Danger Den Pin-Fin Waterblock

SUMMARY: Danger Den tries out a pin fin copper waterblock.


Note the fins visible through the holes.

The good guys at Danger Den let me play waterblock designer. Just like with air, surface area in water cooling plays a large role in cooling effectiveness. I had an idea* that if you cut some fins into a copper plate, the resulting block would be perform very well. Danger Den listened to my idea and decided to try it out as follows:


Take a chunk of copper, cut it one way, then another, and voila! A Pin Fin base!

“The block was done just with a cross pattern cut into the block. The cuts were 1/16″ wide and .400 deep. The base is not thick enough to drill the hole for your thermocouple, I’m afraid if I tried to drill the block it would become a paper weight. If you want I can make a cold plate for you with the hole for your thermocouple.”

Which is what they did. The pic below shows the fins in the base:

Fin Open

Drill some holes for the nipples and then solder the base onto the top.

In the tests that follow, I used the coldplate with the thermocouple in it to measure CPU temps, comparing it against Danger Den’s Maze block. I used Danger Den’s Cooling Cube with a Danner 1.5 submersible pump to cool a T-Bird 750 running at 1100 MHz, 1.85 v. Here’s what I found:

Maze Block: 29.5 C
Pin Block: 29.5 C

Well, so much for my talents as a waterblock designer.

I have to hand it to the Danger Den folks for trying this out – they are busy filling orders and taking the time to do this was really special. I am guessing that the total surface area of their maze block is about the same as the pin fin experimental block, accounting for its fine performance. Compared to a block with no maze or fins, the Maze does do a better job, as we showed HERE.

Philippe Bartoszewicz reminded me that he built the same block some months ago and showed it to me, which I unfortunately forgot. Credit where credit is due! My apologies to Philippe for the slip.

Email Joe

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply