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Thread: Swiftech Apogee GT vs the D-Tek FuZion CPU blocks @ CES

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    Banned Philly_Boy's Avatar
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    Swiftech Apogee GT vs the D-Tek FuZion CPU blocks @ CES

    Well, after we encountered all the issues on the night of the Swiftech Challenge we decided to come back on Wednesday to try it with gear that we knew would be more stable. Gabe from Swiftech showed up with a spanking new EVGA 680i mother board, and Charles (FUGGER) contributed two sticks of tested and true Corsair XMS Pro DDR2 8000 ram. He even allowed us to lap his retail QX6700 quad core CPU we had previously used the night before. Everything else seemed stable.

    Attending:
    Gabe from Swiftech, Free Cable Guy and me.
    Everyone else - Jin, IFMU, Sgt Vipor, Brad, Tony from OCZ, as well as Jeorg and Tom from Enermax were out watching Vince (K|ngp|n) and Charles overclock Charles’ X6800 to 5100mhz and nearly crack 10 seconds on a Super Pi 1M run. That is chronicled elsewhere so I’ll spare you. Kevin, OnePageBook (another of the top overclockers in the world) was also invited but something came up last minute and he had to decline.

    First we set about to lapping FUGGER's X6800 so he could get on with attempting WR's: ho-hum

    Gabe & Kris lapping away:


    Lapped to 300 grit:


    Lapped to a perfect reflection:


    Then we lapped our test QX6700, FUGGER's pride and joy and mounted it into the test bed:




    Our new and improved stable test bed & water loop:


    We then mounted the Apogee GT with the smaller gasket (flat base). Gabe touched it up with 1000 grit to clean up a few marks that remained after the previous night's testing. We were much more finicky and exacting during the mounting process this time. We used regular nuts and turned them down to barely contact the springs of the mounting kit, then turned all four nuts down four turns using a diagonal star pattern. We fine tuned the final position of each nut with a micrometer ensuring each nut was turned down to within 0.012" of each other. We loaded the v-core to 1.5 volts and overclocked the Kentsfield to a modest 3.466 ghz per core. We used CPU-Z to ID the proc and CPU speeds; Core Temp Beta v0.94 to monitor temps; and CPU Burn 5 to load the cores.

    Apogee GT in pieces:


    Mounted in the new and improved test rig:


    We ran it for about 30 minutes taking readings along the way.

    Apogee GT loaded:


    After 30 minutes it seemed to have settled in and we took reading of:

    Ambient=23.3c C0=65c C1=65c C2=65c C3=65c=65c average loaded less ampient of 23.3c yielding a delta T of 41.7c

    We were impressed in how even the temps were across the cores with the lapped cpu. But, that run's delta T with a stable test bed under more optimal conditions did not fare any better than the previous night. Scratching our heads we mounted the D-Tek FuZion to the test bed using the same exacting mounting method we used on the Apogee. We reused the Apogee studs, springs and nuts for this test.

    FuZion's base showing the recessed inner pin grid:(pic borrowed from another thread as my pic came out blurry.)


    D-Tek FuZion back in the new test bed:


    Initial loaded temps:


    We ran the FuZion for about 15 minutes after which we felt it had settled in nicely. We noted the following temps:

    Amb=24.0 C0=65c C1=62c C2=67c C3=63c=64.25 less ambient temp of 24.0c yielding a delta T of 40.25c

    These were actually a little worse than the night before. We had a little more voltage on the CPU and we figured that might account for the lesser performance from the night previous. It still beat the Apogee GT with a flat base by almost 1c.

    We decided to remount the FuZion using the D-Tek mounting studs and springs as the studs were significantly longer and springs were longer and stiffer than the Swifty mounting bits. We did another run of 30 minutes after which we felt the block had settled in its performance. We noted the following temps:

    amb=24.7 C0=63c C1=61c C2=63c C3=62c=62.25 avg loaded temp less ambient of 24.7 yielded a delta T of 37.3

    Now that was on par with last nights performance! We were already to call the FuZion the winner when Gabe said he wanted to run the Aprgee one more time with the bowed base. So, we reassembled the Apogee GT with the thicker gasket and when the base was properly torqued down it bowed the base slightly. We remounted the newly configured block using the same careful procedure as the previous mountings. We used the D-Tek studs but we used the Swiftech springs. We ran it for about 22 minutes but could've taken readings after only one minute. It's performence was nothing short of spectacular! We noted the following readings:

    Apogee GT bowed base loaded temps:


    amb=24.4 C0=63c C1=56c C2=56c C3=61c=59c avg loaded temp less ambient temp of 24.9 yielding a delta T of 34.1c

    Wow!! The Apogee with the bowed base outperformed the FuZion by 3.2c!

