Posts Tagged ‘pump’

Ever since doing pump top testing for the DDC series pumps, there was always some thought that gains from the DDC tops was larger in part (vs D5 tops) due to the sharp and small elbow at the pump inlet in the factory top that is removed.  In addition, past testing of aftermarket tops with alternate inlets also showed some rather large losses when using those alternate elbow inlets.   Which brings me to this fairly simple test of a single DDC pump + top using Bitspower 90 degree elbows and straight barbs as the variable.

While I didn’t request a sponsor specifically for this test, I did use some parts sponsored from a long time ago. The top was provide by XSPC many years ago.  This is the king of DDC pump tops that I tested back here in 2008. I have tested other newer tops and have yet to find one that outperforms it on a like DDC motor.  It has a fairly typical thicker top with a reduced inlet opening so I figured it represents the DDC tops out there fairly well.

XSPClogo

Bitspower also sent me the elbows many moons ago when these handy little swivel elbows first came to market.  They have the same quality barb and have a larger 10mm or so.  The internal transition is not quite a smooth radius, but it’s a fairly large diameter which makes a big difference.  These elbows are exceptionally nice and easy to use with the swivel feature.

LogoBitspower

So, the mission of this test, do modern 90 degree elbows like the larger 10mm ID bistpower swivel 90s create a significant loss on pumps when installed directly on the pump top itself?

We shall see…

Test Setup

The obligatory test setup picture, below is during the straight in and straight out configuration:

PUmpElbowTesting

I am using:

  • Mastech HY3005D DC power supply to regulate voltage
  • Cen-tech P98674 Digital multimeter to read molex plug voltage
  • Crystalfontz CFA-633 + WinTest B1.9 to monitor and smooth RPM
  • Dwyer 477-5 Digital Manometer to read Pressure Differential across the pump
  • King 7520 (Valved) to measure flow rate and adjust restriction

The large reservoir bleeds out the loop almost instantly, I simply swapped out the barbs for elbows in the other conditions.

Detailed Test Results

Straight In and Straight Out

PumpElbowImpacts-SISO

Elbow In and Straight Out

PumpElbowImpacts-EISO

Straight In & Elbow Out

PumpElbowImpacts-SIEO

Comparison

PumpElbowImpacts-Comp

That’s not quite what I expected.  I had expected the inlet side to be the bigger loss than the outlet AND I expected the losses to be much larger than that.  While you can see upwards of a 30-40% pressure loss at 1.5GPM using aftermarket pump top alternate inlets with their tiny little drilled passageways and close proximity to the impeller, the larger ID bitspower 90 degree elbows and more distant proximity is not affecting pump performance very much at all on this particular pump top.  I think the reduced diameter inlet built into the top probably straightens out the flow pretty well and we are mostly just measuring restriction added.  Some of the DDC tops such as the MCP35X likely have more impact, but there isn’t much showing when the inlet has a step down diameter after the elbow.

In an earlier elbow testing experiment here on blocks, I found this same elbow to have roughly .15PSI loss at 1.5GPM and in this test I’m getting around .1-.2PSI loss depeding on the location, so pretty close.

ElbowLosses

That data is fairly good for this discussion as well, so for those that like speaking in “Degrees”, adding an elbow to your pump inlet or outlet is about equivalent to a 0.05C temperature loss.  Probably not something to worry about much.

So, that’s that.  While I used to be a skeptic about installation of elbows on pumps, I’m not so worried about it now. At least with your typical DDC top with reduced inlet opening, the larger ID Bitspower elbows do not seem to cause much more than a little restriction which is not going to add up to more than a tenth of a degree and really not worth worrying about.

Cheers!Smilieparty0012
Martin

Welcome to my “living” review/preview of the Swiftech MCP 655-PWM DRIVE. What do you get when you couple our most reliable, most silent, and most cool running pump with PWM technology?

A Swiftech MCP 655 PWM-DRIVE!

