Asus Rampage III Extreme Board Blocks

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Testing Methodology/Specification

If you are a regular Skinnee Labs reader then you already know we do things a little differently. For those of you who found your way here for the first time, strap yourself in because we go all out on our test methodology and specification. We are not here for publishing fluff pieces; we want the hard data on every product we test even if that means more work. After all, we want to know how well each product performs and where to spend our money as well… we are enthusiasts just like you are. With the proper forewarning given, strap yourself in as we dive into the test method and specification.

Pressure Drop/Restriction

When building your loop there should be a list of things that come to mind, flow and pressure should be near the top of that list. Pressure drop is the measurement of inlet pressure minus outlet pressure, or the pressure loss of flow through the component.

Test Method/Spec

I have the line from my washbasin in the mudroom hooked up to the gate valve controlling flow, which then runs into the King flow meter. The bottom port on the flow meter is the inlet and top port is the outlet. The outlet runs down to the Delrin T which I have Bitspower 1/2″ barbs on for the normal flow, and the negative pressure line connects via an EnzoTech 1/4″ fitting. After the negative pressure T, the component in testing is attached. I always use Bitspower 1/2″ fittings, that keeps everything on a common test platform…well from a fitting perspective anyhow. At the outlet of the component is the positive pressure T fitting, again with Bitspower 1/2″ fittings and an EnzoTech 1/4″ fitting for the pressure line. The tubing the runs back into the washbasin and down the drain.



First piece to cover here is creating a load and thus heat for the blocks to capture. Since there is no direct way to load just the CPU VRM’s, IOH and ICH, CPU load is the best means of generating heat for the components cooled by the blocks. As always, we separate the component were testing in an isolated loop in order to focus on that specific piece of kit, instead of throwing it in to an existing loop and having to sort out any data noise produced by the other heat capturing components.

Now to the routine I followed while in robot mode for testing. Once the block is mounted to the board, board secured to the motherboard tray, cables plugged in and tubes connected I run an initial leak test and bleed the loop. I only have to leak test and bleed the loop on the first mount, the QDC’s makes this process easier and a heck of a lot shorter. Once beyond the initial ritual, the ATX and EPS cables are plugged in and board powered on. First stop after a mount is BIOS, where I load the saved O.C. profile to ensure each test is run with the exact same settings. After loading the saved profile and booting into Windows, the fun begins. Well, not really the fun because watching the test run is worse than watching paint dry, but WinTest, Everest and OCCT all auto-start and wait once windows has loaded.

With our test and monitoring apps loaded and configured for the test run, I start the test (and the stopwatch on my phone). The first hour of the run is considered warm-up or time for the loop to reach equilibrium under load, the remaining two hours are the important part. The two hours after warm-up are the data used for calculation, which you will see for each block on the performance results page. Once the full three-hour run was complete, each of the test applications was stopped, logged data saved and the system is left to idle for thirty minutes before shutdown. I do not like the shutdown the system immediately after the test run, call it a precaution learned from previous testing.

After my phone notifies me the cool down period is complete, the system is shutdown, cables unplugged, QDC’s disconnected and board removed from the tray. From here the re-mount process begins, and the test method starts all over again.


There is quite a bit of crossover/overlap between the Methodology and Specification sections, but the specification covers all the nitty-gritty details from the overall methodology.

To kick off the specification here, let us start with the board loop, which remained in the following order throughout testing and none of the blocks required any adapters or changes. Loop order consisted of Reservoir -> Pump -> Delrin T (Block In) -> QDC -> Board Block -> QDC -> Delrin T (Block Out) -> Radiator -> Flow Meter -> Reservoir. In total, 41 inches of tubing was used to loop up all the components on the backside of the Torture Rack.