    So, we concluded that under these conditions the Apogee GT was the clear winner with a Kentsfield style die. Under less extreme conditions especially where a higher flow block is needed to balance an otherwise restrictive water loop then the D-Tek FuZion would be a logical choice. In the end they are both killer blocks.

    We think we might be able to get the outer cores (C0 and C3) to have the same performance as the inner cores (C1& C2) by somehow expanding the contact patch of the bowed part of the base. That could effectively yield delta T temps of 32c with a Kentsfield style quad core die. Swiftech will be working on this for sure in the near future.

    I will tell you that you will get that additional 2c delta on a dual core as the cores of a Conroe are concentrated in the middle of the die. I am putting together a Conroe based test bed to test these two blocks along with another as-yet-to-be-released block from Swiftech with a dual core CPU to see how each block performs in that setting. I should have everything set up in 7-10 days and data gathered within 3-4 days after the rig is set up. I'll let you know how they fare.

    We wandered out to see how Charles and Vince were doing with overclocking his X6800 to 5.1ghz. We happened on Vince asleep at the wheel while benching the rig @ -92c loaded.

    The Comatose Overclocker:

  2. #2
    Xtreme Enthusiast Mankz_91's Avatar
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    very nice and thurough......

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    Xtreme Enthusiast Mekrel's Avatar
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    Forgive me, but I am new to watercooling but bowed base means the mounting screws applied pressure to the outside of the base lifting the centre of the base up?

    Or did you have two Apogees, one with flat and other slightly bowed?

    Nice tests, only thing I say you missed was to test both blocks on the processor unlapped. Not only to gather the importance of lapping concave IHS via actual temperature differences, but to see which block would work well on a unlapped processor. Even though most of the users on here would lap a processor, some may not for sake of warranty and may choose a block that gets them best temps with a unlapped IHS.

    Thats not knocking your tests by the way, thanks for the time and effort

    If it ain't watercooled, I don't wanna know.

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    So, you made some improvements/you used some other things not included in the original package of the apogee gt?If you did so,that is not fair, because improvement can be done also in fusion, with good results.Nicksub showed the way.

    Of course, what i mention here, does not mean that your testing is not good,well done for the review!

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    I'm with Mekrel...please explain what exactly you all did to the bases of the blocks to get such different results...
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    Xtreme Addict Patriote's Avatar
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    Excellent Tests Guys & Nice Results!

    Looking forward for your other tests!

    By-the-way, Vince is actually the Guy we see in Nvidia's "Priceless" Video huh ?
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    Xtreme Guru Solarfall's Avatar
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    wow that D-Tek FuZion seems to be a really good block.
    very good test. really injoyed it.
    little bit but
    never realized it before but you gues are so old, or you just look old and the hard overclocking and tinkerin with
    watercooling stuff is really taking its toll.
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    Xtreme Enthusiast sonofander's Avatar
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    So my understanding is that the Apogee GT comes with two gaskets... One that will result in a flat base, and one that will result in a base that is bowed, right. What I am wondering is when you buy the Apogee, which one comes pre-installed?

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    Banned Philly_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofander
    So my understanding is that the Apogee GT comes with two gaskets... One that will result in a flat base, and one that will result in a base that is bowed, right. What I am wondering is when you buy the Apogee, which one comes pre-installed?
    The base is machine lapped and polished to +/- 0.003" flat on the assembly line. It is assembled and shipped with the thinner diameter gasket yielding a flat base. Also included in the packaging is a thicker gasket that when used will yield the higher performing bowed base.

    You take the block apart to clean it anyway. . .so when you reassemble just use the thicker gasket and viola! the bowed base.

  10. #10
    Xtreme Enthusiast sonofander's Avatar
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    Mine didn't come with an extra gasket...

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    Banned Philly_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mekrel
    Forgive me, but I am new to watercooling but bowed base means the mounting screws applied pressure to the outside of the base lifting the centre of the base up?

    Or did you have two Apogees, one with flat and other slightly bowed?

    Nice tests, only thing I say you missed was to test both blocks on the processor unlapped. Not only to gather the importance of lapping concave IHS via actual temperature differences, but to see which block would work well on a unlapped processor. Even though most of the users on here would lap a processor, some may not for sake of warranty and may choose a block that gets them best temps with a unlapped IHS.

