Archive for the ‘Blocks’ Category

i7-3930K DT 5Noz CPU Block Review

Posted: March 12, 2012 in Blocks
Tags: , , , , ,

Welcome to my review of the all new DT 5NOZ CPU waterblock.  This is the first block tested on my brand new i7-3930K platform. Some of the veteran water coolers may recall Detroit Thermo pioneering the D5 pump top DT produced a while back which was the first D5 pump top that actually outperformed the factory top.  DT is now producing an all new CPU block that is quite a bit different from the norm regarding it’s nozzle.  While most of the current top blocks are utilizing a single slot nozzle over a bed of microchannels, the 5Noz is different.  Erik from DT asked that I keep the internals private in this review so I’m going to have to leave you with external photos only.  If you really want to see the internal nozzle, you will have to buy one.

I would like to give special thanks to Erik from http://www.dtwaterblocks.com/  for the preview sample.  The sample I received was more of a preview sample which doesn’t include the more current version replaces the standard M4 nuts with large thumb-nuts as most have requested.

DETROIT AC’s PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT

Xtremesystems’s announcement

DT 5Noz waterblock

Hello, let me present my new waterblock. I call it the 5Noz, as there is an unique nozzle inside the block with 5 openings.Martin was good enough to take these excellent pictures for me, thank you Martin!

I machine this block myself on my CNC.

I use copolymer acetal for the top and the spider. With each, I flycut the top with a slow speed and fast feed which gives it checkering like a gun grip. Because it’s a circular cutter, the pattern changes over the top and spider, very coarse near the center and fine near the edges. G 1/4 ports, of course, spaced very widely apart, so I don’t think there will be any fitting issues. There is a spotface at each fitting for proper O-ring sealing (can’t seal on the textured surface). Internally, the top has a couple of horseshoe shaped features that poke-yoke the nozzle so you can only install it in the correct orientation. The O-ring is kept round, which means super short cycle time for me to machine, but it’s also not fiddly to deal with, easy to reinstall if you need to.

The top and spider are also available in white acetal, I have parts finished but no good pictures yet.

The spider is removable and is available in Intel pattern, AMD pattern shortly, and this could be replaced for future socket designs. The spider has a pocket that the springs go down into. This hides the springs a little bit, but also the thickness of the material underneath the springs will allow a metal spider to be used instead of acetal.

The base is 110 alloy copper, 44 microchannels are machined in two steps 0.020 inches and then 0.012 inches. The base contact surface is machined flat and smooth, and is not polished. M4 female threads are in the base, which means that during disassembly for cleaning you only deal with metal threads, so less likely to strip something. The M4 stainless steel cap screws use the full head, so the hex wrench is a nice big 3mm size, less likely to be rounded out.

The nozzle is machined from 360 alloy brass and allows a unique flow path through this block. The nozzle is one of the best looking parts of this block, I wish I could share it, but it’s good and it’ll likely be…adopted…:rolleyes: The nozzle allows a flow path that contacts more fin leading edges, parallel flow paths, and provides a lower pressure drop. The base is bowed by the nozzle. One side of the nozzle is flat, and the base contact face of the nozzle is machined into a convex surface. Close tolerances must be held on the base, top and nozzle to get the bow to the 0.005 inches it’s designed for. To do this, I have to match the parts as they are built, as there are a few thou’ that parts when combined can drift. This means that it will be possible to custom assemble to any amount of bow. I think 0.005 bow is about right, but but I also think bigger IHS processors might do better with less bow, and smaller might do better with more :shrug: In any case, any amount of bow within reason can be specified.

The backplate is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum, and has machined chamfers to accept the heads of flathead M4 screws. This keeps the backplate and screws from slipping around when installing it to the mobo. There is a chamfer for LGA775, one for 115x, and one for 1366/2011. LGA2011 hardware is included, all hardware is stainless steel except for the springs which are zinc coated steel.

I’ve tested the 5Noz and the Koolance CPU-370 in my test loop.

