Watercooling Fluid Shootout

Written by Brett Thomas

February 16, 2008 | 08:52

Tags: #feser #fluid #non-conductive #water #water-cooling

Companies: #danger-den

The test setup

The watercooling tests are conducted on our watercooling test bench, which features the following components, chosen for maximum stability with maximum overclockability:

All clocks are at manufacturer stock speeds unless specifically noted as part of an overclocking test.

Along with the hardware, some amount of watercooling gear is chosen. This can vary by the testing setup depending on what is being tested at the time. In the case of this test we are using:
  • Waterblock - Danger Den TDX CPU waterblock for Intel LGA775 Processors
  • Radiator - BlackIce GTX 240mm
  • Fans - two 120mm AC Ryan Blackfire 4 Kameleon
  • Pump - Laing Vario D5 12v @ max setting
  • Tubing - 1/2" ID Clearflex

Coolants Tested:
  • FluidXP+ Ultra (Blood Red),
  • MCT-40,
  • Feser One (UV Blue),
  • Distilled water with Water Wetter in five percent solution.

The test system, clean from its third distilled-water flush after a test.

The test system, clean from its third distilled-water flush after a test.

Testing Methodology

Understanding the test methods is vital to understanding the results of a test, as well as allowing maximum repeatability. Here at bit-tech we strive to make our tests fair, unbiased, and repeatable by anyone with the time or inclination to do so. The following methods and assumptions were used in this test:

The test setup is built in a climate controlled room free of unnecessary foot traffic. Once assembled, the system was started on air cooling and the operating system (Windows Vista) was patched fully. Speedfan was used to measure the temperature of the CPU cores before, during and after testing as prescribed below. Ambient temperatures were also taken from a digital thermometer on the wall approximately one metre from the test setup.

The system was booted with a fluid of choice and left to idle at the desktop (no screen saver) for one hour to allow the fluid temperatures to come to equilibrium, and temperature was then recorded.

Prime95 was then started on each core using Small FFT to assure maximum CPU usage, which was also monitored via a sideboard widget to assure proper load. Temperatures were recorded at 10, 20, 30, 60, and 90 minutes and averaged. No cores showed any significant change in temperature (greater than one degree) after 20 minutes using any fluid. Once 90 minutes passed, Prime95 was stopped on all cores and the system was allowed to return to idle. Temperatures were recorded at 10, 20 and 30 minutes though no readings showed deviations past 10 minutes.

The system was then shut down, drained, and rinsed with pure distilled water a minimum of three times or until the water ran clear. The system was then flushed by filling with the next fluid of choice, draining and discarding, and filling again. The process was repeated twice for each fluid (one right after the other) and from different bottles, to remove statistical anomaly and prevent the fluids from being diluted by the flushing distilled water.

Results were averaged amongst the two runs to develop the reported findings on the next page.
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