Finally starting to get around to more blocks for my testing....these are my test results from my recent Swiftech Apogee GTZ review, which can be found here: http://vapor.skinneelabs.com/c2q/gtzq/gtzq.html. I'd like to thank Swiftech for sending a sample my way for testing, it's much appreciated by me and hopefully the readers as well
I'm aiming to obtain and graph real world CPU temperatures and seeing how they change as flowrate changes. This is in addition to just getting a nice comparison between blocks and nozzles and midplates, etc.
In my opinion, this data will be very useful to readers: it will show how waterblocks compare at a given pumping power, it will show how waterblocks limit flow compared to each other (though I will not be mapping component PQ curves), and most of all, it will show how much a waterblock responds to flow.
This test is of an Apogee GTZ on a dual die Core 2 processor. I'll be getting to other waterblocks, to an i7 system, and still continue testing on my QX6700. Honestly, I'm not sure if I'll continue full testing on my E6700....each block config (e.g., nozzle, or midplate, or orientation, or whatever) takes roughly 5 days of testing on a single CPU. Testing on three CPUs will take 2 weeks of testing just for a single setup and obviously I'd like to keep that down as much as possible.
- The processor I'm using for this test is my B3 QX6700. I'm running it at 9x400 (3600MHz) at 1.49V loaded on a Gigabyte EP45T-Extreme. It is lapped. I'm running 2GB of G.Skill DDR3 1600MHz. All heatsinks on the board are stock and there is no airflow provided anywhere over the board. The video card is a 4850 1GB with VF830 running in the top slot. The board is sitting on my desk alongside my Odin 1200W PSU and DVDRW and HDD drives.
- The watercooling loop I'm using is very untraditional, but allows me to test the way I want to test.
- It consists of an MCR320 + MCR220Res sandwich with three Sanyo Denki "San Ace" 109R1212H1011 fans and 5 (3+2) 120x120x20mm Yate Loons cored out as shrouds. The sandwich allows for high-dissipation ability in a compact setup. The 'Res' part of the MCR220Res is used not as a res, but as a drain port.
- For pumps, I use three MCP350s modded to MCP355s. One is attached to an XSPC Res Top and the other two are attached to the EK Dual Turbo Top--all three are in series. The MCP attached to the XSPC Res Top I can modulate the supply voltage freely between 7.65V and 12.65V. The two MCPs on the EK Dual Turbo Top always run at 12V. I have six pump settings I run with every mount: 1) All three on at full speed, 2) XSPC Res Top only (at 12.65V), 3) XSPC Res Top only (at 10V), 4) XSPC Res Top only (at 7.65V). The ability to consistently vary flow is a huge aspect of my testing.
- I use a Koolance FM17 for my flowrate measurement. I recognize its lack of 'professionalism' (compared to a King Instruments flowmeter or something of that ilk) but still use it because it 1) covers the entire range I anticipate I'll be testing in (~.2GPM up to 3GPM), 2) outputs measured flowrate every second via RPM wire, which is logged for the entire test and then averaged and has thus far brought on extremely consistent results.
- Loop order: CPU block -> MCR220Res -> Koolance FM17 -> MCR320 -> XSPC Res Top + MCP -> EK Dual Turbo Top + 2xMCP -> CPU block. Air flow order: in -> temp probe array -> MCR320 -> San Ace H1011 -> MCR220Res -> out
- I do a 5 mount test, each with their own TIM application. It takes a ton of extra time (each block takes 5x4x120min to test), but it's totally worth it. In the words of Martin "It's not uncommon at all to see mounting variations as high as 2 degrees or more, so with only one mount, that error is 2 degrees. When you mount 5 times and average those results, your standard deviation is significantly lowered and the overall testing confidence improved. In addition multiple mounts serve as a means to validate data, because each test is carried out again and again, chances are if some variable is affecting results, it will show."
- I have 10 temperature probes in use: 6 Dallas DS18B20 Digital one-wire sensors on the intake of my sandwich, 4 Intel DTS sensors in the processor.
