i7-3930K DT 5Noz CPU Block Review

Posted: March 12, 2012 in Blocks
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PRESSURE DROP TESTING

Not the bottom line factor, but having a block low in restriction does provide some advantages in multiple block loops.  It also means your radiator will be performing at it’s peak with higher flow rates.
We have a new KING of low restriction in my 2011-2012 round of CPU blocks tested!

This block is a good 50%+ less restrictive than my previous next best grouping utilizing microchannel designs….wow!  It is the least restrictive microchannel block I’ve ever tested and nearly as low in restriction as large open pin designs of several years ago.That 5NOZzle is quite impressive in reducing restriction.

THERMAL TESTING
I’m using a slightly revised test standard for my 3930K platform which is pretty much the same as previous with the exception of utilizing the same mounting hardware and mounting pressure.  I am also now using the latest batch 2 MX-2 compound which is much thinner in consistency and spreads easier than my old batch.  In addition I am now testing each block over 2 mounts vertically, 2 mounts horizontally, then the 5 mount whichever way is determined best by the first 4 mounts.  This way you can see what if any differences there are between mounting orientations.

THERMAL TESTING SPECS

  • ASrock X79 Extreme 7
  • i7-3930K processor, overclocked to 4.5Ghz at 1.344-1.352Vcore, Should be 175W+ of heat
  • 16GB Corsair Vengeance RAM
  • EVGA 570GTX Video Card
  • Swiftech MCP-35X Pump @100% with reservoir
  • 1/2″ ID x 3/4″ OD Danger Den tubing, Koolance Spring Clamps
  • TFC 480ER Radiator with Yate Loon D12SM12 fans at full speed
  • Fixed Mounting Hardware – XSPC Raystorm M4 Studs, Large Metal Washer, Small M4 Washer, Small M4 Black Nylon Washer, Danger Den M6 7-8lb Spring, Danger Den M6 Brass M4 Oversized Thumbnut.  Factory ASrock 2011 built in retention/backplate.
  • Arctic Cooling MX-2 Feb2012 Batch 2, 20g Tube, large + method
  • The block is seated over the processor very carfully and each thumbnut is tightened equally with opposing corners back and forth until the spring is fully compressed by indication of stud depth.  Then each nut is carefully tightened just until full spring contact is made.
  • The system is then launched into windows, followed by activating the Crystalfontz CFA-633 which is logging two Dallas Digital one wire probes for water and four each for air.  Packet debugger is turned off in CFA-633. Then Real Temp GT 3.70 is launched and recording 6 each of the core temperatures at 1 second intervals.
  • Prime 95, Custom Small 8K FTT is started to load 12 worker threads at 100%.
  • The test is typically run for 1 hour, the data is then combined in excel trimming the first 10 minutes of warm up time, and plotted to ensure air/water/loading was done correctly.  Finally the average of 30minutes minimum is averaged to produce the summary results.
The above is an example of the testing/data logging effort.  In case you are wondering why I didn’t just use the supplied hardware, it is for several reasons.  The first is to have consistency between blocks, because they all have different springs and difference sized thumb-nuts, it is nearly impossible to mount each block with the same amount of force by feel alone.  I have attempted to measure spring compression depth in prior testing, but that too is very difficult.  I found that it’s easiest to use a spring that fully compresses with the appropriate load.  Another reason is for safety of my hardware.  Thinking back over the last three hardware upgrades, I have pretty much done so on most of them because of physical damage to the motherboard.  Loading a processor can be hard and damaging to the motherboard particularly when you are mounting and remounting as many times as I do during the many block tests.  Motherboards can handle normal use with just a few mounts, but they are not designed to take hundreds of mounts particularly when you are mounting blocks with extreme pressure.  High pressure also isn’t necessarily a benefit to thermal performance as it depends highly on the block bow as well as the thermal paste used.  My test standard MX-2 batch 2 paste spreads very easily and does not need high pressure to have good mounts.  While I don’t mind doing this testing for fun, I did just spend almost $1000 in upgrading my processor and motherboard which comes from my very own pocket, and I’m going to ensure I protect that investment.  Using the standardized hardware is something I can get very familiar with and helps ensure I don’t damage my motherboard or processor.  Last but not least is simplicity, it is much easier to use the same mounting hardware and simply switch out the block.  Most of the blocks I have did not come with 2011 specific mounting hardware which has typically been nothing more than m4 screws, washers, springs, and thumbnuts anyhow.  I will entertain extra testing for factoring mounts if I can ensure the mounting pressure is fixed, but for the most part will be using my standard hardware.

