SUMMARY: Swiftech’s MCW372-B, featuring one of the easiest mounting systems around, proves to be a capable performer.
Swiftech has a new look for its Socket A/370 waterblock – it now sports a blue top rather than an unfinished aluminum top. The MCW372-B has two outstanding features:
- Mounting System: Swiftech’s socket mount products use an idiot-proof mounting system. The strap on the block’s side is held in place by a spring-loaded bolt. Each spring is balanced so that they both hold the waterblock in place with the right amount of pressure on the CPU.
Turning the screw clockwise lengthens the side strap relative to the socket’s lugs, so that you can easily engage them. Turning the screw counter-clockwise (unscrewing) then allows the spring to expand, snugging the strap against the socket lug (do this 2-3 turns alternately on each side). When the bolt head clears the top of the strap, it’s set.
That’s it! Done. Very secure and the right pressure every time. Idiot proof and very easy to mount/dismount.
- Swivel Nipples: These are really great – the nipples can be set to any direction over 360 degrees. Absolute flexibility to conform to any mounting situation.
If you use rigid 3/8″ tubing, it slips into the nipple and is held in place – no clamps! I used a short length of 3/8″ copper tubing so that I could mount 3/8″ flexible vinyl tubing (obviously, I had to use hose clamps to hold the tubing into the copper stubs). Still very nice to have total flexibility in hose locations.
The base is a 1/4″ copper plate that is bolted onto the aluminum waterblock with 8 bolts. This is a mechanical bond to the aluminum block; the quality of each surface and thermal efficiency of the interface material between the two will directly impact performance. The copper base is smooth and flat – no machining marks of any kind; this is a characteristic of Swiftech’s products.
I was going to unscrew the base to show you the mating surface between the two, but one of the allen bolts was stripped and I could not loosen it.
I prepared the Swiftech by boring a hole sideways into the base so I could epoxy a thermocouple above the CPU; note that the thermocouple does not touch the CPU core in this test. 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 a T-Bird at 1330 MHz, 1.92v, 89 watts, on an Iwill KK266+. Arctic Silver grease was used in all tests.
For this test, I compared the Swiftech to BE Cooling’s all copper waterblock; this is a solid unit without any mechanical bond between its base and waterblock (similar to other copper waterblocks). The radiator measured about 5″ x 7″ and is cooled by a 120mm fan; the waterpump is a Danner 1.5 submersible.
CPU Case Temp
|BE Cooling Copper|
C/W = Delta / CPU Watts
Interpreting C/W: For every watt the CPU radiates, the heatsink will cool the core by the (C/W x watts) plus ambient temp. For example, at an ambient temp of 25 C, a C/W of 0.25 with a CPU radiating 50 watts means that the CPU temp will be 50 x 0.25 = 12.5 C over ambient temp, or 37.5 C. The lower the C/W, the better.
Both waterblocks turn in outstanding performance, as you would expect with watercooling. C/Ws around 0.10 are about as good as you’re going to get with the setup outlined above (note that the difference between the two is less than 2C at 89 watts). The BE Cooling does a tad better; here is where the Swiftech’s mechanically bonded copper base exerts a minor toll compared to one without any bond.
The Swiftech MCW372-B has a lot going for it: Easy mounting, swivel blocks and very good performance. All told, a very competent package and a good addition to any water cooling system.