    Thats not knocking your tests by the way, thanks for the time and effort
    You can find our testing with an unlapped processor here. The FuZion seemed to have less of an impact from lapping than the Apogee GT did. The Apogee GT with the bowed base performed 8c better once the CPU was lapped.

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    Banned Philly_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofander
    Mine didn't come with an extra gasket...
    That's what happens when you buy something before it's actual release date.
    It should be easy to write Swiftech and ask for the thicker gasket.

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    Xtreme Enthusiast sonofander's Avatar
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    Wow, am I being scolded? I have a problem with co-dependency, so I am now so overwhelmed by guilt

    But really, Just emailing Swiftech should get me the other gasket?

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    I'm still confused as to how a bowed base could increase performance...
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    Nice to finally see the insides of the GT, well done on the testing
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    If I have the thicker o-ring i will install it and retest the GT.

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    I can't really tell from the pictures, but the thicker gasket probably results in more stress near the perimeter of the block. I suppose this would result in a convex base.
    I doubt it's the shape of the base thats responsible for the performance increase, it the increase in contact pressure between the block and the cpu.
    Contact thermal resistance can be significantly reduced by increasing the pressure between the parts.
    The same effect would probably be observed if you overtightened the mounting screws.

    I bet if the contact point from the mounting plate could be moved directly over the center of the block, a similar performance increase would be observed.

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    I don't know what to make of this. One the one hand it shows how big a factor proper mounting is, on the other it fails to give any reproducible results.

    Maybe it's just my dislike for realworld hardware tests and deep mistrust of manufacturer sponsored tests, but hand lapped IHS, block, little number of remounts and short time to reach equilibrium...makes this an interesting marketing stunt but little more in my eyes.

    Does the thicker gasket come with the stock Apogee GT?

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    Banned Philly_Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb
    I can't really tell from the pictures, but the thicker gasket probably results in more stress near the perimeter of the block. I suppose this would result in a convex base.
    I doubt it's the shape of the base thats responsible for the performance increase, it the increase in contact pressure between the block and the cpu.
    Contact thermal resistance can be significantly reduced by increasing the pressure between the parts.
    The same effect would probably be observed if you overtightened the mounting screws.

    I bet if the contact point from the mounting plate could be moved directly over the center of the block, a similar performance increase would be observed.
    Well I have seen it. And if you reread my first post it states that we tested the Apogee GT with a flat base (very first run) being very careful to get the best possible mount between the block and CPU. That performance was bested by 8c by the test we ran with the base bowed. We mounted the block exactly the same way both times. The only thing that was different was the base.
    Last edited by Philly_Boy; 01-14-2007 at 09:25 AM.

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    PhillyBoy,

    Thank you for all your hard work, and to all involved in the testing.

    I so far have a D-Tek but no Apogee GT yet. Its supposed to be on its way. My own testing so far has been unremarkable, and certainly my D-Tek has not performed to the extent of what was experienced at CES.

    The problem is that I have not lapped my Kentsfield. No, I don't have an engineering sample. I paid full price for it and even an excessive premium. After paying more than $1200 for it, do you blame me for being hesitant ?

    Anyway, once again. Thank you.

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    Xtreme Member cdelong's Avatar
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    It is by no means possible that a warped base on a lapped IHS would perform better that a truly flat base on a lapped, truly flat IHS. One of two things are happening here......

    1). IHS is not lapped truly flat and the warped base fits it nicely.
    2). The base is actually not being warped.

    How are you measuring the severity of the "warp" factor. You would need some dial indicators and two truly flat surfaces to measure against.

    Think about the true rules of physics you are negating here..... less surface contact (bowed based- assuming a flat lapped IHS) allowing more heat transfer, resulting in better temps??? I don't think so.

    Although I have a FuZion, I don't who we conclude has the "best" block, but let's not negate some basic physics theory's.
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  22. #22
    Banned Pete's Avatar
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    Already though of a mod for the D-tek i have..probs not needed but could be fun

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    Aint No Real Gangster WeStSiDePLaYa's Avatar
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    nice testing.

    anyone else find it kind of sad though, that the very very simple design of the apogeeGT outperforms a very creative design of the fuzion.

    im not saying anything bad about either block. its just too bad the design work that went into the fuzion didnt make it enough to be top block.

    i guess simple is better in this case
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    Well, testing is not yet conclusive
    and the fuzion has a relatively simple design too
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  25. #25
    -150c Club Member n00b 0f l337's Avatar
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    Hey whats the size of the base, and whats the size of the pinned area?

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