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Thread: EVGA X58 Classified waterblocks roundup (finally!)

  1. #1
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    Arrow EVGA X58 Classified waterblocks roundup (finally!)

    EVGA X58 Classified waterblocks roundup



    This has been a long time coming, I have to admit. The whole review was delayed because two samples were delayed. Anyway, without further ado, here's my review of three EVGA X58 Classified mainboard waterblocks.

    Classified



    I guess by now everyone knows about the EVGA Classified. Thanks to positive reviews and, no doubt, it's visual design, it seems to have become a very popular piece of hardware.

    It is equipped with a notably huge heatsink-combo, but as we will see later on, this heatsink doesn't do it's job very well.



    This is where the waterblocks come in.



    Bitspower Black Freezer



    Bitspower's cooling solution consists of one main waterblock (copper base, brass top, both black nickel plated) called the EIX58NSC and a mosfet waterblock (black nickel plated base, POM top) called the EI58DP II.
    At this point it's worth noting that the Classified's heatsink is modular, so it is possible to watercool the NB/SB and NF chips and leave the air-cooler on the mosfets.



    The design and finish of the Black Freezer blocks is very well done. The nickle plating is almost flawless. Unfortunately, the block i had here still had one blot of slight discoloration. Nothing tragic, but perhaps annoying to perfectionists.

    Here are the blocks' internals:





    EK Waterblocks EK-FB X58 Classified - CF



    EK's block is a full-cover or full-board block. The two nickel plated copper bases are combined with a bridge, acrylic in my case or made of POM if you get the POM-version of the block.

    This bridge can be replaced with a red acrylic one that comes supplied with the waterblock, which is a very nice addition. Also note that both the bridges have two holes for 3mm-LED.



    I found the manufacturing quality on this block to be flawless. The nickel-plating is perfect, all surfaces are smooth and highly reflective and the whole thing just oozes quality. Here are some more pics including internals:





    MIPS EVGA X58 Classified Triple-Chip and Mosfet POM



    MIPS also offer a cooling solution consisting of two parts, much like Bitspower. Both have copper bases and POM tops. I've had a few MIPS parts before and in my experience, they were always pure perfection. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the block I got here. The POM had some slight blemishes and the copper base was scratched in one place. I assume that this is an exception, though.

    Here are more pics, including the internals:





    Installing the blocks

    I can report that I had no problems whatsoever installing any of these blocks. The one thing I criticized in my installation video for the Bitspower blocks has already been fixed.
    I kind of expected that installing the EK full-cover block might be difficult. After all, it has a lot more screw-holes that need to be aligned and it is one big, rigid thing that needs to be maneuvered past the mainboard's components. But it was actually very easy to install, so no worries there, either. One great advantage of the EK block is that it needs only two fittings and thus makes tube-routing easier. On the other hand, many people like the looks of many tubes in their system, so I guess it also depends on personal taste.
    It's worth noting that the blocks from EK and BP come with thermal pads for the mosfets while the MIPS block uses thermal grease (not supplied) for the mosfets. This is reflected in the cooling performance, as we will see shortly.

    First, here are a few pics of the blocks installed:









    Testing and results

    My setup for these tests consisted of:

    - Laing DDC plus EK X-Res Top
    - 13/10 (3/8" ID) Masterkleer-tubes
    - HWLabs Black Ice GTS 140 Radiator
    - 1x Sharkoon System Fan Power @ 12 Volt on the Radiator
    - 4x analogue Waterprobes
    - 3x digital Temperature probes measuring ambient
    - GMR Flowmeter
    - T-Balancer bigNG and Sensorhub

    Software:

    - Prime95 (small FFT)
    - CPUID HWMonitor 1.4

    No other blocks except the MB-blocks were in this loop. I tested by running Prime95 small FFT for 45 minutes and then noting water, ambient and VREG (mosfet) temperatures. I also logged and noted the flowrates achieved.
    Let's get to the results.
    Now, the thing is, that the Classified won't let software running from the OS (like Everest, HWMonitor and many more) know the NB-temperatures. This is probably because the NB temperatures suck with the original heatsink. So what I did was reboot the system after the 45 minute load run and boot directly to the BIOS, where the NB temperature can be seen. It's important to note that the NB temps aren't full-load temps. They are on the way down by the time I see them in the BIOS.


    Flow



    The image really speaks for itself, here. I only want to add that, in my opinion, the three blocks are as close as makes no difference in flowrates. I wouldn't choose one over the other just for this factor.


    Temps 1

    Here are the temperatures measured shown as the difference between the components temperature and the water-temperature:



    Again, the image speaks for itself and again, you can see that it's a pretty close call.


    Temps 2

    To put this into perspective, I want to compare the temperatures to those measured with the original heatsink on. To do this, I compare the components temperatures minus ambient temps. Note that there's room for variance in here, since the waterblocks depend on water temperature which in turn depends on radiator size and performance. In other words: results may vary.



    The reason I want to show this comparison is because it shows that the temperatures with the original heatsinks are pretty bad and with watercooling, they are way better, regardless of which block is used. Again, in my opinion, the results are as close as makes no difference.

    Ultimately, I have to admit that this is one of my less useful reviews, since it simply shows three candidates practically on par with each other. Still, that's good news for you if you're looking for Classified waterblocks since it means you can pick the ones you like the looks of most.