I have been using D5 variants for about 5 years now and have always admired them as probably being the most tried and true pump out there serving many systems for 5 years + and going strong.

Swiftech-MCP-655-PWM-Drive0

However, I have also recently come to admire having PWM control over pumps such as the Swiftech MCP-35X in which I was able to automatically speed up and slow down the pump to meet thermal demands. PWM is also of value for special reservoir tops and other cramped installations where manually getting to the pump speed control is difficult after installation.

With the added PWM features, you no longer need to touch the pump physically to change speeds and you now have the flexibility to control it manually or automatically through a variety of PWM controlling software.

A special thanks to Mark from Frozen CPU for sponsoring the pump used in this review.

frozencpu_logo

Manufacturer Description & Specifications

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/17549/ex-pmp-214/Swiftech_MCP655-PWM_12v_Water_Pump_Module_-_PWM_Enabled_Single_Version.html

In response to the overwhelming demand and popularity of the MCP655 Series FrozenCPU.com has worked with Swiftech to bring you a more versatile version. Want your pump to run as quiet as possible? Now you can have that as well as the available power of the MCP655 in the all new MCP655-PWM. That is right, a PWM version on the MCP655!!

The MCP655 pump is a high reliability, high pressure industrial pump, featuring a 50,000 hour MTBF (5 year lifetime). Such reliability is afforded by the unique design of this pump, which contains only one moving part: the magnetically driven spherical impeller spins on a single ceramic bearing, thus extending the life of this pump beyond existing standards.

The pump is completely plug-and-play, and connects directly to any computer power-supply through standard 4 pin power connectors and a PWM 4-Pin header. It’s compact design, quiet and powerful motor make it ideally suited for heavy duty cooling in environments where space is at a premium.

This pump comes stock without any housing allowing you to integrate any of your favorite pump tops and pump accessories.

  • 50,000 hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) equivalent to 5 years lifetime
  • Superior 12 Volts DC convenience: plugs into the computer power supply
  • The MCP655-PWM can be used with full confidence in any MP servers, and high-end workstations
  • Superior real world performance versus any aquarium pump we have tested to this date
  • The high pressure capability of the MCP655-PWM is particularly well adapted to high-flow systems using 1/2″ ID or 3/8″ ID Tubing
  • Compact Design
  • No maintenance when used with de-mineralized water, and anti-fungal additives (Swiftech HydrX additive is recommended)
Nominal voltage: 12 V DC
Operating voltage range: 8 to 24 VDC
Nominal power (@ 12 V): 37 W Max
Nominal current (@ 12 V): 2 amps
Motor type: Brushless, microprocessor controlled
Maximum head: 13 ft (4 m)
Maximum discharge: ~ 317 GPH (1200 LPH)
Performance will vary based on housing used

So, the hydraulic specs appear to be the same as the MCP 655, however there are some minor differences in the nominal power rating of 37W and operating voltage. The 13ft of maximum head is right in line with what I have measured myself with other D5 variants, but power consumption for my test bench has typically toped out around 21 watts or so depending on restriction.

We’ll have to put it through the ringer of tests and see how it compares. Perhaps there are some differences in RPM scaling over the vario model and perhaps the PWM feature allows a greater range of RPM operation.

Swiftech MCP35X2 Pump

Posted: January 29, 2012 in Pumps
Tags: , , , ,

Introduction

Welcome to my Swiftech MCP35X2 review, possibly the ultimate in “Smart PWM Monster Pumping Performance”. After reviewing the Swiftech 35X single pump, I found myself making room for the powerful smart pump as part of my daily use and CPU block testing rig.  While manual speed control pumps move water fine, they can not be controlled automatically without more advanced (and expensive) controllers.  PWM controlled pumps offer a larger operating range and can be controlled with nothing more than a motherboard CPU header.  Just before CES 2012, Swiftech announced an arsenal of exciting new and innovative products, one of which was taking the previous flagship 35X success and marrying it together in a package of two (The MCP35X2). Two pumps in series provides nearly double the head pressure and also adds the pump redundancy safety benefit if one pump stops working. When Swiftech asked if I’d be interested in reviewing, I was happy to accept as I thought it would also make the perfect test pump for my new radiator test bench having all that range, power, and precision(easily repeatable) PWM control.

