Swiftech MCR320-QP-Stack

Thermal Test Results

Heat Loads

Here is the main chart for bringing all of the logged data in and using this data to calculate Water Avg-Air In, and C/W. Now this is a change from the method we used previously. We used to just use water outlet averaged temperature in the calculation, but now we are using the loop water average in the calculation. This change was brought on by a brave fact finding mission by Martinm210. I have mixed feelings about the use of loop average versus water out, but the testing norm has been changed and I will following the community testing standard. Another column you see in the table is Air Capacity Used, this column shows the rise in air temperature relative to the water temperature. Another way to look at Air Capacity used is a measure of efficiency, how efficient is the radiator at moving the heat load from the water running through the tubes to the air passing through the radiator.

If you rolled past the Test Spec and Methodology pages, just know that I tested the MCR320-Stack the same way I have tested all the other triple radiators with one exception. The exception being there was an extra radiator strapped to the fans, but this is the design intent of the stack where you sandwich the fans with radiators. With this, you will see we have Air Capacity Used numbers going over the 100% mark and this is again due to the stack and the number of sensors I have on the test fixture. This is also a good reason for using Water Avg-Air In, we have more sensors to help average the data out to come to a more accurate temperature.

One more thing before we dive into the juicy data, there was a lot of internal debate and error checking (Vapor and I 2x checking the data and looking for an anomoly) on the 600RPM data, but I felt it was best to release the data. After all, the tests were run and the data was logged just like all of the other tests. Never fear, you’ll find out what I have planned in the the conclusion.

Ok, enough of my blabbering and on to the data and plots… Below we have the data table you should all be used to by now, this is the main table where all of the logged data comes together and drives the plots for C/W and Delta T. You will certinaly notice the missing row for 600RPM with a 600w heat load, my water temperature safety was hit and I had to end the test in order to keep my equipment safe, so only the 300w data was used for 600RPM.

Moving to the chart which helps potential users of the MCR320 Stack, this chart plots the Water Avg-Air In Temperature or Delta versus the Heat Load applied. This chart is the most useful in estimating the Delta for a given heat load (watts) to be applied to the radiator. Simply locate the wattage on the X axis and move up to find the Delta for a given fan speed. Add this delta to your ambient temperature, and that is what you can expect for a loop water temperature.

For information on calculating heat load for your loop here are two resources I have used in the past. Another method I have used in the past is to Google search TDP for a specific component, that should also help in estimating the heat load that will be in the loop for a specific component. The primary one for me is linked below, they take a lot of the google searching out of the equation and break everything down to just the numbers you need.

Please remember, calculating the power consumption and using that as heat load is not exact and is only an estimate. This estimate will be higher than actual heat load applied as you do transfer some heat to the air circulating in your case around the components. How much difference I cannot begin to speculate, but I just want to state that it is only an estimate and not an exact specification.

Applied C/W

Now that we have looked at the plotted results, lets apply the C/W results with a given Delta (Water Avg-Air In) to find how much wattage can the radiator dissipate. Below is the data table for calculations of Deltas of 15º, 10º, 5º and 2º. Here is my classifications for those deltas.

  • 15º Delta: Low Performance, an overloaded but capable loop.
  • 10º Delta: Average Performance, very capable of good temps and representative of an average system.
  • 5º Delta: High Performance, for those of you looking to achieve the best possible temps.
  • 2º Delta: Ultra Performance. extreme setups only, this would be an ultimate setup where you limit to dedicated block loops.

Here are the plotted C/W results over the fan RPM range, as you can see the results do follow close to a plotted trendline. This trendline might not mean much to you, but to me the trend line helps me see that my testing and resultant data are accurate. Here is where you can see what Vapor and I were discussing regarding the 600RPM data, the 1000RPM and 1400RPM data do not reside perfectly on the curve. Additionally, if you plan on running your fans at a speed other than the ones I tested here is another reference point to estimate the results you will see.

This chart is just the plotted results for a 10º Delta or Average Performance from the data table in the beginning of this section. Remember, with a 10ºC delta if your Ambient temperature is 22ºC your resulting water temp would be 32ºC.

Here are the plotted results for a 5º Delta or High Performance from the data table in the beginning of this section. The more we look at these numbers, the more it becomes evident that the MCR320-Stack with only fans in between the rads is performing about the same as a single MCR.

Here are the plotted results for a 2º Delta or Ultra Performance from the data table in the beginning of this section. This chart is purely to show what wattages and fan speeds you need to get really close to ambient water temps. Probably not going to happen for 95% of the Liquid Cooling users out there, regardless of the radiator used. But I really like to use more radiator than necessary and a 2ºC Delta is just what I shoot for, sometimes close is good enough though.

I alluded to this earlier, but the numbers coming from the tests just didn’t meet my expectations of doubling my radiator surface area. Lets further that thought in the conclusion…

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