 15 pounds; Heat Load: 70 Watts.

Plot
Waterblock

C/W

Pressure Drop – psi

Pressure Drop – inches H2O

Innovatek X-Flow

0.15

2.65

73.4

NOTE: These results are NOT comparable to tests done by others.
Unrounded data: 0.154 C/W with 0.0009 std dev.

Test Results indicate that the X-Flow’s pressure drop (or head loss) across the waterblock is quite high; high flow resistance such as this is not surprising given its ¼” fittings and the restrictive interior design. This means that Innovatek’s X-Flow requires a fairly large waterpump to hit a 1 gpm flowrate, although it is designed for lower flow systems.

However, I ran a test at 0.5 gpm and found the impact to be less than 1ºC, not terrible by any means.

For a comparison of the X-Flow’s performance to other waterblocks tested to date, see Overclockers.com Waterblock Test Results.

CONCLUSIONS

Innovatek’s X-Flow waterblock is a good choice for CPU cooling, although extracting performance will take a very good waterpump. However, if other components unduly restrict waterflow, flow through the system could be considerably less than 1 gpm – this is not a waterblock to use in series with a GPU and/or Northbridge waterblocks.

For users with systems using ¼” tubing and fittings, Innovatek’s X-Flow waterblock is a fine choice.

Thanks again to High Speed PC for sending this our way.

Email Joe

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