- For temperature logging, I use OCCT v3.0.0.RC1's internal CPU polling that is performed every second on all four DTS sensors and is automatically output to .csv files. I also use OCCT for loading the CPU. For intake air temperatures, I use Crystalfontz 633 WinTest b1.9 to log the Dallas temp probe data on my Crystalfontz 633. I also use WinTest b1.9 to log fan RPM and Koolance FM17 flowrate output. Martin et al. have been over the many advantages and qualities of the Crystalfontz + Dallas temp probe combinations--it really is a wonderful setup and aids the testing process immensely.
- For processor loading, I find OCCT v3.0.0.RC1 to be extremely competent. It provides a constant 100% load (so long as WinTest b1.9's packet debugger is fully disabled) and is extraordinarily consistent. It allows me to, in one button push, start both the loading and the logging as well, which helps. I immediately also start to log the Crystalfontz data simultaneously. I run a 120 minute program, the first minute is idle, then I have 115 minutes of load, and then 4 minutes of idle. The first 26 minutes of load are thrown out as warmup and only the remaining 90 minutes of load are used for data compilation. During the last 4 minutes of idle, I adjust the pumps to be prepared to immediately begin the next 120 minute program.
- For TIM, I use MX-2. It's plentiful, representative of what a lot of people use, and has no break-in period. I use the dot in the center method and validate all my mounts to be at least "good" visually upon removing the waterblock.
- Like Martin, I have found that simply using processor temperature minus ambient temperature is not adequate. So I mapped out the thermal response of my setup and found that a correction of .216C per degree Celsius was needed. That is, for every 1C below 21C ambient (my arbitrary pivot point), I need to add .216C to the delta to correct it. The opposite is true as well, for every 1C above 21C ambient, I need to subtract .216C to the delta to correct it. I then add that corrected delta to 21C and get my adjusted core temperatures for 21C ambient. I found the .216C correction vector to be very accurate for ambients ranging between 16C and 27C (past that, I did not test). Even with all the correction automatically performed for me, I still try my hardest to maintain a 21C ambient when testing. I would expound on this further in another thread, but 1) Martin already did an excellent job and all I did was mirror his technique and testing for my own testbed and 2) I seem to have too much data for Excel to reliably function--the majority of the time I try to work on the spreadsheet containing all this data, it crashes. Of note is that my E6700 has a correction factor or .221 from my tests, so it seems the entire 65nm Core 2 family may have the same of ~.22C.
- My graphs....they may look a little different than what you've seen before, but I feel they're a great way to show all the individual data points from testing while also highlighting the averages of that data. I've termed them Planet/Moon graphs--each data point get its own moon and 3 moons get averaged into a planet. From there, the planets get a line drawn through them (not a trendline, just a regular line with the "smooth line" option checked). For something like flow vs. cooling, I've found Excel's trendlines to be totally incompetent. This applies to HSFs too. In fact, I have yet to see a situation where they do work involving flow vs. cooling.
- While I do 5 mounts, I discard the best and worst mounts and use the data of the middle three. I still show you the data from the worst and best, but it's not used in the 'big' graphs or the averages calculations. I take the middle three to hopefully get a fair representation of what to expect from the block in how it compares to other blocks.
The Big Daddy chart...all my data in one graph, presented as conveniently as possible!
Isolated charts....these are for a different representation of the data to make certain aspects of it easier to see.
Full pumping power = all pumps on
Medium-high pumping power = XSPC Res Top pump only (at 12.65V)
Medium-low pumping power = XSPC Res Top pump only (at 10V)
Minimal pumping power = XSPC Res Top pump only (at 7.65V)
Tables of the data graphed
Another graph for your enjoyment...it's something I'll be using in every waterblock test and comparison: 'Typical' performance of a block, i.e., how you can expect it to perform compared to other blocks with little regard to the rest of the loop. The data graphed is flow vs. temp and the flowrate data is the harmonic mean (great for averaging rates) of the 4 settings I tested and the temp data is the average of the 4. It's a pretty interesting way of representing the data and really shows how, in general, a block performs in regards to both flow and temperatures. I realize the graph is a little bare right now, but it will fill out.
Typical performance graph:
A block that really likes flow is something I like to see! It has really solid performance (easily the best I've tested so far) and a mounting system that every other block should have. One of those products that has no weaknesses--great performance, comes with everything you need, and really easy to use. Plus its price is lower than other flagship blocks out there, which is always a plus