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2011 CPU Block Roundup – Results Compilation A one-stop database of our 2011 CPU Block Roundup test results. All the most important charts are here as well as quick takes on each block. Additionally, our upcoming test schedule will be listed here as well as links to each review. Continue reading...
Core i7 CPU Block Roundup #2 This write-up is more of a collection of results. A central location used for comparing the blocks I test. There will be very few words but a lot of graphs. Continue reading...

Category: Late 2009 Roundup

This write-up is more of a collection of results. A central location used for comparing the blocks I test. There will be very few words but a lot of graphs.

Both of these blocks are great. The CPU-350 has flagship performance, being imperceptibly close to the HK3.0LT in thermals while the CPU-345 is a really competitive (and unknown) mid-tier block.

Small tale of Jekyl and Hyde here, but I’ll start simple. First, both deserve praise for their pricing and overall construction–the Sapphire Rev.A is ~$35 at Newegg and other etailers, while the Luna Rev.A is ~$45 at Newegg. The 1366 adapter is an additional $5, but that’s not bad at all. The all copper construction of both is also a pleasant sight. Now let’s split them up and consider them separately.

Pardon me while I gush for a bit, but this block is amazing. With it you get the best performance of any block on the market, you get the best mounting system of any block on the market (with no extra cost or disassembly procedures to switch sockets), you get full compatibility with all G1/4 fittings (something that’s increasingly rare with high performance blocks), and you even can get a little more performance out of it if you’ve got tinker-itis. The other amazing thing about this block is just how well it performs in low flow scenarios. Of all the blocks I’ve tested, it’s the most resilient to low flow rates and when you add that to best-as-tested performance in normal and high flow scenarios, that equates to untouchable performance in low flow scenarios.

The Swiftech GTZ SE is the current flagship Swiftech block. It uses the same base and overall construction as the acclaimed GTZ, but uses a fancy chrome-plated brass top. It was debuted as a special edition with e-tailer Performance PCs, but has since propagated the entire scene and should be available everywhere. In fact, FrozenCPU recently had a sale for $40 GTZs, the SE included. I picked one up mostly to have a backup base and mounting hardware (mine have seen a lot of mileage), not expecting performance with the metal top to be different. I was wrong–the two blocks perform distinctly, even when using the exact same base. We’ll explore why later.
The Swiftech GTZ is the recent flagship of Swiftech, only recently replaced by the GTZ SE. It brings a base design featuring 225┬Ám (0.009″) micro structures over the center of the block as well as a direct impingement design to direct and accelerate flow over the tiny pins. The external appearance is kept simple with just a black acetyl top with some branding features and an interchangable metallic mounting plate. The other big feature of the GTZ is the mounting system–it is designed to be the easiest and most consistent mounting system Swiftech has shipped to-date. It features large thumbscrews and a backplate that provide the right amount of mounting pressure every mount.

The Watercool Heatkiller 3.0 LT is regarded as the king of the mountain right now. And for good reason, it’s a low restriction block that has tremendous popularity due to its thermal performance. Though the Heatkillers have long used channel based cooling (akin to the Supremes and Whitewater and others), the newest flagships, 3.0 LT and Cu, take it to a whole new level. There’s more channels than ever providing more low-restriction surface area within just 2mm of the IHS than ever. It’s less complicated than it sounds really–the base is 2mm thick and over the width of a typical IHS, it has ~52 microchannels that are 1.5mm deep into the base. What does that mean for you? You have water flowing within .5mm of the very bottom of the base and have a lot of surface area really, really close to the heatsource, your CPU. In addition to that, you also have an impingement plate meant to distribute flow evenly through the channels. It’s a winning combination. It should be no surprise that the Heatkiller 3.0 LT provides the best as-tested performance of any block I’ve tested so far (though the review is of course worth a read–I show you how to get an even better performance below!).

The EK Supreme is EK’s current flagship CPU block and is actually a bit of an old-timer by now, being almost 2 years old. It is a restrictive block that aims for the best CPU temperatures possible. It uses a microchannel design with 49 flow paths right over the center of the processor. It utilizes a split flow design, injecting the water at the center of the base and then splitting it outwards in opposite directions and recombining the two flowpaths at the outlet. The mounting system is a basic off-the-shelf type affair using standard screws, a bunch of washers, springs and thumbnuts. It comes in 4 main varieties, all using the same base: a delrin version (standard black top), an plexi version (transparent top), a copper version (solid copper top) and a Limited Edition GOLD variety that uses a gold-plated copper top.

The EK Supreme LT is the little sibling of the EK Supreme. It uses a simpler base with fewer (and larger) microchannels and a very simple top. The increased simplicity is for one thing: decreasing cost to the end user but still providing great quality and performance. The block uses a single flowpath from one end of the microchannels to the other end. It uses the same off-the-shelf mounting hardware as its big sibling.

  • 2011-2012 Radiator Comparison 2011-2012 Radiator Comparison
    Following Eric's lead, this is the full collection of results from the V2 Radiator Bench or let us call it 2011-2012 Radiator Comparison. When new results go up, this post will be updated. In this compilation post, the overall performance overview will be slightly simpler, with the full in-depth look available in the individual reviews or data supplements.
  • Tuniq TX-2 and TX-4 Review Tuniq TX-2 and TX-4 Review
    Tuniq TX-2 and TX-4 hit our testbed and fare pretty well but there are concerns with pricing and batch variance.
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