  • Hardware Platform:
  • Case: Danger Den Torture Rack
  • Cooling Loops:
    • Board Loop
      • Radiator – XSPC RX120 V2
      • Fans – 1x Scythe S-Flex G @ Full RPM (1900RPM/35dBA/75CFM/0.24A)
      • Pump – Jingway DP-1200
      • Quick Disconnects – 2x Koolance VL3N’s
      • Flow Meter – Koolance INS-FM17 (Calibrated to King Instruments 7520)
      • Reservoir – Swiftech MCRes-Micro V1
      • Flow Meter –Koolance FM17 (calibrated to King Instruments 7520)
      • Delrin T sensors –Thermochill and DangerDen Delrin T’s with BP G1/4 fittings housing 1 probe each
      • Barbs – Danger Den/Bitspower 1/2" Fatboys, 4x Bitspower rotary 90’s
    • CPU Loop
      • CPU Block  – EK Supreme HF (Plate 2)
      • Reservoir – EK Multi-res 400, multi option top and bottom, top inlet from radiator, bttom outlet to pump
      • Radiator – XSPC RX360 V1
      • Pump – Swiftech MCP355 w/ XSPC V3 Top
      • Fans – Feser Triebwerk TK-122 @ Full RPM
      • Delrin T sensors – Thermochill and DangerDen Delrin T’s with BP G1/4 fittings housing 2 probes each
      • Barbs – DangerDen/Bitspower 1/2" Fatboys
  • Thermal Interface Material: Arctic Cooling MX-2 on CPU and GPU’s, GPU’s used DangerDen stock thermal pads on VRM’s and memory on back of PCB
  • Temperature Monitoring and Logging: CrystalFontz CFA-635 with SCAB attachment – Used to log 16 temperature sensors at 1 second intervals for the full 6 hour duration using WinTest.
  • Thermal Sensors: Dallas DS18B20 Digital one-wire sensors – .5C absolute accuracy overall with a .2C mean error between 20-30C.
  • Test Bench Sensors Deployed:
    • Two Radiator Air In sensors
    • Two Radiator Air Out sensors
    • One PCI Slot/Case sensor
    • Two Block In sensors
    • Two Block Out sensors
    • Two CPU In sensors (not used for data calculations)
    • Two CPU Out sensors (not used for data calculations)
  • Motherboard/System Temperature Monitoring and Logging: OCCT and Everest
    • CPU core temperatures are logged every 1 second, providing 10800 data points per core.
    • MTHBD, IOH and ICH temperatures are logged every 1 second, providing 10800 data points per sensor.
  • CPU Load: OCCT v3.x.x, Normal priority, Small data set
  • Data Logging: Each temperature sensor and fan RPM channel is logged for 240 minutes, first 120 being the warm-up, remaining 120 is the data we’re after. We log 14400 samples for each sensor, fan channel and flow rate through the CFA-635.
    • Air Temperature Data: Two sensors are deployed over each fan location, on the intake and exhaust side of the radiator, representing Air In and Air Out accordingly. Per the standard, each sensor is logged at 1 second intervals.
    • Water Temperature Data: Two sensors are crammed into a Bitspower 1/4" fitting and then into a DangerDen/Thermochill Delrin T, the T’s are placed at block inlet and outlet. Again, per the standard, each sensor is logged at 1 second intervals.
    • Pump and Fan RPM: Pump and Fan RPM is monitored via the Crystal Fontz CFA-635 and logged at the same interval as all temperature sensors.
    • Flow Rate: Flow rate is reported by the Koolance INS-FM17, monitored and logged by the CFA-635 at 1 second interval throughout the duration of the test, providing a total of 10800 data points.
  • Test Lab Environment: Unfortunately, I do not have an environmental test chamber. All tests are performed in 10×13 room in my basement (aka: The Lab) which is temperature controlled via a wall thermostat and on a separate zone from the rest of the house. I am able to maintain a somewhat consistent room temperature this way. However, the room does have some temperature variance.

I snapped some photos during testing just to give an idea of how the system looked and a shot of the bright LEDs on the Danger Den block. Plus, this gives a glimpse of loop from all the details listed above in the specification.

Danger Den mounted up and running Bitspower block during testing Danger Den LEDs showing their stuff

There you have it, the full test methodology and specification for pressure drop and thermal testing. I know you have endured a text onslaught thus far, so let’s move on to the performance results before I detour and force you to read any more before showing the results.

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