To quickly recap from the test method–yes, I do this in every review–, restriction is what determines your loop flow rate and typically, less restriction (higher flow) is better. The pressure drop table below only includes PSI as the other columns just made the table a chore to read. Do not fret, included are mH2O and kPa charts with Liters per minute and liters per hour for flow rates. We received feedback from our readers who rely on the metric system and we are sure to include them for easy reference. Additionally, we kept with the recent trend and you will see two pump curves on the charts with the EK V2 D5 Top (Speed 5) and the DDC3.2 with XSPC V3 Top.
No, there is nothing wrong with your eyes or the data, chipset or board blocks are quite restrictive. In fact, chipset/board blocks are the most restrictive component you will loop up in your system and this is the reason for limiting the axis ranges. If we had left the axis ranges where we do normally, you would have a difficult time discerning the data on the charts. Danger Den keeps with their high flow/low restriction tradition scoring the lowest pressure drop of the group, with Koolance and Bitspower holding the middle and EK turning in the highest restriction of the blocks tested. Interestingly enough, the EK block has more restriction than Bitspower but the two have the same average flow rate in our test loop. Yes, I probably should have given a spoiler alert, but the flow rates are not the main attraction of the thermal results. At first, I thought there might have been a glitch somewhere in my data, but I checked and rechecked the raw data, logged flow rate was very close and did come out with the same GPM average for those two blocks.
At long last, the thermal results! Along with the four blocks, we tested the Asus stock heat sink, first with the stock thermal pads and TIM followed by MX-2 on the IOH and ICH. Obviously flow rate and radiator fan do not apply for the Asus stock heat sink, thus the reason those columns are blank for the Asus data table. Without further delay, have at the data tables…
My first reaction to the data is a surprise at the flow rates, I knew the flow rates would be low-ish, and the DP-1200 is not a high pressure/flow pump, but I still expected to see all the blocks above 1GPM and maybe even 1.25GPM. Even with the sometimes challenging mount process of the blocks, consistency and variation amongst the tests is surprisingly tight. The EK block had the largest variation, even with changing from TIM on the stock Asus heat sink. I can attribute some of the inconsistency on the EK block to figuring out how tight to go with the screws on the IOH. The first mount for all of the blocks was a complete guess until un-mounting and checking the TIM print, and obviously I had more tightening to do since the remaining mounts of the EK dropped nearly 10C for the remaining three mounts.
Now that we have had time to digest the raw data from the tables, we can bring it all together for direct comparison. After all, the competitor in all of us loves a good head-to-head showdown. We have the Asus stock heat sink in with blocks for all of the charts except flow rate, no way to measure a loop flow rate with the pump sitting idle.
Starting out is the MTHBD sensor is the standard motherboard temp sensor we have all come to know, and that stubborn little sensor just does not move much from idle to under heavy sustained load. What this means is the sensor is not on a chip that gets active cooling from the blocks, but does a general temperature for gauging your board temps. From the generic board sensor, we move to the IOH (formerly NB) sensor which we see a lot more temperature variation amongst the included blocks and heat sink. This is for a few reasons, bust mostly due to active cooling the chip (and sensor) reporting temperature. The last temperature chart of the group is from the ICH or former South Bridge and again we see a larger spread temperature wise. Ending the compiled results are the flow rates from the blocks in the test loop, to which I spoke of after looking over the data tables, so I will spare you from covering that all over again.
Well, we have reached the end of the photo and data show, time to close up this review with the conclusion and final thoughts.