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Waterblock comparisons – Bill Adams

To help those interested in watercooling, we will begin a series of waterblock tests for both DIY and commercially available waterblocks. Bill Adams will perform the testing (for details, see Waterblock Bench Testing and Waterblock Bench Testing Results). Those interested in testing a waterblock should contact Bill Adams for details.

Commercially available waterblocks will be listed with and without test results. Descriptions or performance claims provided by the manufacturer are not endorsed by Overclockers.com.


DIY: Hoot’s Pin-fin Waterblock

Hoot's WB

Hoot: When I set out to build a waterblock (sink) I looked for the following attributes:

  1. Inlet jets down onto the area directly above the die
  2. Lots of turbulence-inducing surface area
  3. Spiral channel to force the water to flow over as much area as possible before exiting
  4. Channel volume equal or greater than the volume of the ports (no pinch points)
  5. Baseplate and pins machined from one continuous piece of material (no additional thermal barriers)

The whole process is chronicled HERE.

You’ll have to jump through various parts in the six page thread to see pictures of the evolutionary process. I chose to use a baseplate from a pre-production heatsink made by Global Win, model CDK-38, which was profiled by Joe
HERE.

Not needing all that pin height, I initially cut the pins down so that their tops just touched the bottom of the cover. That way, the water would not try to take the path of least resistance if a gap existed above the pins and below the bottom of the cover. I made my spiral guide from a strip of copper that simply sits down in the pins. It does not contribute to heat removal, just directs the water flow.

After some discussion, I decided to reduce the pin height in the outer ring of the channel, since most of the heat would have been removed from the copper by then and in hopes of reducing pressure drop. In that thread, I believe someone mentioned a company that forges pinned bases, so a baseplate similar to this one can be found.

Soldering the exterior wall to the base and the cover to the wall was not very difficult. Tin all mating edges first, then heat and let them settle upon one another. That reduces the amount of solder that flows onto the inner baseplate area, causing another thermal boundary.

Bill Adams: A very fine looking waterblock, lapped to perfection. My only criticism is that the outlet is a bit too close to the adjacent mobo mounting stud. In terms of performance this will be the DIY wb to beat; excellent execution Hoot. Dare I say it’s a “Hooter”?

Hoot CW

Hoot PD

Conclusion

Hoot’s waterblock is better than almost all commercially available
waterblocks, and its performance is not dependant on having a large pump (relatively speaking, it does better at low flows).

COMMERCIAL: Cooltech UltraBlock S462/S478 Waterblock

Cooltech

Overview by Cooltech:

“UltraBlock is a last generation universal waterblock, made by a 2011 anodized aluminium cover and a pure copper base, both made by a CNC machine. The main feature of the UltraBlock is the possibility to be used both with Socket A AMD ™ Athlon ™ and Duron ™ (UltraBlock S462 model) and Socket 478 for INTEL ™ P4 ™ (UltraBlock S478 model), only changing the retention mechanism. In fact, two different retention mechanisms are available, one for Socket A (RM462) and one for Socket 478 (RM478), that allow the user to use his own UltraBlock with the 2 platforms, only buying the appropriate retention mechanism.”

TEST DATA UNAVAILABLE

Above data courtesy of Cooltech.


COMMERCIAL: Danger Den MAZE3

Maze 3

Overview by Danger Den:

“Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3″ x 2.125″ x 7/8″
  • Components Included: Complete Block Assembled with Top and O-ring, 4 nylon bolts, 12 nylon nuts, 4 springs
  • Machined and Lapped to 600 grit
  • Pressure tested before shipment to 85psi”

TEST DATA UNAVAILABLE

Above data courtesy of Danger Den.


COMMERCIAL: Koolance CPU-200G

Koolance

Overview by Koolance:

“Designed for extremely high performance, the CPU-200G cooler consists of a rugged transparent upper shell molded over a gold-coated copper cooling plate for a long-lasting, polished interface. Designed for heat sources up to 200W. Works with AMD 462, Intel 370, and Intel 478.

Specifications:

  • Model: CPU-200G
  • Compatibility: AMD socket 462, Intel ® socket 370, Intel ® socket 478
  • Weight: 7 ounces (198.4g)
  • Dimensions: WxHxD 1.9″ x 2.4″ x 0.6″ (8.2cm x 6.3cm x 2.4cm)
  • Base Materials: Pure Copper, 21k Gold Plated
  • Components Included: CPU Cooler, Mounting Brackets, Tension Screw, Thermal Interface Material, Metal Hose Clamps”

TEST DATA UNAVAILABLE

Above data courtesy of Koolance.


COMMERCIAL: Swiftech MCW5000™

MCW 5000

Overview by Swiftech:

“The MCW5000™ water-block is an extreme duty liquid cooling solution for high-end microprocessors. It is designed to be used either in straight liquid cooling configuration, or in conjunction with a thermoelectric cooling element.

Major features:

  • Extreme performance:
    • 1/2" OD tubing for optimal flow rate
    • Core Technology: Patent pending Diamond-Pin Matrix© copper base plate for optimal heat transfer, and turbulent flow: outperforms all previously released Swiftech water-blocks!
  • Plug-and-Play, hassle-free installation:
    • Snaps directly into Intel® Pentium® 4 stock retention frame (socket 478), without removing motherboard.
    • Snaps directly to AMD® socket 462 retention latches, without removing the motherboard.
    • Tool-free quick-connect fittings built into the block
    • Convenient 45° orientation of inlet, and outlet helps eliminate kinks in the tubing installation.”

TEST DATA UNAVAILABLE

Above data courtesy of Swiftech.


Bill Adams

Joe Citarella

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