SUMMARY: Interesting looking aluminum waterblock, but performance lags copper; overall, a notch below competitive products.
Overclockers Hideout was nice enough to send over one of their aluminum blocks that is anodized with a blue finish – certainly a shade different from others out there. Anodizing protects against internal corrosion and the
surface is non electrically conductive. This block comes with nylon nipples compared to the generally used brass.
The block’s clip is not as polished as others I have seen; the legs look unfinished. The screws holding the legs in allow the legs to swivel, which does make mounting a bit more difficult. In an attempt to ensure that nothing gets scratched, the center bolt and the bottom of the legs are dipped in a blue rubbery compound.
I also found that two sides were not well finished, as shown above. WIth the blue color, it’s not as noticeable compared to what would show up in an aluminum finish.
I used a Duron 650 running at 900 MHz, 1.89 v, on an ASUS A7V as the test platform. Watercooling consisted of a Senfu Radiator modified to take 3/8″ tubing and a Danner 1.5 submersible waterpump.
BE Cooling: Idle, 37C/95F; Prime95, 39C/102F
Not too snappy; normally, I would expect to see a copper advantage of about 3-5C/5F-9F. In this case, the Overclockers Hideout’s blue aluminum block’s performance lagged copper more than “normal”. I ran this comparison more than once and on different days, so this is no fluke.
After testing, I could not help but unscrew the top to check out what’s inside. This is different from the “drill-and-fill” type blocks; a metal router bit (I assume) is used to sculp the channels seen below. The block is a bit larger than others also, holding more water than many other blocks.
I have also seen blocks of this design underperform “drill-and-fill” blocks; I have a hunch that channelling water in this manner is not the best design. For example, the aluminum Tidal Pool design uses no interior channels (Pic Here)- just a large mixing chamber. Its performance is about the closest I’ve seen to copper, and I think the round mixing chamber and water turbulence has a lot to do with its effectiveness.
Not the best performing block I’ve tested; fit and finish are a notch below others we have seen also. Unless you’re really into blue, there are better performing alternatives.
NOTE: If you purchase this product and it differs substantially from what is pictured here, please email me with pictures if possible.