I would like to give special thanks to Gabe from Swiftech for providing this product review sample:

That’s a lot of smart PWM pumping power in the palm of your hand.

Before digging into the review, let’s first have a look at the product specifications and notes from Swiftech’s site:

Specifications
  • Small Footprint: L4.9″ x W2.8″ x H1.6″ (L126 x W72 x H41mm);
  • 50,000 hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) ;
  • 12 Volts DC convenience: plugs into the computer power supply
  • Variable speed control via PWM thru the motherboard, from 1300 rpm for completely silent operation, to 4500 rpm for ultra high flow performance;
  • Simultaneous pump speed control using one PWM motherboard header is achieved using the included PWM splitter cable.
  • Superior head pressure and flow rate (in the useable range) to any pump in its footprint: the X2 features twice the head pressure as the MCP35X.
  • G1/4″ ports standard for compatibility with a large assortment of fittings;
  • No maintenance when used with distilled water, and anti-fungal additives (our HydrX additive is recommended);
  • Quick installation with adhesive neoprene pad, or permanent installation with supplied hardware;
  • Optional “built-in” MCP35X-Res reservoir;
  • Ready for upcoming 5 1/4″ bay reservoir solutions by Swiftech.
  • 2 year warranty
Product Description
The MCP35X2 is the dual motor version of Swiftech’s flagship MCP35X pump. The product is designed to provide extreme flow rates in loops that include multiple devices, for example multiple radiators and triple or quad SLI/Crossfire liquid cooled graphics cards; pump redundancy also provides maximum safety in mission critical systems: if one pump fails, flow will continue to circulate thru the system thanks to the second pump. The unit features:
  • The MCP35X2-H dual pump housing:
    • designed to provide considerably enhanced hydraulic performance;
    • compatible with multiple tubing options thanks to the G1/4 port standard;
    • compatible with the optional MCP35X-Res reservoir;
    • available in two colors; classic black or fashionable white
    • also sold separately, and compatible with all MCP35 series pumps
  • Two MCP35X pump motors:
    • 12VDC and PWM controlled, allowing variable speed control thru the motherboard from 1300 to 4500 rpm, and linked with Swiftech’s PWM splitter cable for simultaneous pump speed adjustments using only one PWM motherboard header.
Technical Specifications
Motor type 2x Electronically commutated, brushless DC, spherical motors
Nominal voltage 12 V DC
Operating voltage range 9 to 13.4 VDC
Max. nominal power (@12 V) 18 W x 2
Max. nominal current (@12 V) 1.5 A x 2
Max. nominal head (@12 V) 27.9 ft (8.5m)
Max nominal discharge (@12 V) ~ 4.17 GPM (15.8 LPM)
Maximum pressure 22 PSI (1.5 BAR)
Temperature range Up to 140 °F (60 °C)
Electrical power connector 2x Molex 4 pin
PWM + RPM Signals 2x 4-pin connector
RoHS Compliant
Port thread standard G1/4
MTBF 50,000 Hours
Weight 15 oz
Dimensions (not including fittings) L4.9″ x W2.8″ x H1.6″ (L126 x W72 x H41mm)
That’s a lot of goodness and technical information to absorb that I’ll work on going over as I complete the review.

Here we have another “Smart” pump for water cooling, and one that is built by Eheim and Aquacomputers, the aquastream XT. Not only does it pump, it’s the only pump capable of being manually or automatically controlled via software, monitor’s water temperature, and it can also control the speed of one 5W fan channel (or a poweradjust 2 for 25w).  While there are a few smart pumps that can control pump speed, this is the only one I’m aware of that incorporates a full software suite and control of so much.

