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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:36 pm    Post subject: A SMALL BUT SELECTIVE CPU WATER BLOCK SHOOTOUT!!! Reply with quote


Well!!!... It's been along time coming for such a small selection of blocks I know, Was hoping for more blocks but couldn't wait any longer & so decided to post up the results of the blocks I had. I will add more to the list as & when I can to try & keep it upto date e.t.c in the future all being well..

Anyway First up a little list of the manufacturers blocks I have lined up here today are EK, XSPC, WATERCOOL & AQUACOMPUTER.

Secondly, All the test runs for each of the blocks was carried out in a Case (Phobya Ultra Large Water cooling case... Although this will soon be changed for a Corsair Obsidian 900D Series case as my review case in the near future) & not on a Test Bench (After all most people will be running these in a home case set-up as opposed to running a test bench) So I feel this gives a more accurate real world test results that most people will get in their home PC set-ups..

Thirdly, I used ARTIC MX-2 Thermal Paste for all blocks rather than using the supplied paste that was included with some of the blocks, a couple of the blocks don't come with any paste & so rather than use some with their own paste supplied & then some results showing with the MX-2 for those blocks that didn't come supplied with paste I decided to use one paste for all so that the results were all coming from a level playing field....

Fourth, At great pains... I kept the room Temperature at the same level for each block test run.. & at times this was no easy task as our summer weather was so up & down and our central heating boiler had a funny turn at times... Anyway I digress!!.... For the most part I kept the room temp pretty Static & Level for the simple reason that I found the results could be very different by at times several degrees with just a little higher room temp of around 1°c to 2°c... It surprised me by just how much difference such a small change in room temp can make to what results I got from any of the blocks tested here & so I soon realised that to make things fair everything had to be run a level field...

So!!!... Now lets just have a very quick closer look at each of the blocks I ran the shootout with....

1). The EK-SUPREMACY FULL COPPER (Intel LGA 1155/1156... 1366 & 2011) also (AMD S754/939/940 & AMx, FM1)

2). EK-SUPREME LTX CSQ NICKLE/PLEXI (Intel LGA 775/115x.......1366 & 2011)

3). WATERCOOL HEATKILLER CPU REV3.0 (Intel LGA 775/1155/1156/1366 & 2011) also (AMD S754/939/940/AM2(+) & AM3(+)

4). XSPC RAYSTORM (Intel LGA 775/1155/1156/1366 & 2011 also (AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+ & FM1)

5). AQUCOMPUTER CUPLEX KRYOS HF (Intel LGA 1366/1155/1156/775 & 2011)

That's a quick look at the blocks on test here & as I stated earlier, I used Artic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound, Applied in the same way to each block using a single Blob of MX-2 compound in centres of CPU Heatsinks before placing blocks..

The full System used for this shootout I'm listing below & all settings were kept the same throughout the whole process, That includes the CPU Overclock, D5 Pump Speed (full) & Loop were all maintained the same throughout...

The System Consisted of:

Case = Phobya Ultra Large Watercooling Case
MB = Asus Maximus Extreme III (socket 1156)
CPU = Intel i7 860 (2.8Mhz) Over clocked to 3.6Mhz @ 1.24v
Mem = 8Gb (4 x 2Gb) Corsair XMS3 1600Ghz
GPU's= 3 x Nvidia 460GTX's (not included in cpu loop)

Water Cooling for CPU Loop consist of:

1 x Koolance 360 (3 x 120) slim 30mm Rad (30fpi)
1 x Aquaero 5 Waterblock
2 x Aqua computer HF flow meter
1 x Aqua Computer USB D5 Pump @100%
1 x Aqualis D5 Pump Top
1 x Aqualis XT 450ml reservoir
6 x XSPC 2000rpm ZPXINRUILIAN Fans 0.28amp (in push/pull)

Coolant used:

X1 Clear & 3 drops of Orange dye

Monitoring gear used:

1 x Aquaero 5 (water temps & Aida64 software cpu die temps))
1 x Open Hardware Monitor for CPU (Die Temps)
3 x Aqua computer Inline Temp Probes (water temps)
2 x Flat bladed Temp Probes (for room temps)
2 x Aqua computer High Flow flow meters

Method used for the Stress testing:

Prime95 & Standard Blend Test ran for 3½ hours for each test

No stress testing was begun before the PC had been running Idle for 1hr (this enabled me to be sure the room temp was equal for each block run at start & to give a Stable Idle temp)

The first reading taken was obviously the IDLE Temps, I then Proceeded to Take a Second reading after 30 mins Prime test started, subsequent readings were then taken after each full Hour making a Total of 3½ Hours stressing e.t.c..

Below now is a chart to give you a pictorial view of the results I gathered...

AND!!!........ Surprisingly..... There's not a lot in it too be honest.

That is apart from maybe the Watercool Heatkiller Ver3.0, which when under stress is around 3°c higher than the rest with a reading of 63.5°c at it's highest temp compared to around 59.5°c to 60.5°c for the best from the above which was the Aquacomputer Cuplex Kryos & the XSPC Raystorm who's highest was around 60.5°c > 61.5°c.. Although when in the Idle state the Aquacomputer Cuplex was on a par with the Watercool Heatkiller with the temps static at 31°c & the EK-Supremacy Full Copper was the best here at 29.5°c....