D5 Pump with DT top, setting 5, 12V
Single 120mm radiator
Single Yate Loon D12SM-12 fan, 12V
Q6600 die simulator (copper block machined to Q6600 die sizes, Q6600 IHS soldered to these die)
200W applied to cartridge heaters in the die simulator

5Noz => 31.9C temperature delta between die simulator thermocouple and air entering the radiator
CPU-370 => 33.4C delta

5Noz => 2.55 GPM
CPU-370 => 1.27 GPM

Samples are with a few excellent, non-biased reviewers. Hopefully you can get some independent reviews of this block shortly.

When my old large 30g tube of MX-2 ran out during my M6 block testing, I was a bit afraid of what that might mean.  I have heard of a few people report variances between thermal paste samples, and I’m finding the same problem here as well.  I had a large tube of MX-2 I started using back in my Q6600 testing round that lasted quite a while through a large group of blocks.  I had been using this same tube of paste as part of my 2600K testing as well and life was good up to that point of running out.  In a failed attempt to “Carry On” with my thermal testing, I purchased a new 20G tube of MX-2 with the hopes that I could simply do some quick validation mounts with my last tested block.

Well, the first few mounts are not looking good to validate the thermal paste consistency.  It’s very clear the new paste consistency has changed between samples, it is visually less dense and more thin in consistency. My old batch 1 30g tube would leave a clear imprint on the heat spreader where the block made good contact, this new 20G tube paste is much different.  It runs as if it was thinned and generally acts differently.

And more importantly, after several mounts of retesting using the new batch 2 sample…

Perhaps TIM pastes can be like a fine wine in that they become more dense and perform better over time in storage, or there has been a slight change in the MX-2 formula, or  there is simply variations between samples out there.  Bottom line for me is that any future CPU block thermal results comparisons will have to start over on testing.  Sorry for further delays on getting caught up on CPU thermals, but with block performances being as close as they are, this thermal paste change and my inability to purchase the exact same thing I was using for previous tests…makes this a stopping point for that round of tests.

I may very well spend a little time evaluating a few other thermal compounds now and decide on something newer/better than MX-2.  I’m not really all that impressed with my new MX-2 sample..it’s just not performing as well as my old 30g tube…:(

I’ve been following Vapor’s work here and now is probably my opportunity to try something different.  If I can’t use my old MX-2 batch 1 results to compare with, I may as well look at switching out the thermal paste entirely:

http://skinneelabs.com/2011-tim-results/2/

Sorry for more delays on future thermal results, but I’m going to have to start over.

Cheers!
Martin

DT 5 NOZ CPU Block Preview

Posted: February 27, 2012 in Blocks
Tags: , , ,

Welcome to my preview of the all new DT 5NOZ CPU waterblock.  He asked that I keep the internal details private at the moment, but I will attest to the internal design being something very different.  The name of the block itself says quite a bit, but I’ll have to leave you with your imagination on what’s going on inside.

For now I’ll just share with you some photos, DT’s product announcement, and my pressure drop test as a teaser.

I would like to give special thanks to Erik from http://www.dtwaterblocks.com/  for the preview sample.

PHOTOS

DETROIT AC’s PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT

Xtremesystems’s announcement

DT 5Noz waterblock

Hello, let me present my new waterblock. I call it the 5Noz, as there is an unique nozzle inside the block with 5 openings.Martin was good enough to take these excellent pictures for me, thank you Martin!

I machine this block myself on my CNC.

I use copolymer acetal for the top and the spider. With each, I flycut the top with a slow speed and fast feed which gives it checkering like a gun grip. Because it’s a circular cutter, the pattern changes over the top and spider, very coarse near the center and fine near the edges. G 1/4 ports, of course, spaced very widely apart, so I don’t think there will be any fitting issues. There is a spotface at each fitting for proper O-ring sealing (can’t seal on the textured surface). Internally, the top has a couple of horseshoe shaped features that poke-yoke the nozzle so you can only install it in the correct orientation. The O-ring is kept round, which means super short cycle time for me to machine, but it’s also not fiddly to deal with, easy to reinstall if you need to.

The top and spider are also available in white acetal, I have parts finished but no good pictures yet.

