Heatkiller 3.0 LT and 3.0 LC

Thermal Test Results

Now finally some results! First up, the individual configurations testing.

Here we can both the LC and LT prefering the Vertical orientation (barbs parallel to the socket latch) and the LT benefiting from having the plastic divider at the inlet removd (not the metal plate! Do not remove that!). Overall, the LT being roughly 1C better than the LC at this pumping power.

In my observation of the blocks, I actually noticed a design flaw. The base, while it sits flush with the internals when you just place one on the other, does not sit flush with the internals once you tighten it down and form the bow. Basically, when you force the base to bend outward at the center, you’re causing a gap between the injectors and the base. That means flow ‘escapes’ over the microchannels. While that lowers restriciton, it’s also less efficient thermally. I decided to close up that gap with inexpensive, completely waterproof, removable, and easy-to-use 100% silicone caulk.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, but using Q-Tips and silicone caulk, I formed a compresible and resilient 1mm layer on top of the impingement plate. That’s what it looked like before I installed it. What’s really interesting is what the performance looks like once it’s installed! From here on out, I’ll call it the LT+ (you’ll see why).

I’ve included performance from three different baselines: 1) the best-as-tested LC config, 2) the best-as-tested LT config, 3) the LT’s base with the LC’s top (Frankenblock!). The showstopper is just how much performance improved from adding that little bit of silicone, that’s the “LT+” on the chart. We took what is largely considered the best block on the market (and the best I’ve tested so far), and made it better, noticeably better. Flowrate went down, as predicted, but not by much–from 1.77GPM to 1.55GPM (more flow than the Supreme LT at the same pumping power).

Specific Pumping Power

Now that we’ve figured out what the best configuration is for each block, let’s chart its performance over the entire flowrate spectrum.

  • Very High Pumping Power: All three MCP355 pumps and the D5 are on at full speed–this has a very similar PQ curve to a pair of RD-30s at 20V.
  • High Pumping Power: Two MCP355s with EK V2 tops are on at full speed. The other two pumps are off.
  • Medium High Pumping Power: A single MCP355 with XSPC V3 top is on at full speed. The other three pumps are off.
  • Medium Pumping Power: The stock D5 is on at full speed and setting 5. The other three pumps are off.
  • Low Pumping Power: A single MCP355 with XSPC V3 top is on at minimum speed (~7.7V, ~2450RPM). The other three pumps are off.
  • Very Low Pumping Power: The stock D5 is on at minimum speed–setting 1. The other three pumps are off.

Note: I do 5 mounts at “Medium High” then take the best config of a block and test the whole flow spectrum (after a TIM curing session) then realign that curve with average of the 3 median mounts to give you the “Adjusted” data.

Other Graphs

More graphs for your enjoyment…let’s start with reusing the flow vs. temperature data, but including pump heatdump (i.e., CPU vs. air temps). I have two iterations of it: CPU temperatures vs. my air temperatures and a setup with my water-to-air delta included twice more. The latter is to mimic a setup with one third the radiator power of my setup (roughly a 120×3 radiator with 1600RPM fans).

Note: these results are derived from adding the water-to-air delta three times to my water temps. I add them three times to emulate the radiator power of a loop with 1/3rd the radiator power mine has. I use 2xMCR320s with push-pull 2200RPM Yate Loons and the data emulates the conditions of a loop with a single 120×3 radiator with ~1600RPM fans.

Here we can see both blocks showing benefit only up until dual DDCs ("High" pumping power) on my testbed. This remains mostly true even on a setup with 1/3rd the radiator power, with the results splitting between favoring single or dual DDC. Overall, the Heatkillers just don’t benefit from lots of pumping power–both in terms of thermal performance and flowrates. There are still other benefits of running multiple pumps, namely redundancy, but doing so with Heatkillers just won’t provide tangible performance improvements.

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