Joe recently spent some time with Swiftech’s MCW 2000 Water-block and Peltier (single and dual). A curious fact emerged: the single 78 watt TEK gave colder readings than the dual 78 watt TEK setup!
Never one to let such an inconsistency go unexamined, Joe called Gabe and asked him about this. To make a long story short, Gabe got the system back and found out that the whole thing needed to be screwed more tightly to get the maximum cooling.
Was I content with that? NO!
Strictly in the cause of scientific inquiry, I bought a “bare bones” system from Swiftnet This consists of a LiteON FS020 “Pro” Case and a complete Swiftech water-cooled dual Peliter system.
I had Gabe install my new 700E CPU on a new Asus P3B-F Bx board to see just what this baby could do.
I’ll be writing several reviews covering different aspects of this extremely competant and well-muscled system in the next week or two.
But we wanted to clear the air about just what temps one should expect from a MCW 2000.
Last night I ran Prime for 4 hours alongside Seti@home, when nothing went wrong I got bored and started playing Unreal Tournament. The downside is that Prime and Seti didn’t get a whole lot done. The upside is that UT was smooth and fast. No Bang, No Crash!
The 700 @ 1050Mhz is a cause for joy. Today I set up and ran Prime for two hours while logging temps in Motherboard Monitor. Here’s a minute by minute temperature
reading (it’s a 350Kb JPEG, and that’s just for the last half hour). Here’s a picture you can look at right away 🙂
Gabe has improved his instructions on proper installation of the CPU into the waterblock. Stlil nervous? Good, that shows your thinking”:O}
Gabe has also offered O/C readers an exclusive half price discount: ($20.00), if you wish to send your chip and have him install it for you with the purchase of a MCW 2000 Waterblock. OR…this is the one I really like, FREE with the purchase of a “Barebones” system.
I’d been sitting for a couple of weeks staring at the lower corner, right hand side of of my monitor, unable to resist watching Mother Board Monitor’s update of my system and CPU temps.
Just a month before, I’d been happy and content. My overclocked Asus P3V4X ran its 650E chip @ 877Mhz humming at a cool 32-37 C.
But I live in Seattle – land of the clouds – cool springs and mild summers. My house clings to 65 F and I’ve become a sweater guy.
However, not even Seattle could keep summer away for good. As the calendar progressed, so did my temperatures. Insidiously, unrelentingly creeping slowly upwards.
I thought my water cooling system had insulated me and my machine from the seasons.
What I had not realized was that cooling to a few degrees above ambient temperature doesn’t cool ambient temperature itself at all. When it goes up, so does everything else.
At our customary 65 F, all was well. But from 70 F, on EVERY increase in outside temperature brought a similar increase of temperature inside.
I cleaned my fans. I toyed with my water cooling recipe. I added antifreeze in greater and lesser proportions. I cut a hole in my case, added a side fan. It did no good.
Keeping your CPU a little above ambient temperature is great until the ambient temperature skyrockets. Not wishing hourly pilgrimages to my freezer or to the 7-11; I needed an alternative.
Having read of the misfortunes of some quite competent and seasoned overclockers, I feared a Peltier. So I unclocked my chip somewhat, and sulked. Then I stopped sulking and found something else to fear! My temps hadn’t gone down as I had expected! That fickle goddess of Summer had rejected my Mhz sacrifice and heated up my house (and computer) some more!
Where would this end? At 82 F I found out….. at normal clock speed!
Then a cooling breeze blew through my fevered brow. Joe did a review of Swiftech’s MCW 2000 dual peltier water-jacket and radiator. Joe liked the Swiftech water-jacket and radiator. I like Joe. A lot more than the Maytag repairman or the ice guy at 7-11, anyway.
I bopped over to Gabe’s Swiftnets site. The first thing I saw was this:
I clicked on the Enlarge Picture button, and for the first time in weeks the grip of temp fever began to break.
It looked to me like an igloo in the midst of the desert. Joe had said,
“The Swiftech waterblock is the best system I have seen for water cooled peltiers; pricey, but it works well.”
But wasn’t there something else? Something else Joe had said?
Something about having trouble properly installing the chip into the water-jacket.
I called Joe up, and we decided to have Gabe install my chip.
I ended up buying the “Barebones” system. I also decided to go with his recommended Asus P3B-F BX motherboard and a new 700 cB0 chip.
Gabe handbuilds these systems; if you want the best, it takes time. But the day came when this arrived:
The professional care that went into the design and assembly of this system is impressive. Swiftech’s water-cooling assembly looks as if it were an integral part of the machine, nothing makeshift about it.
The water hoses run along the top and back of the case. The ribbon cables come “wrapped” and covered with black plastic tubing,
I learned from Gabe that I’m the first customer to receive the new “Prestolok” water hose, reservoir and radiator interconnects.
Look Ma, no clamps! One simply presses the tube in and it locks. Slide back a small ring collar and the tube slides out. No clamps or screws to tighten. Gabe is selling upgrade kits to past customers or to anyone who simply wants the best in interconnects.
I can’t really add much to Joe’s great review of the cooling system itself. So here is my system, followed by the benchmarks at 150Mhz.
