Watercooling Kit Test – Joe
SUMMARY: Outstanding performance.
The good guys at 1A-Cooling were nice enough to send a sample of the SET-5Z280V1 watercooling kit to test. This kit features an internal radiator which fits into two CD ROM bays and is cooled with 2 60 mm fans.
The waterblock ships without the fittings screwed in – easy enough to do.
The base of the fittings includes a neoprene “O” ring to make it watertight. Tubing is attached by unscrewing the knurled ring, slipping it over the tube and tightening. To avoid the tubing from twisting as it’s tightened, moisten the tubing with a little water – it’s just enough lubricant to avoid twisting.
Note the dimple between the fittings – this is where the screw mount rides on the block.
A look inside the waterblock reveals a fairly restrictive design:
It looks as if there is a center channel that then splits out to two exhaust channels. The base is interesting:
It appears that there is a center copper strip between a brass base.
The mounting options cover every conceivable CPU; In addition, mounting force is centered over the CPU:
This is much preferred over other techniques, as the force is directed precisely where it’s needed without the possibility of canting the waterblock slightly off the die; you would be surprised at how much this degrades performance. Included with the kit is a small torque wrench:
A very nice touch! Slip it over the mounting bolt and adjust – I set it to 30 kg in testing.
The radiator fits inside two CD ROM bays:
It’s powered by two 80 mm fans spinning
at about 2700 rpm on high and 1450 rpm on low, controlled by a switch located at the front of the grill; I found noise to be tolerable – 57 dBA; switched low, fan noise was very quiet – almost inaudible; note that this measurements were made with the unit outside the case – inside a case, noise will be muffled somewhat because the fans face into the case.
Tubing size is 8 mm ID:
The kit ships with a small vial of algaecide and screws for assembly.
The waterpump is a good one – an Eheim 1048:
This is a nice package that features an integrated reservoir; this is well constructed, using all metal parts. Note that there is no relay to turn on/off the waterpump with the system – adding one is not all that difficult (an example here).
Unfortunately, the sample sent to me was a 230 volt pump – I substituted a 120 volt Eheim 1048 waterpump with an integrated reservoir from another kit for testing purposes.
The 5Z280V1 was tested using the CPU Die Simulator. I found fan noise at about 57 dBA (measured 8″ from the fan’s intake) -when set on high – not excessively noisy but noticeable; fan noise at the low setting was very quiet.
|5Z280V1, 2700 rpm, 57 dBA¹|
|5Z280V1, 1450 rpm, <50 dBA¹|
¹Measured 8″ from the fan’s intake; manufacturer dBAs usually measured at 1 meter.
C/W = Delta / CPU Watts
Interpreting C/W: For every watt (CPUw) that the CPU
consumes, the HSF will limit the CPU’s temperature rise to (C/W x CPUw)
plus the temperature at the HSF’s fan inlet. For example, at an ambient temp of 25 C, a C/W of 0.25 with a CPU radiating 50 watts means that CPU temp will increase 50 x 0.25 = 12.5 C over ambient temp, or 37.5 C. The lower the C/W, the better.
Die Simulator results place the 5Z280V1 in the upper rank of watercooling kits tested to date (Heatsink Ranking) with fans on high, mid-rank when set on low.
The 5Z280V1 ranks near the top of all kits tested to date with fans on high; even on low, the kit does very well.
For someone looking for a “plug and play” internal watercooling kit with excellent performance, the 5Z280V1 is definitely worth considering.