A special thanks goes out to Shoggy of Aqua Computers for sponsoring this pump!

He included it as part of the Aquareo 5 package I’ll be reviewing soon following the pump in flow meter.

Packaging

Who doesn’t like un-boxing new products?  Perhaps it’s growing up celebrating Christmas, but to this day I still enjoy this and perhaps why I still like doing these reviews.  Besides the normal surprise element, I think it’s also important that products are packaged well and accessories can make a difference.    The Aquastream XT ultra comes in a nice 6″ x 6″ x 5″ color printed box with various bits printed on the exterior.

Below are the specs printed on the box:

The specs check out well, and I would take note of the “automatic frequency adjustment”, this is a rather unique feature of this pump that causes the pump to restart on occasion as it’s testing the restriction level and tuning the pump.  This is intended to ensure the pump operates at the best operating point which should ensure the pump can’t overheat and also turns up the speed when restriction is present.

And there are multiple versions of the pump, and those differences are fairly well outlined below.  The model I’m reviewing here is the higher end “Ultra” flavor.

The bottom five features are what really makes this pump interesting for me, since it does much more than pump.  These features basically makes it an advance fan controller.  You can hook up a flow meter, fans, external temperature sensor, and monitor/control it all including the internal water temp sensor using software.  That’s considerably more “Smart” that pretty much any other pump I’ve used.

Upon opening the box presents:

Pulling out the soft foam casing reveals the pump:

I’m impressed by the foam protection here, that’s probably the best protection I’ve seen on any pump reviewed before.

Pulling it all out gives the following contents:

The USB cable on the upper left, the RPM monitor cable upper right, PSU jumper lower right, and aeration jumper lower left.

There were several bits of paper, most of which are written in other languages, but there is an English manual that’s fairly detailed and nicely done.

So that’s the package, but before going too far you should know that you need this accessory.  It’s a shame it’s not part of the pump box package as you pretty much need this for standard water cooling use where G1/4 is the standard.  This adapter kit is necessary to convert the larger inlet and smaller outlet ports to standard g1/4 water cooling fitting size.  AC sent me one, but don’t forget it; it’s a must-have extra.

Impression of the packaging was very good although I think the adapter kit should be a standard part of the package.  The pump was extremely well protected and the overall presentation was done fairly well.  The user manual was also done well and a welcome and somewhat necessary addition since this pump does soo much more than just pump.

Probably one of two most popular pumps in all of watercooling, the Koolance PMP-450 is a D5 Vario pump and packs a very strong amount of pumping power while retaining it’s built in variable speed controller.  There are multiple flavors of this pump and I have personally used the D5 series ever since my first loop watercooling several years ago.  Koolance has taken this very popular variable speed pump and added what it has been missing for far too long…an RPM sensing wire.

I would like to give special thanks to Tim from Koolance for sponsoring this powerful pump:

Overview

Koolance offers two flavors of the PMP-450 pumps.  One is the subject PMP-450 pump with variable speed control and the second is the PMP-450S pump which is fixed and designed to run at high voltage and higher speeds.

The pump comes in a factory box as a “Bare Pump” type product.

Box indicates it is a Laing D5-38/810 vario with 1/2″ barbs

Well packaged bare pump, no accessories

Both flavors of the pump share the exact same pump housing with the exception of the rear cup in which the PMP-450 has a hole where the variable speed control protrudes.

Variable speed controller and a BLUE RPM WIRE!!!!!

What’s different about the Koolance Brand pump?

There is one thing that I had always very much missed with various other D5 Vario pumps, and that’s the RPM sensor wire.  I’ve have several non Koolance brand variable speed D5 pumps now and none of them ever came with this very valuable feature.  As far as I know, Koolance is the only one to offer a variable speed Laing D5 that comes factory with the blue wire 3 pin RPM sensing wire.

Why is RPM sensing important?

