The Swiftech Apogee XT is the new flagship Swiftech block. It’s a major update from the stalwart Apogee GTZ and GTZ SE and promises to be the best performing CPU block ever. It carries over a few fundamental similarities from the GTZ and GTZ SE–the excellent mounting system (but now compatible with LGA775, LGA1156, and LGA1366 natively), the .009inch micro-pin structures, and the chrome plated brass top from the GTZ SE. The most interesting part of the Apogee XT is, of course, what’s new about it. While the XT uses the same basic micro-pin structure, there are some major changes to the base. First, the .009inch micro-pins now cover almost the entire base of the block and have been made taller (which does two things–increases surface area as well as decreases the thickness of material underneath the pins, bringing the flow even closer to the heatsource). The entire flow pattern has changed as well; it now simply injects at the center of the base, spreads radially over the base, and recollects in a ‘moat’ and goes out the outlet (in contrast, the flow pattern of the GTZ is almost too complicated for words). The external changes are almost as important–one bracket supports the three most popular Intel desktop sockets, the top has full support for barbs that have a recessed o-ring (GTZ was only compatible when used with doubled-up or larger o-rings with Bitspower barbs), and the inlet is now on a modular plate allowing for an alternate inlet positioning supporting the largest compression fittings. The top is also black chrome plated and makes the XT their most alluring block ever.
The introduction of the Apogee XT has also brought one other major improvement to the market. Rather than replace the GTZ at a higher pricepoint, Swiftech is maintaining production of the Apogee GTZ and bringing it to market at a lower pricepoint. The GTZ now MSRP’s for $49.99 while the XT MSRP’s for $79.99. Swiftech aims to have an option for every buyer with these two options.
This test will focus on the performance of the blocks in general and over a large flowrate spectrum. Results from the installments of Roundup #2 will be compiled, as they’re posted, into an Overall Comparison page.
My waterblock testing methodology has evolved over the past few months and I think it’s finally at a resting point where I can start piling up test results rather than tweak the methodology (and thus preventing cross-comparisons). I use Dallas One Wire DS18B20 temperature probes at various points through my watercooling loop and at the air intake to measure temperatures, I’ve isolated the radiators so that the flowrate through them never changes, I use six different pump settings for each block, and use good testing practice by performing 5 mounts. Where applicable, I will also test various modifications to the blocks. These include testing various orientations and removing/adding various midplates, nozzles, dividers, etc. In some cases I will also modify the mounting system and present results from increased mounting pressure. For my waterblock tests, I’ll perform 5 mounts of each configuration for every waterblock. The best configuration will then go on to be tested through the full flowrate spectrum.