First off a special thanks to a few folks before I get started:
Tony at OCZ for the block sample and OCZ freeze sample I have yet to try out.
Gary at Sidewinder for providing me with the Q6600 that has been recieving all the abuse lately.
Martin and Mario at TFC for the TFC480ER radiator used in testing
Alex from Petras for the free MX-2.
Paul from XSPC for the XSPC ResTop pump top combo.
And everyone in the forum for putting up with my science & testing mantra...
Here is a link to my full review if you want details:
First up the block:
The accessories package is extremely complete, not only one, but two backplates, two hold down plates, two sets of metal barbs, and everything you could possibly need...this is one of the most complete accessory packages I've seen...very nice!!
A nice durable crack resistant black nylon top (Thanks waterlogged) and a copper triangular pin/fin arrangement base.
And a stepped base to maximize mounting pressure over the critical die location:
The mounting mechanism is very well thought out. It uses standoffs to hold the backplate in place and a combination of washers/springs and thumb/screw nuts to tighten the block down. More importantly these screws install the block with a fair amount of mounting pressure and they bottom out when done, so there is a very posotive "I'm done" with the screws when you've installed them correctly, and this ensures all four corners have the same pressure and the block is true.
Fitting compatibility = 3/4" OD barbs fit with plenty of room to spare. Pretty much any barb will work here.
Pressure drop was about equal to the Apogee GT which is probably less than average in restriction of all the blocks I've tested. This is good and means flexibility in using the block in either multiple block loops or loops with pumps of lower power..
Thermal testing, first a few words about thermal testing. It is plaqued with inaccuracys, our DTS sensors are only resolved to 1C, so trying to pick apart more resolution than that is a real challenge. In addition I've tested several blocks of the same type before and managed to squeeze different levels of performance out of one over the other. Finally, each processor is different particularly when it comes to dual core vs quad core, performance on one does not equate to the performance on another. All you can really conclude from testing is a general understanding how a block peforms on your particular setup and it may or may not be the same on another system.
With that said on my setup, I found tha the As Shipped thermal performance is about equal to the Apogee GT, although more mounting pressure could possibly improve this by a couple of degrees.
It's a nice block, has an amazing accessory package, awesome price, and performance is at least on par with the bowed Apogee GT...likely improved with more mounting pressure by the use of additional washers which are included in the package.