The spider is removable and is available in Intel pattern, AMD pattern shortly, and this could be replaced for future socket designs. The spider has a pocket that the springs go down into. This hides the springs a little bit, but also the thickness of the material underneath the springs will allow a metal spider to be used instead of acetal.

The base is 110 alloy copper, 44 microchannels are machined in two steps 0.020 inches and then 0.012 inches. The base contact surface is machined flat and smooth, and is not polished. M4 female threads are in the base, which means that during disassembly for cleaning you only deal with metal threads, so less likely to strip something. The M4 stainless steel cap screws use the full head, so the hex wrench is a nice big 3mm size, less likely to be rounded out.

The nozzle is machined from 360 alloy brass and allows a unique flow path through this block. The nozzle is one of the best looking parts of this block, I wish I could share it, but it’s good and it’ll likely be…adopted…:rolleyes: The nozzle allows a flow path that contacts more fin leading edges, parallel flow paths, and provides a lower pressure drop. The base is bowed by the nozzle. One side of the nozzle is flat, and the base contact face of the nozzle is machined into a convex surface. Close tolerances must be held on the base, top and nozzle to get the bow to the 0.005 inches it’s designed for. To do this, I have to match the parts as they are built, as there are a few thou’ that parts when combined can drift. This means that it will be possible to custom assemble to any amount of bow. I think 0.005 bow is about right, but but I also think bigger IHS processors might do better with less bow, and smaller might do better with more :shrug: In any case, any amount of bow within reason can be specified.

The backplate is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum, and has machined chamfers to accept the heads of flathead M4 screws. This keeps the backplate and screws from slipping around when installing it to the mobo. There is a chamfer for LGA775, one for 115x, and one for 1366/2011. LGA2011 hardware is included, all hardware is stainless steel except for the springs which are zinc coated steel.

I’ve tested the 5Noz and the Koolance CPU-370 in my test loop.

D5 Pump with DT top, setting 5, 12V
Single 120mm radiator
Single Yate Loon D12SM-12 fan, 12V
Q6600 die simulator (copper block machined to Q6600 die sizes, Q6600 IHS soldered to these die)
200W applied to cartridge heaters in the die simulator

5Noz => 31.9C temperature delta between die simulator thermocouple and air entering the radiator
CPU-370 => 33.4C delta

5Noz => 2.55 GPM
CPU-370 => 1.27 GPM

Samples are with a few excellent, non-biased reviewers. Hopefully you can get some independent reviews of this block shortly.

Price will be $87.95 USD.

