Waterblock Test – Joe
SUMMARY: Excellent performance, but needs a high power waterpump to shine.
The good guys at Hydrocool PTY Ltd were nice enough to send a Hydro-Stream waterblock to test – this is the HS5 version, which is the version with the highest pressure drop; the HS3 version is less so. (Note: Hydrocool PTY is an Australian based company and is NOT associated with Corsair Hydrocool).
The Hydro-Stream features
- Polycarbonate connectors for ½” ID tubing
- 100% pure silver base
- Micro-channel copper interior
- Polycarbonate top with color options
- Quick and easy mounting clip
The mounting clip is a sheer joy – simply slip it over the socket’s lugs, rotate the lever and it’s securely in place; mounting pressure is centered over the CPU’s core, where it should be.
Inside the waterblock are small copper channels which are affixed to the silver base plate; the channels are closely packed and hence result in a high pressure drop. The large surface area does help performance quite a bit, as shown below.
The one concern I have in any waterblock that uses tightly constrained interior spacing is the possibility of clogging – adding a filter to a watercooling system will keep thing clear but can add substantially to the system’s pressure drop (alternative: place the filter on a separate loop powered by another pump).
The base is silver…
and quite thin – 0.5mm according to Hydrcool’s specs.
The Hydro-Stream was tested using the CPU Die Simulator and Waterblock Test Rig.
Pressure Drop – psi
Pressure Drop – inches H2O
Unrounded data: 0.122 C/W with 0.0011 std dev.
Test Results indicate that the Hydro-Stream’s pressure drop (or head loss) across the waterblock is very high; resistance such as this means that Hydro-Stream needs a hefty waterpump to extract maximum performance, especially if other components in the system are restrictive.
I found that performance degraded by about 0.8ºC at a flow rate of 0.5 gpm and by an additional 0.4C at 0.3 gpm; I could not get a reading above 1 gpm as my test rig could not overcome the pressure drop above 1 gpm. Note that even at severely reduced flow rates, this waterblock performs quite well compared to others. Literature supplied by Hydrocool clearly states that the there is “Not much performance benefit [of waterflow rates] above 2L/min”.
For a comparison of the Hydro-Stream’s performance to other waterblocks tested to date, see Overclockers.com Waterblock Test Results.
The Hydro-Stream HS5 Waterblock is an excellent choice for CPU cooling, with the proviso that a large waterpump will be required for best performance, as long as other components do not unduly restrict waterflow.
Thanks again to Hydrocool PTY Ltd for sending this our way.