Now that I have my new i7 2600K system up and running, I wanted to do some bench evaluation of my new setup. To do that I used the block I had from my Q6600 testing roundup here. This is still a good block, but it is a few years old now. I had to modify the hold down plate and make my own back plate to install the block.
For thermal testing I decided to use a 5 mount method of logging temperatures. Here are some of the specifics in my testing method:
- Intel i7 2600K Processor – Overclocked to 4800 MHz, 32nm, Vcore = 1.392 under load. Motherboard is an MSI P67A-GD65 with 8GB of Corsair Vengance memory. Everything else is on air at the moment. Test bench is a Danger Den Torture Rack
- 5 separate TIM applications and mounts, more if needed.
- Logging temperatures over a 45 minute test, 10 minute warmup is removed from the results, and the entire logged run is provided for review.
- Temperature Probes Deployed – I kept my sensors fairly basic, but I did run a few extra’s just for interesting information. This includes a sensor for:
- 2 ea Water sensors (After radiator and pump, just before CPU block) Dallas DS18B20 Digital one-wire sensors, and CrystalFontz CFA-633
- 4 ea Air In Dallas DS18B20 Digital one-wire sensors, and CrystalFontz CFA-633
- 4 ea i7 2600K DTS sensors these were logged using Real Temp 3.67 .
- Crystal Fontz logging is accomplished through the use of their Cyrstalfonts 633 WinTest b1.9. Only special settings are turning off all packet debugger check boxes to avoid paging the processor.
- The Dallas DS18B20 Digital one-wire sensors that were used as noted above have a specified absolute accuracy of .5C with a .2C accuracy between 20 -30C temperature range. They also have resolution down to .0625C which is very good, and because they are digital they are not affected by the wiring or length of wire like thermocouples are.
- Pump – Swiftech MCP-35X with reservoir. I think this pump represents the pumping power available to many users and gives a fair amount of strong pumping power. It is a bit stronger than the MCP655 or MCP350/355 pumps, but you rarely see cpu block performance lines cross relative to pumping power, so as long as the pumping power remains consistent…it’s a good test. I may add a flow rate sensitivity piece later.
- Radiator – The Feser Company (TFC) 480 ER radiator with Yate loon D12SL12 slow speed fans at 12V. No longer in production, but a good strong quad radiator provide roughly a 3C water/air delta when under load with the fans I’m using. The small delta means warm up time is kept to a minimum.
- TIM Material – I’m still exploring this, but I used Arctic Cooling MX-2 for this test in a cross application method.
- Hardware – These results only tested the “As Shipped” method that use the hardware included and provides users some evaluation and performance of what you get straight from the box unless noted with a backplate. During supreme testing round 2 I found that adding a backplate and using the same mounting pressure didn’t result in any notable difference. So in effort of protecting my valuable motherboard, I used a Scythe backplate during those tests and they are indicated by a “Scythe” backplate notation on the results.
- Prime 95 Load – I used Prime 95, torture test, Custom, Min FTT 8K, Max FTT 8K, Run FFTs in place checked ON. This is an easy to use and constently loading program. It provided the most consistent loading I could find for quad cores. OCCT wasn’t capable of maintaining a full 100% load and so I feel Prime 95 is a more consistent loading routine and seems to work fine. It creates 8 100% load working threads and an extreme load.
- Stock IHS – I chose to leave the IHS alone this time since it would be more representative of what most people do.
I do have one core that run considerably lower in temps, it could just be a calibration issue, or perhaps the block..not sure.
Thermally, the block still did very well, keeping my i7 2600K in the lower 60s although I wasn’t happy with the mounting inconsistency. I ended up with a .88C standard deviation which means to reach a 95% testing confidence, my results are only good to +- 1.8C. This is likely due to the old spring and thumb nut system, and as usual over 5 mounts I could count at least three times where I dropped either a thumb nut or washer or spring. I have had times in the past where I actually had a thumbnut get STUCK under the motherboard. You can imagine how happy I was to completely take apart my water loop so I could chase after a lost thumb nut. These old loose nuts/springs systems can be frustrating that way.
This is the first of the blocks I have tested on this new platform, so unfortunately I can’t give you any comparative results. I did attempt to use the factory intel HSF when I first installed it, but quickly became concerned with heat. I was hitting over 80C at only 3.8Ghz and the factory sink just wasn’t worth testing much more than that. I immediately went to water and wouldn’t recommend the factory HSF for overclocking.
This is a very high restriction CPU block and I would generally recommend using it in a CPU loop only. Here is a previous pressure drop comparison I made in my Q6600 roundup for relative comparisons.
The old modified EK supreme V1 still functions fine in cooling the new processor, but the mounting system is not nearly as convenient or consistent as many current generation blocks. If most new blocks are within a few degrees of each other, having variable results could very likely mean the better mounting CPU block would give better results for average users. I’ve had a fair amount of experience with mounting blocks, but I wouldn’t consider myself any better than average. As an average user, I was only able to mount the block to plus or minus two degrees. I saw some inconsistencies in my old Q6600 roundup, but I think the smaller core size is making that even more critical. On the Q6600 I only saw around 1C variance between 5 mounts, and now I’m getting twice that amount. It seems the mounting mechanism may becoming increasingly important for good consistent results.
This block is also fairly high in restriction, so other block options with less restriction may be better for multiple block loops. Multiple block loops with this block could still be done, but it might mean running two pumps in series to maintain more optimal flow rates.
Fortunately many of the newer blocks out there are addressing these mounting mechanism consistency issues and challenges with loose parts. The past time of chasing loose thumb nuts and flying springs are coming to an end I hope.
- Good Thermal Performance
- High Restriction – Best for CPU only loops
- Loose Parts Style Mounting Mechanism – Easy to drop/loose parts and inconsistency between mounts. +- 1.8 degrees at a 95% confidence level.