PRESSURE DROP TESTING

While my CPU thermal test rig is currently apart from my recent LAN event rebuilding, I do have the ability to test pressure drop very quickly.  So…I did and…
We have a new KING of low restriction in my 2011-2012 round of CPU blocks tested!
This block is a good 50%+ less restrictive than my previous next best grouping utilizing microchannel designs….wow!  It is the least restrictive microchannel block I’ve ever tested and nearly as low in restriction as large open pin designs of several years ago.That 5NOZzle is quite impressive in reducing restriction.
I should also comment on how excellent the machining quality on this block is.  Unlike some of the mass produced blocks which have minor irregularities, this one is excellence in precision and machining quality is as good as it gets.  All the parts come together with high precision and a lot of thought has gone into the design.  It is one of those blocks that comes apart and goes together as if you had a swiss watch in your hands, just very well machined with extremely tight tolerances and quality.While I don’t have thermal results yet, the restriction is exceptionally low, the machining quality is exceptionally high, and the design is something very different..:)
Cheers!
Martin
Thermal Preview 3-11-12
While I don’t have anything to compare yet, I did finally get my new 3930K processor up and running:
I replaced the standard M4 nuts with DD brass M4 nuts and 35lb springs which I plan to use for all of my 3930K block testing for mounting pressure consistency.
I figured as a placeholder, I’d give you a quick screenshot of my very first 3930K mount:
Still in the process of getting all my software installed, but I’m thinking I’ll hold back a bit on the the overclock at 4.5Ghz for some extra stability.  I’m pretty sure I could easily see 4.8+ out of this processor, but my old 2600K was pushing a bit hard and testing is hard enough without having to deal with occasional stability issue.  This overclock is extremely stable and the way I like it..:)  This is also pushing considerably more heat over the 2600K as can be seen in the water/air delta numbers hitting nearly 6C despite the strong full speed d12SM12 fans on a quad radiator.  I’m not quite sure what the actual Watt load is, but it’s very very high.  According to Tom’sHardware here, at 4.5Ghz it should be pushing roughly 175W. I wonder if that’s even enough myself considering system power consumption goes from 360W at stock settings loaded clear up to 516W (+156W).  Bottom line the 3930K is throwing out tons of heat, so this is a pretty good cooling test regardless of the final overclock used.
This is the first block I’m testing with the new processor, so I don’t have anything to compare with just yet.
Despite the very large LGA2011 6 cores and extra heat load, 4.5Ghz is still running fairly cool and a bit cooler than my 2600K at 4.8.
This is a new core distribution chart showing the deviation between core temperatures.  The first two mounts were done with the block lettering vertical to the left, where the last three mounts were done horizontal in line with the graphics card and motherboard lettering.  While the differences are within standard deviation error, my best mount #4 was with the block oriented horizontally.  My hottest #5 core and differences between cores was also better using the horizontal orientation.
I really like this block, it flows like crazy and looks good in my new 3930K based system.  I kind of like the white block with black spider option myself.  I did utilize my own mounting hardware for testing consistency and to make mounting a bit easier.  My only reservation would be the shipped standard M4 nuts that came in my package and stiff springs, but I understand the latest version is coming with large black thumb-nuts to improve the hardware package from what I recieved.  I measured the springs compression force and came up with roughly 20lbs per spring fully compressed which is a bit more stiff than I prefer using myself.  I used 8lb springs and brass thumb-nuts from the M6 which I plan to use for all my 3930K testing since it allows fully compressing the spring and feedback when complete so I can get a good measured installation force.  I also did not use the supplied aluminum back-plate since the 2011 platform has one built in but it looks well made.  In general the system is still very much a loose parts type system which takes a fair bit more patience and time to install than some of the more refined mounting systems out there that have reduced the loose parts down to only a few.
More to come as I get a few more 3930K based block tests done.

WHERE TO BUY

i7-2600K CPU Block Shootout

Posted: February 7, 2012 in Blocks

Rather than trying to update each and every single block out there, I figured I’d do a summary blog of the various cpu block tests.  This has been a grueling task as you don’t know, but I actually tested 17 total blocks many of which were prototypes people sent.  I feel it’s important to take a step back one more time and look at the blocks from a big picture perspective.  Performance will of coarse be included, but I also see many other areas being equally or more important which will be somewhat subjective.

 

Resistance (Pressure Drop)

This is just a measurement of hydraulic restriction and something to consider when planning pumping needs and how the block affects flow rates of other components.

The results are all extremely close and overlapping depending on sample variance.

Thermal Performance

This is the more important performance factor of what the actual thermal performance is.

Again the results thermally are also really close and depend on the particular mount.

Packaging & Accessories

This represents how each block comes packaged to you:

Danger Den M6 came with one backplate and loose hardware (barbs were extra)

XSPC Raystorm came with all backplates, color manual, LED module and thermal compound

Supreme HF came with one universal backplate, good MX-4 thermal paste, and a wrench

Apogee HD came with a black/white guide, two backplates, quality barbs, worm drive clamps, and  paste.

CPU-370 came with AMD+INTEL Hold downs, two backplates, Paste, Thermal sensor film, and colored manual.

The Rasa is similar to the Raystorm with the three backplates, color guide, paste, and wrench.