MY NUMBER ONE BOX:
- Case: Swiftech Modified LiteON FS020 Server, with one 120MM INTAKE FAN at the bottom, one 120MM EXHAUST FAN at the back, which is mounted on the RADIATOR. Average case temp is ambient room temp.
- Personal Case Modifications: I’ve added a 120mm exhaust fan above the radiator at the rear of the case. I Velcroed two Global Win CPU fans – one to case side – one replacing a smaller Swiftech fan velcroed on the waterjacket. This modification increases the fan noise, but increases cooling to my GeForce-2 card, system RAM, and BX chip.
- Power Supply: 400 WATT EnerMax Server, with two 80MM fans of its own- one sucking heat from the top of the LiteON case- one expelling it out the rear of the case.
- Motherboard: My current foundation is an ASUS P3B-F 1 AGP – 1 ISA – 6 PCI slots. 1006 BETA BIOS.A Global Win CPU fan blows down upon the BX chip and RAM module.
- Processor: 700 cB0 Coppermine overclocked to 1050Mhz @ 1.85 V-Core setting
- Cooling by Swiftech:
- Eheim1048 Eheim In-line pump, Model 1046
- EXPTK expansion tank, coupled to a RAD-6110 120mm radiator, using the new “Prestolok” press-on fittings throughout.
All hoses and fittings are designed and tested to withstand city water pressure.
- MCW 2000 dual 78 WATT TEC complete FC-PGA CUMine processor kit and an Asus Slotket.
- Hard Drives: 2 Western Digital Express 9.1 GIG 7200 RPM hard drives, set up on a Promise Fasttrak Ultra 66 in RAID O formation using a 64K stripe.
- Memory: One stick of Mushkin PC 133 HSDRAM, 128 Megs. Heatsinks on all RAM modules; Global Win CPU fan set to blow across the RAM heatsinks on both sides of the card.
- Graphics Card: Elsa GTS-2 with my Intel heatsink/fan attached to it. 5.32 Detonator Drivers O/Ced to 240 core 386 memory.
- Sound card: SoundBlaster Live! Platinum sound card attached to 4 Cambridge satellites and subwoofer.
- Joystick: Cyborg 3D Digital by Saitek- This joystick converts to left-handed use; the only one I’ve found that does.
- Operating System: Windows 98 S.E. Internet Explorer 5.5 Beta.
CPU BENCH MARK:
CPU Drystone: 2843
FPU Whetstone: 1409
- Integer MMX: 3311
- Floating Point SSE: 4408
- CPU Memory: 465/429/467
- FPU Memory: 519/481/520
Hard Drive Benchmark:
C: Drive :21,091/ 21290/ 21460
3D MARK 2000
I got a video bonus from Swiftech’s system, also. I could increase the GPU setting from 225Mhz to 240Mhz. This increased performance by 150 3D marks or so in settings from 1024 X768 on up (though oddly, it decreased 640X480 by 30).
Today, Seattle is 78F (25C), but my CPU is in the Far North at 28F (-2C) running under 100% SETI load.
This is the first peltier with which I’ve really felt comfortable rather than experimental.
I use “shutdown” in conjunction with Motherboard Monitor (and so should you, regardless of how you cool). It allows you to set a maximum and a minimum temp for the CPU, and shuts down the computer automatically if those limits are broken, so your computer won’t.
I highly recommend it’s use to anyone running a highly overclocked machine. Especially if you leave it on overnight or are away from your monitor quite a lot.
Shortly, I’ll be giving the Asus P3V4X running VCRAM and HSDRAM a chance to go head-to-head with the P3B-F.
I would recommend this sytem to the hardcore and novice overclocker alike. Though initially expensive, there are several built-in cost saving factors to consider.
First, having a preinstalled Peltier/CPU prevents a faulty Peltier self-installation.
When you’re ready to upgrade, though, the MCW 2000 can be adapted to almost any chip you can name. Conversion kits which allow you to move from one chip to the next are quite inexpensive.(appox. $20.00). One can expect to get years of service from this system.
Then there is the case itself. This LiteON FS020 case IS a keeper!
Finally, water-cooling, as good as it is, reaches its limits in practical everyday use at around 75 to 80 F ambient. If you wish to keep your CPU really cool above these temps in a highly overclocked state, then you have very little choice: You will need a peltier.
The very nature of increasing MHz and therefore the increasing heat of the new CPU’s. As Joe, Ed and myself have repeatedly pointed out, the future has water-cooling written all over it.
We face heat problems getting to 1Ghz with current .18 micron chips. What will it be like when only slightly shrunken .18 micron chips reach 1.5Ghz and higher the next six months, and we want to go far above that?
The Swiftech barebones provides a simple means to get Peltier cooling without the hassle of Peltier installation.
Disclosure:This system was purchased at my own expense. I paid full price for the MCW 2000 and it’s components. However, I was able to buy the LitON case from Gabe “used”, (His own case, which he modified experimentally while designing the first “Barebones” system.)
I bought the Asus P3B-F and 700 cB0 chip from Gabe at his cost. This was due in the first instance to Gabe’s dissatisfaction with my Asus P3V4X as a foundation for extreme overclocking.