SUMMARY: BE Cooling’s copper waterblock and pump container warrant some serious consideration for watercooling systems.
BE Cooling was one of the first to offer a watercooling system commercially. My first exposure to watercooling was when I reviewed the first Aquastealth (HERE) over a year ago. I am still using an Aquastealth radiator and copper waterblock (one of the first to use copper) today in one of my main boxes.
Fast forward about six months. Aquastealth is distributing its products through a distributor; many problems. I have received complaints about product quality and have not recommended BE Cooling’s products due to the feedback I received.
Recently I bought a peltier from BE Cooling and noticed that they are back to their own storefront, with some very aggressive pricing. After exchanging some emails, I find that BE Cooling’s policies have been changed so that now there is a product satisfaction guarantee where before there was a “No Return” policy by the distributor:
“Our products carry a 15 day satisfaction guarantee for defects and workmanship.”
What this means is that if you receive a product that does not look like what you see on the website, you can return it for a refund. So I am going to hold BE Cooling to their word and ask that if you buy anything from them and it turns out to be shoddy goods, tell me and I’ll post it. “Nuff said.
BE Cooling sent me their latest pump container and waterblock to test out; they were nice enough to bore 1/16″ holes in the waterblock so I could epoxy a thermocouple into it for temp testing. The thermocouple is positioned over the CPU.
The pump is a RIO 180; I measured the flow rate at about 38 gallons/hour. It is very quiet when running, although I would mount it on a piece of foam to keep the sound transmission to a minimum. The RIO is a magnetic drive unit, which means it has no seals to wear out.
the container is quite something; it looks like it’s made from an aluminum square beam that is sealed on one end by an epoxy cap. The end with the nipples is screwed onto the body with four threaded bolts. The top is made waterproof by a rubber “O” ring that gets watertight at you bolt the top to the container body. I turned it upside down filled with water and saw no leaks.
I did find some metal shavings inside and would recommend that you disassemble the container to make sure it’s clean inside. At a minimum, running it to flush any residue before using it in your system would be a good move. The top rim is not smoothly finished, although it’s finished well enough to preclude leaks. The whole container is brushed bright.
This is no cheesy container – it is 3/16″ thick aluminum measuring 3″ square by 3 3/8″ high. The only addition that might be nice would be some mounting tabs so users could secure it to the bottom of a case. Mounted to a case, there’s no reason why you couldn’t bring it to a LAN party.
The waterblock is a different design than the one I reviewed earlier; it looks like it’s bored out and the cap is soldered on. I have had blocks that use bored holes sealed with plug leak, so I think this design is much better. It’s well finished top and bottom; the sides have machining marks but this does not interfere with performance. From what I could see with a razor blade, the bottom was flat. The block’s edges are not chamfered and are “sharp”.
What I like about this block is that the nipples are out of the way; it allows me to use my “cage” strap
as shown above. This strap mounts on two lugs on each side of the socket. Since I am continually changing heatsinks and waterblocks to test, this design spreads the load more so that snapping a socket lug is much less likely. It also allows me to secure the waterblock with more force, especially nice for peltier setups. To round out the system, I used a BE Cooling radiator with a 120 mm fan strapped to it.
I tested the waterblock using a 1/16″ hole bored into the side of the copper base so I could epoxy a thermocouple above the CPU. The thermocouple is attached to an Omega HH23 Digital Thermometer. Ambient temps were measured with a thermocouple placed about 1 inch from the radiator fan’s intake.
I used Prime 95 to stress the CPU on an ABIT KT7, running a Duron 800 @ 1000 (52.6 watts). The Duron is actually a more severe test as its area is less than the T-Bird, so there is a higher watt loading by area. Arctic Silver grease was used in all tests.
|BE Cooling System|
Not bad! To get a C/W this low with air requires a very aggressive heatsink design which I have not seen yet. I am on the computer for 6-8 hour stretches, and low noise is an absolute requirement for me. There’s nothing like a slow moving 120 to keep noise low.
BE Cooling’s container is impressive – it’s very solid and did not leak. The waterblock is nicely done and can be mounted on about any socket with no problems. The RIO pump is on the smallish side as far as pumps go, but does the job OK.
As a complete system, the Aquastealth is a fine way to jump into watercooling with a package deal.