In the end, I’m a bit torn between the barbs/clamps provided by Swiftech vs the nicer guide and additional backplates and LED module included in the Raystorm.  I’m going to call that a two way tie.

i7-2600K CPU Danger Den M6 Block Preview

Posted: January 21, 2012 in Blocks
Tags: , , , , ,

Welcome to my preview of the all new Danger Den M6 CPU block recently announced.  My last Danger Den block test included the acrylic top MC-TDX that I tested as part of my Q6600 CPU block round.  While the MC-TDX was a simple and effective two piece acrylic top and hold down design, the M6 steps it up several notches in a completely redesigned all metal 4 piece form of metal artwork.  In my experience Danger Den products have always been leaders in producing low restriction / high flow designs and the M6 continues that trend while also improving thermal performance significantly over the previous MC-TDX.  The all metal build and heft of the block is worthy of note and inspires confidence in purchasing a product that can take a beating with high mounting pressures.  The sample I received for testing was actually provided prior to the retail package being released and as part of this test, I have been working on evaluating a special shim/nozzle package that will compliment and further enhances performance. Rather than hold onto all the data until complete, I figured I’d release what I have so far and update as I complete evaluating more shims/nozzles.

Before getting started, I would like to give a special thanks to Jeremy & Dennis from Danger Den for sponsoring the preview sample as well as the prototype shims soon to also be regular products.

Before digging in on my own review, I thought I would quote the manufacturers specs info available:

Press Release

from Danger Den’s website:

Danger Den® introduces a new CPU Cooling Block – DD-M6 CPU Block™ the highest performing CPU block to date from Danger Den.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Astoria, OR – December 28, 2011, 7:16 PM Pacific Standard Time – Danger Den announced the release for sale the new highest performing CPU waterblock, the DD-M6 CPU Block™ with shipments beginning January 2nd, 2012.

The DD-M6 CPU Block™ replaces the long running MC-TDX block improving upon the performance and reliability.  Thermal performance is significantly improved while maintaining a low flow restriction design.  Available in solid copper and brass parts that are non-plated or nickel plated.  A new and improved mounting system is also part of the DD-M6 CPU block package allowing reliable mounting pressure in an attractive package.

“Danger Den released a CPU block that we are proud of.  Improved performance, built like a tank, and almost 100% produced in the US. The Top Plate, Mid Plate, Hold Down Plate, Hold Down parts are all machined in our facility or within 50 miles of Danger Den”, said Jeremy Burnett Danger Den’s President, adding “ The hold down package has been significantly improved for the LGA 2011 socket and previous socket versions.  It looks great and makes the mounting process simple for the consumer.”

Developing a solidly constructed CPU block was imperative to the Danger Den product line.  It provides the protection and reliability that customers demand.  Danger Den does intend to offer a lexan version for the customers that prefer the aesthetics of a clear block.

Stock and availability for the Intel Sockets including the LGA 2011 is January 2nd, 2012.  The AMD version is to follow in two weeks. 

MSRP & Product Page Links:

DD-M6 CPU Block – Brass: from $74.95

DD-M6 CPU Block – Nickel: from $79.95

Photo Gallery:  http://bit.ly/m6-cpublock

Features

from Danger Den’s website:

Features:
  • 100% copper 110 Base with Micro Fins
  • EN Nickel Plated Mid Plate and Top
  • *NEW* Stealth Spring Mounting System
  • 1/8″ Powder Coated Steel Hold Down
  • Threaded fitting ports are G 1/4 BSPP
  • Complete Block with all O-Rings
  • Pressure Tested to 50psi
  • Fittings sold separately
  • Machine lapped and flat mirror polished
Benefits:
  • 58 Heat Dissipating Fins at a 0.5mm pitch and 0.25mm channel.Providing enhanced transfer of heat to the water and optimum coverage of the CPU
  • Significant temperature drops on high TDP processors and major Overclocks.  Observed over 7C drop versus MC-TDX.
  • Ready to install designed and tuned for your system for top performance
  • Anti-Tarnish coating applied to prevent finger print or environmental changes.  This specialized formula also has no effect on cooling potential.
  • Corrosion will not occur when used with other Copper and Brass parts.  Avoid using non-anodized aluminum (or all aluminum) if at all possible for maximum component life.
Advantages:
Notes:
  • Verify proper mount before power up.  Check the thermal compound imprint and verify the block isn’t touching any capacitors.
  • Optional back plate is 1/8″ acrylic and covers the Intel back plate.  A gasket surround the Intel back plate for additional protection.

Of particular interest to me is the .25mm channels and while it’s not noted here the fins are skived rather than machined allowing this micro structure.  The block really is a totally new design over the previous generation.