In our 6/18 review of Tidal Pool’s innovative waterblocks, we found great performance for an aluminum block due to its superior design. This block used straight 1/4″ nipples which are not usually amenable to socket 370 mounting. Ed Lawrence (Mr. Tidal Pool) whipped one up with 3/8″ 90 degree nipples to test out.
As the pic above shows, this one uses nylon fittings; I also wanted to show the clip that may come with the Tidal Pool – it is quite secure and very easy to mount in a socket 370. As usual, discretion must be used with tightening.
I tested the latest against the 1/4″ straight brass nipple unit and BeCooling’s 3/8″ copper block – same test conditions as noted below:
|Tidal Pool Straight|
|Tidal Pool 90 Degree|
Great performance but I think the nylon fittings are not helping any; the production blocks will most likely use brass nipples, so I think you will see a difference. Even so, performance at these temps for aluminum blocks is outstanding. Considering the probable price difference between aluminum and copper, the Tidal Pool design is a clear price/performance winner.
SUMMARY: An innovative design that gets an aluminum waterblock to copper-level performance.
Aluminum is a lot easier to work than copper, which is why you see a lot of aluminum blocks compared to copper; this results in cheaper prices. The “penalty” is aluminum does not transfer heat as readily as copper so, for comparable designs, they do not cool as well. However, the key is comparable designs.
Tidal Pool is a new face on the scene, so new that there is no website up yet. The brainchild of Ed Lawrence, he was kind enough to send me a prototype to test out. As you can see (pic below), it is about the same size as the BeCooling copper block. The Tidal Pool was fitted with 1/4″ nipples compared to 3/8″ on the copper block.
I tested each out over two days using my stacked peltier test rig – this was with a Danner Pondmaster 1.5 pump and BeCooling’s radiator. Results were:
DAY One – Ambient temp 30.0 C
Tidal Pool: -26.0 C
BeCooling: -25.8 C
Day Two – Ambient temp 23.1 C
Tidal Pool: -30.7 C
BeCooling: -31.5 C
Impressive results! I asked Ed to send me an open block so that we could see the interior (pic below). The Tidal Pool is a hollowed out aluminum block I think there are two distinct advantages of this design over the usual drilled channel approach:
- High water turbulence due to the swirling effect of the entering water into the circular chamber;
- High ratio of water to aluminum.
I think performance can be improved with 3/8″ nipples and Tidal Pool is incorporating these into its latest design. I also think, for socket 370 use, right angle nipples are required and you will see that feature also.
Tidal Pool has raised the performance bar for aluminum heatsinks, and it will be interesting to see if a copper design raise the bar further. Although not ready for sale (two weeks?), you can email Ed Lawrence for any questions you might have.
I have a design objective for water cooling – $50 for a complete closed loop system. I think we are closing in on it pretty quickly with designs such as this.