Now!!.. We need to be realistic here & say that too be honest there is very very little between the Blocks with only 1.5°c difference between the worst & best blocks when the PC was Idling... OK.. Now that difference does grow a little & I mean a LITTLE when the CPU is under 100% load... But even then the gap is only 4°c difference between the worst & best while under load & If you take out the Watercooler Heatkiller that difference is even less at only misery 2°c between the rest of the blocks...

OK!!.. So now I wanted to know why the Watercool Heatkiller was that little bit worse than the others when it came to the temp readings of the CPU cores?... Was it due to it's flow of fluid running throught the block?....
Well!!.. When I looked at this... It turns out that the heatkiller has a fairly Mid range for flow rates when compared to the other blocks.. It wasn't the worst nor did it have the best flow rates of these five blocks.. The best for flow rates was the EK- SUPREMACY FULL COPPER with a flow of 308L/hr when idle rising to 317L/hr when under stress or hot then.. Neither was it the worst flow rate, that honour goes to the Aquacomputer Cuplex Kryos HF with a flow rate of 253L/hr while idling rising to 260L/hr when hot.... The Heatkiller actually comes in at 272L/hr when Idling rising to 280L/hr while hot..
Now as the EK & the XSPC were very close in regards to controlling or drawing the heat from the CPU, I can't see that flow rate through the Heatkiller as being the problem or what is holding it back compared to the other blocks.. Below is the complete list of blocks and their relative Flow Rates..

1). Aquacomputer Cuplex Kryos HF (Copper/Stainless steel).....= 253L/hr cold to 260L/hr hot..
2). Watercoll Heatkiller Rev3.0 (copper/Stainless steel)............= 272L/hr cold to 280L/hr hot
3). EK-Supremacy Full Copper....................................................= 308L/hr cold to 317L/hr hot
4). EK-Supreme LTX CSQ (Nickle/Plexi).....................................= 298L/hr cold to 304L/hr hot
5). XSPC Raystorm (Copper/Plexi).............................................= 293L/hr cold to 302L/hr hot

So if flow is not the reason for the Heatkiller block having a more than the others higher temp reading (albeit by only around 3° to 4°c) I thought I'd better check that the Aquaero 5 had the same settings for the fans just in case the fan speeds were to blame... But again there was nothing wrong here the Idle rate for the fans for all the blocks was 39% @ 820rpm to 830rpm & at no point did the fans get above 48% to 49% @ 1042rpm to 1069 rpm and this was the case for all the blocks on test..

I purposely had the Aquaero set up for keeping things relatively cool with as little noise as possible.. Usually what most people ask for when their setting up a Water cooling loop... Good temps with minimal fan speed/noise...

I knew it wouldn't be down to the room temp as I was very very careful to have the room temp at the same levels for all the Block test runs which I managed to keep between 24°c when idling to 24.9/25.2°c when all blocks were under load and e at end of test run... Also the same fluid was used throughout & the same amount... The Overclock was the same with the same volts e.t.c for each of the blocks.. As I already stated at the beginning I used the same Thermal Paste (MX-2) with the same amount on each block & used the same method for spreading of the paste Via the pressure from the blocks & their mounting screws...
Also when I checked back on the water temp readings there was only a very meagre 0.27°c difference with the Heatkiller holding on to the middle ground in regards to water temps at their highest, It didn't have the highest nor did it have the lowest but again the difference between the highest & lowest water temps under load was only 0.5°c at it's worst and it wasn't the Heatkiller!!!...

I should also state here now that each of the blocks I had for this test I installed with their fitted standard flow plates if they had plates, Most blocks that I had didn't have separate plates. So again I kept it as if I was just someone that bought a block & just went ahead and fitted it as standard and as it came, I feel most users would do this so kept it as such. For the most part I've tried to do this so called shootout (albeit a fairly small shootout) as simple and as much as the ordinary person would be using these blocks in their own home PC as I feel this gives a more meaningful result to the average user out there...

I can't really explain why the Watercool Heatkiller should be so different (albeit a small difference) to the other blocks, considering the other blocks were so closely matched in all the timed runs. The Heatkillers look equally as well made as the other blocks are of copper/stainless steel as is the Aquacomputer Cuplex block and the EK- Supremacy which is a Full copper block, I expected the Heatkiller to be well on a par with them. But as I found out this was not the case & I really do not have an answer as to why that should be so..
It seems to me, with the selection of blocks I had, It really does just come down to what you like aesthetically as to anything else, as there really is so little between all of them.. Also the chances that most of you will be running your CPU's at 100% is... & lets be honest here... Pretty bloody remote.... All of the blocks here were very easy to install with very easy instructions to follow for the most part explaining the differences to some fittings depending on your chip type & I really can't see anyone having to much trouble getting the hang of any of them

So for my money & in my opinion if you like the look of the block & it fits your particular build theme (if you have one) then go and buy it because there really isn't a lot in it when it comes to how well they perform when it comes to water cooling, That's going by the 5 blocks I have here, how other blocks will perform I don't know... Yet!!!... But if I should get more blocks to test I will certainly put up my findings and add them to this small sample I have here...

Thanks for reading & hope some of you will find it useful...
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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