SUMMARY: For its small size, a powerful cooler.
As water cooling becomes more popular, extending water cooling beyond the CPU is something to consider. Outlaw over at Overclockers Hideout was kind enough to send me a sample of his water cooler kit (pic below) for TNT2 and Geforce Video cards to test out.
The kit includes mounting bolts, a top plate and a copper cold plate for use with a peltier. The top plate is drilled for the different video cards and if you have to drill some other pattern, the aluminum plate will be easy to modify. I found the water block finish to be fair – there were some scratch marks on one side and I think lapping would not hurt.
Video chips, especially when overclocked, will throw off a fair amount of heat. In testing the water block, I used my portable test unit (pic HERE): This features a 120 mm fan, 140 gph Danner water pump and Perma-Cool radiator using 3/8″ tubing. I have stacked two peltiers to simulate a 100 watt heat source.
For the test, I hooked up the video cooler to the 3/8″ tubing. Since the cooler uses 1/4″ barbs, I had to use a collar on the barbs to fit the larger tubing. The 1/4″ barbs will restrict water flow in a 3/8″ system. so if you are thinking of integrating a video cooler into a larger diameter system, you might want to use some kind of manifold so that you don’t restrict water flows.
I fired up the peltiers and the result is listed below:
Outlaw’s Video Chip Cooler: -14.7 C without coldplate
Outlaw’s Video Chip Cooler: -10.9 C with coldplate
For it’s size, very nice performance. CPU waterblocks using the same testing rig come in at about -19 to -22 C, so this is not shabby by any measure. Note that there are only three passages drilled in the water block – perhaps another would increase performance.
Using the cold plate did decrease results somewhat – depending on the video chip and peltier sizes, a neccesary evil; if you can avoid using the cold plate, performance should be better. Note also that this is without an additional heat load – using a video chip cooler will add more heat to the system and might require a larger radiator.
All told, an interesting addition to the ultimate system – can you envision CPU and video chip water cooled peltiers?
Thanks again to Outlaw for sending us this kit to test out.