    Cheers,
    Shane


    P.S.: Here's my installation video guide for this mainboard: Link

  2. #2
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    Sweet thanks for the review!

    I have the EK block and am happy to see it holds up well!
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    Great review - thanks for posting!
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    Wow! Thanks for this! Bitspower is worth of buying

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  5. #5
    The POM surface from the Mips block you can clean with a kitchen paper.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six View Post
    The POM surface from the Mips block you can clean with a kitchen paper.
    Unfortunately, that doesn't make a difference. I tried cleaning it off before taking the pictures, of course.
    It seems to be a discoloration in the material itself, not just a smuge on top of it.

  7. #7
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    Great review HES.

    I'm picking up the EK block very soon

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  8. #8
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    wow those are pretty big differences. are there any reason why the gigantic stock heatsink does such a bad job?
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    Damn this review makes me want to spend a tonne of money! Thanks for the review and it's nice to see this kind of review in here to show that sometimes cooling the board can be beneficial.

    You know I am not taking all the heat for spending money. I will direct her anger towards this thread when she asks where the money is going. Oh your in trouble now!

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    Was there any airflow around the board when you tested the stock heatsink? Was it benched, or in a case. I'm just wondering as those temps seem really high.

    Great review though. It's nice to see that the EK holds its own seeing its all one piece.
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  11. #11
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    I meant to ask HES,

    In the flow rates etc. Does that include the mosfets? You said it's only the MB block. I would assume you used the mosfet blocks also to make it fair for the EK block though, but it doesn't hurt to ask

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    nice test, to bad i can't see the picture, dunno why

  13. #13
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    hmm, they are working for me.
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    Looks like my money was well spent!
    Thanks for the work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millertime359 View Post
    Was there any airflow around the board when you tested the stock heatsink? Was it benched, or in a case. I'm just wondering as those temps seem really high.

    Great review though. It's nice to see that the EK holds its own seeing its all one piece.
    I tested it on an open bench and with the stock aircooler on the CPU, so there was some airflow. In a case, you'd probably get more airflow, but on the downside, you'd also get warmer air, so I guess results would be similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Armitage View Post
    I meant to ask HES,

    In the flow rates etc. Does that include the mosfets? You said it's only the MB block. I would assume you used the mosfet blocks also to make it fair for the EK block though, but it doesn't hurt to ask
    Yes, by "MB blocks" I meant the entire thing with the main block as well as the mosfet block.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boyu View Post
    nice test, to bad i can't see the picture, dunno why
    You can't see any of them? That's strange.

  16. #16
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    Update:
    One of the manufacturers of the MIPS-blocks has been pursuing the issue with the blemishes on the blocks that I got for testing. First of all, this shows that these guys are dedicated to delivering a flawless product and I think that's a very good sign.

    Anyway, I tried cleaning it again and this time, I used a cleaning-foam. I was afraid to use this before since I wasn't sure if it would affect the POM. It didn't though, and the blemishes could be (mostly) cleaned off. Here's what the block looks like now:





    I also want to add that I'd still vouch for MIPS products. Of all the ones I've seen so far, this block was the only one with any kind of flaw.

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    This roundup can help the Classified users quite well. Nice idea @HESmelaugh, I really like it.

    Keep up the good work mate.
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    Gut

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    Quote Originally Posted by HESmelaugh View Post
    I tested it on an open bench and with the stock aircooler on the CPU, so there was some airflow. In a case, you'd probably get more airflow, but on the downside, you'd also get warmer air, so I guess results would be similar.
    Ok, that's what i thought. I would think you could still get the temps to a reasonable spot with a fan blowing on it, but I would think you couldn't get them as low as water is.

    Once again, great review. Thanks for taking the time.
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  20. #20
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    Yep, with some direct airflow, I'm sure it would do better. On the other hand, in your usual air-cooled setup, you probably wouldn't have any fans blowing at it directly...
    One way or the other, usually, the stock cooling solutions do better, even on the bench and without airflow.

    Six, the guy who makes the MIPS blocks, or is involved in making them, says that the block I got was probably an RMA'd one. If they see a block with scratches or blots on the surface, they don't ship it.

  21. #21
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    Does the EK version have LED(s) for that piece that connects the NB and VReg?
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  22. #22
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    Pretty surpised to see the BP having the least restiction. The BP NB/SB block i had for my Rampage Extreme was very restrictive to say the least.

    Very nice review!
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  23. #23
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    I guess it depends on what you're compaing it to. In my comparison between the BP and Koolance RIIE blocks, the BP blocks were also the less restrictive ones. On the other hand, if you compare the restriction of the blocks vs. no blocks, you'll get a different picture.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus View Post
    Pretty surpised to see the BP having the least restiction. The BP NB/SB block i had for my Rampage Extreme was very restrictive to say the least.

    Very nice review!
    I'll be bought my Bitspower Black Freezer AIX48NSE NB+SB Combo Block for my RE X48 soon. Because of that I could not find any combo block for RE X48 around thats why I'll buy it.

    Can I ask what is your experiences about Bitspower Black Freezer AIX48NSE NB+SB Combo Block generally? I suppose we talking about same block here.

    Any help would be great to me.

    Thanks,
    Arthur
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  25. #25
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    Well, I don't have any personal experience with the AIX48NSE, but the two Bitspower MB blocks I've tested so far were both very good. If nothing else, it's an indication that the manufacturers generally know what they're doing.

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