FIVE MOUNT SUMMARY

This is a new core distribution chart showing the deviation between core temperatures.  The first two mounts were done with the block lettering vertical to the left, where the last three mounts were done horizontal in line with the graphics card and motherboard lettering.  While the differences are within standard deviation error, my best mount #4 was with the block oriented horizontally.  My hottest #5 core and differences between cores was also better using the horizontal orientation.

THERMAL COMPARISON

My 3930K is new, so I’ve only included my first two blocks tested.  The Acetal top XSPC Raystorm was at the top of thermal performance  in my previous 2600K testing and the copper top is supposed to be even better being an all metal top.
Both block tests resulted in roughly a .5C standard deviation in testing error.  Statistically to ensure 95% confidence you would need to show a difference of two standard deviations or approximately 1C.  These results are simply too close to call one any better than the other.  It is a tie for thermal performance on the i7-3930K processor.
In practice I found the Dt-5Noz to have a more mild bowing of the base which gave slightly more consistent results where the Raystorm bow was more sharp and required slight adjustment of mounting pressure on one side to roll the block over to be centered.  The heavy bow in the Raystorm is really optimal for the smaller 2600K where I think the more gradual bow of the DT 5Noz is better for the larger 3930K.  Either way they can be made to perform roughly the same thermally.
That’s all I currently have for comparison sake, but I do have more blocks to catch up on in the testing que in between the radiator testing to come.  I knew the Raystorm was an excellent block, so I figured I’d go for a top performer baseline comparison for starters.
Here is a closer look at the thermal paste spread following a good mounting.  You can see the bow present in the nice thin spread of paste over the large 2011 processor without any evidence of bridging the IHS.  The precision and solid mounting of the spider element also made near perfectly level mounts right off the get go, there was no need to adjust pressure to one side or the other as the block seemed to be fairly self leveling with careful pressure measured on each corner.  In the end, this made for a relatively easy good mount with minimal effort.

SUPPLIED MOUNTING HARDWARE

With today’s refinement in blocks, it’s also worthwhile to review and comment on mounting systems ease of use and protection.  Some systems out there now are as simple as a peel and stick backplate and tighting four screws down in place that are retained in their proper place (2 loose parts), while most have a bit more work involved.  While I didn’t use as-shipped hardware for testing, I did look it over and measure the springs.  This system uses a more conventional loose parts spring/washer/nut which typically requires removal of the motherboard, installing the nuts and washers in proper order, then carefully holding the block in place nice and level with one hand as you places springs, more washers, and finally the thumb-nuts.  There’s nothing particularly wrong with loose systems, it’s just not as easy as some of the other systems out there.  I usually find myself chasing a run-a-way M4 washer before it’s all said and done and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve lost one under the motherboard which got stuck..*eek*
In my testing I used my own test hardware with the 2011 socket which has it’s own built in backplate.  My only real comment from use is good in that I enjoyed the spider assembly being fixed to the base which did assist with remounting and also seems to have made level mounts easier than blocks with loose spider/hold down plates.  You only have two hands and I’m all thumbs, so the fewer the loose parts the better…:)
CONCLUSION
PROS
  • #1 Lowest 2012 generation CPU block tested to date (Approximately 50% less restriction than the next best microchannel block)
  • #1 Tied Thermal Performance so far, similar to Raystorm performance
  • Extremely High Machining Quality Controls and Tolerances
  • Acetal options in black or white or combinations of black and white between the top and spider.
  • More than enough room for even the largest compression fittings
CONS
  • Mounting system – loose parts style system with perimeter back-plate.  Takes more time and not quite as refined as other systems.
Performance is about as good as it gets, but there is some refinement in the mounting system needed.  Considering this is their first block produced and it’s not only keeping up but lower in restriction than the other blocks says a lot! Overall, I see it as a block with a ton of work and emphasis put into the design and quality of the block itself. That 5Noz is something very special and it’s very refreshing to see a design done very differently from the norm that also performs extremely well.  My new overclocked hexacore 3930K is by far the largest CPU heat load(175+Watts) I’ve used in water-cooling and the DT 5Noz was more than up to the challenge…:)
Cheers!
Martin
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Comments
  1. Tingez says:

    Wow … need to investigate this baby more

  2. […] Martin, fra Martinsliquidlab, har haft testet blokken, og som dette billed tydeligt viser, så er der virkelig tale om et kølehoved med lav modstand, der uden problemer kan følge med de store konkurrenter. Martin har skiftet platform til LGA2011 og derfor er der omkring køleevnen ikke så mange at sammenligne med, men ingen tvivl omkring at dette er et top kølehoved – Hans test kan læses her. […]

  3. […] Here’s some results from Martin’s testing: […]