RPM readout provides two important bits of information:

  • Pump and Loop Health Indicator – Having the ability to read RPM is a good way to see the pump is functioning as it was designed.  Sudden changes in RPM are indicators that either something has changed in the loop (IE a block is plugging), or that the pump is experiencing problems.  Without the ability to monitor via RPM, you are left with very little indication.
  • Pump Failure Shutdown – RPM is likely the easiest method of setting up an emergency pump shutdown routine.  Most motherboards and bios tools have some ability to set a minimum RPM level for the CPU fan header.  While this was originally intended to serve as a failsafe for CPU heat sink fans, it also works for pumps that have RPM sensing abilities.  While the D5 series may very well be the most trusted pump in all of watercooling, it’s always good practice to have a failsafe.  Running two pumps in series can give you redundancy, but what happens if you have a single pump and the pump fails…bad things can happen.  I personally have had an instance where I was working on my case and accidentally bumped a loose molex connector only to have the pump quit working.  My 8800GTX video card loop actually melted the acetal in my VGA block and the tubing had deformed to the point that it was nearly ready to burst.  Luckily I was right there looking and noticed the water boiling in my loop after getting a sense of some odd smell.  Had the tubing burst, surely there would have been disaster.  Having had the pump on a shutdown routine, would have prevented that.

Soo…I’m extremely happy that Koolance has now provided us with a D5 Vario WITH RPM sensor!  That’s awesome!

With that, let’s look around the pump.  It does come with a nice steel base which lifts the pump off the ground.  This metal base is ideal for sitting on a decoupling material since there will be no issue with heat.

1/2″ barbs come factory, no need to install a top for larger tubing

Now, let’s have a look on the inside, first and overall parts picture:

Tool-less disassembly reveals the goods, Ceramic/Carbon ball bearing, spiral volute

Another nice features of the PMP-450 is the completely tool-less ability to take the pump apart.  The pump is held in place by the large ribbed collar which simply unscrews with the twist of the hand.  The large o-ring you see sits in the volute housing and seals the metal pump housing to the thermoplastic volute.

At the heart of the pump and common to all D5 & DDC pumps is the very desirable ceramic ball bearing which mates up with a graphite impeller bearing cap.  The one point is the only point of contact and wear and makes for an extremely long life.  I have yet to see one wear out unless someone accidentally ran one dry.

The other perhaps not so obvious feature that makes a very large impact on the pump is the metal pump housing (Canned Spherical Motor).  There are two benefits to this.   One is the cooling capability and heat transfer that the metal housing provides.  Unlike it’s brother DDC series which uses a plastic housing and resulting heat buildup, the PMP-450 and it’s metal house serves extremely well to watercool the pump.  This does lead to more heat entering the water, however the cooling ability is beneficial to the pump electronics in keeping it cool.  The other benefit to this canned housing is how the metal canning creates a water tight seal around the motor housing.  While the pump is mounted any failure in the o-ring or other possible leak will generally have a very difficult time ever finding it’s way into the electronics of the pump.  I think it’s the above two reasons that make this pump one of the most durable water cooling pumps on the market.  They are water cooled, and have built in leak protection.

Easy assembly

So the pump overall has some real durability enhancing features, it has an RPM sensing wire, and very easy to take apart and clean for maintenance needs.

About the only downside I can think of is the larger size and lack of decoupling pad.  Some folks also have noted that the barbs are slightly over-sized and take a little more force to install tubing on.  I consider oversized barbs a big benefit in general because it generally leads to much lower chance of leaks.  Also decoupling material such as a piece of egg crate works perfectly fine.  I just wouldn’t recommend bolting the metal stand to the case if possible.

12V Test Results

Detail (Retest Done 12-15-12)

Koolance-PMP450-PQdetail12V

Following my usual pressure vs. flow rate testing, I came up with the following family of curves at 12V.  Generally settings 4 and 5 would be good options for average to higher restriction loops and settings 2 and 3 for very low restriction loops.  Setting 1 is really a bit too underpowered to maintain acceptable flow rates, although I would encourage anyone to try.  Note that my setting 5 is actually max and setting 1 is min.  I figure anyone that is operating at 5 likely has the knob turned to the max which is very slightly more than 5, etc.

