A topic that seems to resurface every couple of weeks around the forums is what coolant/fluid is best; this usually ends up turning into a heated debate of opinions with no data to douse the flames. There is an ever-growing variety of coolants that are available in a rainbow of colors, which is great for those of you trying to achieve a certain color scheme where colored tubing just will not cut it or you have nightmares when your reservoir contains a clear fluid that just does not match your color scheme.
The variety of fluids on the market have been marketed as anti-corrosive, non-conductive, earth friendly and the list goes on and on. The anti-corrosive feature potentially holds weight for the times when you just cannot avoid a little aluminum in your loop, but the “no more aluminum” crusade eliminated nearly every aluminum product out there. Copper, brass and even silver make up our cooling products now, you have to search out aluminum on purpose to find a product that has it in the flow path. Non-conductive, well, all fluids will become conductive over time in your loop… so there goes that marketing angle. .
So what are we left with you ask, color and thermal performance are the only things left in my mind. Those of you who frequent forums have all viewed the threads where colored fluids have broken down and clogged up micro-pins or impingement plates. Additives in our fluids will break down, this should be of no surprise, the piece not discussed on those gunk/clogging threads is that the coolant breaking down contains more than just water and color dye. I am of the opinion (opinion because I have no hard data on the matter) that the additives besides the dye are the real culprit.
Last but not least is performance, and that is exactly what were are on a mission to find with this round of testing and review. Let us not waste any more time with my introduction and get to the matter at hand…
Included in the roundup is Distilled Water with PT_nuke, Feser One, Feser Ultra Pure, Fluid XP Nano-Fluid, Ice Dragon Nanofluid Formula C2, Ice Dragon Nanofluid retail formula, Minnesota Tap water, Primochill PC Ice, Primochill PC Pure, Swiftech Hydrx and Thermochill EC6. We tried to cover as many of the latest trends, popular fluids and classics as possible, we even have tap water fresh from my city water supply. Nanofluids are the latest advancement looking to knock good old distilled water off the hill; we have three, the early prototype formula from Ice Dragon (Formula C2), Ice Dragon retail and the most colorful selection in our roundup Fluid XP Nano-fluid.
Providing the primary backdrop for our coolants is the box from our X58-UD7, Gigabyte sent over the UD7 for the several system level tests we have planned and the coolant roundup is the first. We will cover more on the UD7 as we progress with the system tests we have planned, but with a little preview of our test system, time to move beyond the intro and dive into our test specification and methodology.