SUMMARY: Watch out copper; here come new waterblocks that can cool CPUs as well as you but at lower costs.
Chip Eckert over at Overclock-Watercool sent me three very interesting waterblocks. The first one is a bored out aluminum block that opens up a bunch of water channels for extra cooling. The other two are Lexan blocks that encase aluminum heatsinks; one small one and one using a Swiftech heatsink.
At the same time, I received another of Surlyjoe’s “copper beehive” blocks, this one using 3/8″ tubing instead of 1/4″. After testing the first beehive with 1/4″ tubing, I wondered what difference 3/8″ tubing (increased waterflow) would make in performance. Surlyjoe is quick if nothing else – a new beehive with 3/8″ tubing shows up on my doorstep.
The usual rig: Two stacked peltiers (about 100 watts), Swiftech radiator and 150 gph Beckett in-line pump. Each block was greased and mounted on the peltiers and temperatures recorded. I included the copper BeCooling unit as a reference.
The following table lists observed temps:
A good copper block is hard to beat, but these designs are in the same neighborhood. Of particular interest is the Swiftech design – a good air-cooled heatsink will make a good water-cooled heatsink as well; should be no surprise there.
Guess what – size does matter – at least when it comes to water flow. Surlyjoe’s two blocks, the same design except for tubing diameters, show the benefit of the larger size – about 1 C better performance. Considering the cost difference is nil, this is just smart construction.
All told, a bunch of interesting designs which show that, with some creative thought, high performance waterblocks can come in a host of different sizes, shapes and materials.
PS: Chip has met my challenge for a $50 CPU water cooling system – check out what he’s offering HERE. Looks like for not much more than an Alpha, you can see what water cooling can do for you.