Setting 1 through 5. Pressure is the solid lines, Watts is the dashed lines.

12V vs 24V

You may have noticed that the pump is perfectly capable of operating at higher voltage up to 24V.  This may lead you to believe there would be a significant performance difference between 12V and 24V.  I tested that below:

Setting 5 12V vs 24V, very very minor benefit with low restriction loops

Unfortunately there is not much benefit to using 24V on the PMP-450 pump.  Up to about 1.5GPM there really was no measurable benefit, on the contrary because it was consuming about 1-2 watts more.  I would not recommend purchasing a controller to operate this pump beyond 12V, it’s just not enough difference to bother with.

Performance PMP-450 vs PMP-400 + Top

While tops don’t help much on the PMP-450 pump because the factory top is already very good, they do help a lot on the PMP-400.  Soo…many have folks choose the PMP-400 for it’s slight performance advantage.  Here is that comparison:

The difference here will not add up to much temperature difference, but the PMP-400 with top is a slightly stronger pump for our more restrictive water cooling loops.

Size

One thing you should also consider with this pump is it’s relative size.  It is generally bigger than the PMP-400 or other DDC pump at least until you put on a top and lift the PMP-400 to provide more cooling.  Then they are comparable.

Size Comparison

On the left is actually the 450S model, but both (450 & 450S) are the same size so I reused the picture.  Without the lifting base, the PMP-400 is a fair amount more compact.  Size is something you’ll want to consider.  Also note that the inlet port and outlet ports are reversed between the two pumps.  The PMP-400 with top accepts the in from the top, where the PMP-450 accepts the in from the side.  Depending on your tubing configuration, you might have a preference one way or the other.

Noise

The pump is extremely quiet, particularly when installed in an acetal aftermarket top.  Check out the noise data in my pump noise round 1 piece where I tested both the stock top and after market top.

Efficiency

Not a huge deal as I think the differences are relatively small, but the PMP-400 when coupled with an aftermarket top will produce slightly more pumping power per watt than the PMP-450, but that is only after the PMP-400 has had the factory top (with an inlet elbow) removed.

Not quite as efficient as a PMP-400 with top

This is pretty minor when you’re talking about 20 watts worth of heat, but something to consider if you’re looking at running something extreme like triple pumps in series.  The PMP-400 with top is a bit more efficient by a few watts depending on the restriction.

Conclusion

Pros
  • Extremely reliable long lasting pump
  • Canned metal housing protects electronics from leak damage
  • Canned metal housing cools the pump motor very well
  • Factory Top performs very well, no inlet elbow
  • Factory Top comes with 1/2″ barbs
  • Koolance brand includes an RPM sensor wire, yes!!
  • Factory speed controller built in (no need for voltage controller to reduce speed)
  • Easy tool less entry
  • Cost – When compared to a PMP-400 plus top
  • Very Quiet
Cons
  • Larger in size
  • Not quite as powerful as a PMP-400 with top
  • Not quite as efficient as a PMP-400 with top
  • No decoupling pad or accessories (bare pump)

So there are some give and takes when compared to the PMP-400 series, but you’ll find the user base very much split out there.  I believe the durability, long life history, and cool operation are all very desirable features many prioritize highly.  I like this pump very much, and particularly like it now that Koolance has provided us with the RPM sensor.  You really can’t go wrong with either the PMP-450 or PMP-400 pumps, I use them both myself and can’t really pick a favorite because I see benefits in both models.  The nice thing about the PMP-450 is that you get a speed controller and a good 1/2″ compatible top factory out of the box.  You also get a pump that runs very cool and has a long history of reliability.  These are all very good qualities and I highly recommend it.

Cheers!
Martin