Now that we have looked at PQ from the MCP35X including three different PWM settings, let’s take the data and compare to the DDC3.25 and DDC3.2. In the first of the three charts, you probably noticed we have two different MCP35X’s as well as snuck an EK DDC V2 top into the mix; we included those in initial testing to ensure we had a valid comparison. I wanted to know if the excellent PQ curve was mostly from the Swiftech Top or if the pump itself was the reason. As the first chart points out, both the Swiftech top and the pump contribute to the excellent PQ. However, the pump itself is a major contributor and we will be adding the MCP35X pump into our DDC top testing.
Moving to the MCP35X and DDC3.25 comparison, we really start to see some differences. The MCP35X has a nice round curve in the higher flow ranges and starts to flatten out around 1.75GPM, where the DDC3.25 (also known as the Koolance PMP-400) has a much steeper curve. You will see exactly what this means to your loop flow rates in the next section, but what this means in Lehman’s terms is that the MCP35X has a PQ range that excels from high to low restriction and the DDC3.25 does better in high restriction loops. Subtle differences, but the differences are definitely there. In the final compiled PQ chart we took a handful of the best performing DDC3.2 with top combos and combined them with two of MCP35X tests, one all Swiftech and the other using the MCP35X impeller and EK DDC X-Top V2. Overall, there are definitely gains with the MCP35X, the EK top on the DDC3.2 (blue diamond) compared to the EK top on the MCP35X put this right out in the open.
For flow rate testing we move the manometer aside and grab an EK Supreme HF (Plate 4) with a Swiftech MCR320, which resembles an average medium to low restriction CPU only loop. In addition, there are a lot of you out there running your GPU’s in SLI along with your CPU, so we grabbed a Swiftech GTZ, two Danger Den 6800 blocks in serial and again the Swiftech MCR320. The MCP35X additions to the charts have been colored in orange, with the different PWM settings in a lighter orange.
As the PQ curves told us earlier, in the CPU loop tests we see a flow rate advantage thanks to the lovely MCP35X curve with the EK Top on the MCP35X gets a 10% boost in flow over the DDC3.2. For the SLI loop, the full Swiftech MCP35X ranks within 0.03GPM of the DDC3.2 leader, which again is what we expected from the PQ curves. Also in those flow rate charts is the full Swiftech MCP35X at 50% PWM and 10% PWM. I included these to show what type of flow rates you can expect when you dial the pump down for when your machine is idle or only under a minor load. Even at the lowest PWM setting possible, the MCP35X maintains a flow rate well above what I would consider a low flow rate.
To sum it up in a simple phrase, the MCP35X is a big deal. Not only do we finally get rid of the stock Laing top for one that allows us to choose barbs and tube size, but we also get aftermarket top performance right out of the box. That is not what I am most excited about… PWM control of your pump is the game changer here. We have had the ability to ramp our fans based on a system temperature for a while now, and that holds a special place in most enthusiasts mind. The ability to change speeds when load/temperature increases without having to manually adjust the settings is a godsend, and now we can do this with our pump too… that is huge! To note, you do not have to use PWM, the pump runs full out (PWM 70-100%) if the header is not connected or PWM is not configured on your motherboard.
The MCP35X is the best overall performing Laing pump I have tested to date, the PQ curve is ideal. In a PQ curve, you want a nice rounded curve that pushes the high flow side and maintains a good balance in the higher restriction or lower flow rate portion of the curve. Even with the MCP35X scaling down with PWM enabled, the performance remains. From the flow rate charts we saw the MCP35X at 10% PWM remain well above 0.4GPM, which consider 0.4GPM about as low as you want to go.
The MCP35X is the best overall performing pump I have tested to date, PWM capability for flow and power consumption scaling when your machine is idle or under low loads, fitting/barb options thanks to the G1/4 ports and aftermarket Laing top compatible. In addition to that, you get the standard Swiftech Warranty and RMA process if disaster strikes, available top mount tube reservoir, and finally got rid of the awkward mount arms off the side of the pump. Some of you may be used to the mount arms, but those were only found on the Swiftech MCP350 and MCP355′s, not the normal Laing DDC line. We have returned to the Laing standard, which I see as a good thing.
If you read this as a lot of praise for a little pump, then you are reading this right, the MCP35X is nearly flawless. The only piece that does not hit a home run with me is the price, which comes in at $109.95 MSRP for the basic pump package. This is a $26 increase of the MCP355, but the 355 comes with a stock Laing top whereas the MCP35X does have the Swiftech top, and tops usually run you $20-$35. So it really is priced right, but that does not mean I still want it for less money.
To conclude, the Swiftech MCP35X is the Laing DDC to buy presently even if you do not want to use PWM. However, I do not see a reason to avoid PWM… you lower power consumption while maintaining flow when your loop is handling idle loads. If you do not like the top, you can swap it. I can say with certainty that the MCP35X is now part of our standard tests for all DDC tops and I cannot wait to see how the leading tops from the DDC3.2 perform with the MCP35X impeller and motor. Thanks to Swiftech for sending over an MCP35X. As always, thanks to you for reading.