Cool-Cases CF-1 as pictured below from a Caseumbau review
, shows its original top section made of a hardened plastic.
A multi-stream effect is created via a small copper plate inserted into the top section. The base plate remains unchanged in Rev.2. and is based on a extruded pin design. Water forced through the perforated copper plate strikes the extruded pins located above the CPU core. Heat conducted from the CPU up into these pins is absorbed by the water, as it's forced down and around the pins. The turbulence created by multiple water streams impacting on and between the pins improves heat absorption. Pressure forces the heated water to the outlet, replacing it with water from the radiator.
There are several basic design concepts for base plates. One example is channels of varying shape and depth machined into a copper base plate. Water forced through these channels absorbs heat conducted up into the channels. Another design utilizes isolation cups of varying shape and depth into which water impacts, absorbing heat conducting up into the bottom and sides of these individual cups. Finally, extruded pins of varying size and shape as explained above. There are of course, variations on all of the above. Copper is just one example of base plate materials utilized which range from aluminum to 99% silver; the latter being one of the best conductor's of heat. Silver, however; is costlier medium. To date, copper gives manufacturers the best R.O.I. (Return On Investment).
The photo below compares the original CF-1 flow section to the Rev.2 section now made of a clear Lucite. The new flow section utilizes a more advanced mini-jet design. The original CF-1 flow section [photo-left], relied on a simple copper plate to achieve a multi-stream effect. The Rev.2 clear Lucite section with its chamber feeding isolated jets, not only increases pressure, but ensures water exiting each mini-jet eventually combine striking the impingement zone in a well defined area. Another benefit of isolated jets is a resistance to blow-back or turbulence within the water block chamber.
Before moving onto the base plate itself it is important to discuss its thickness. Cool-Cases (at least in their CF-1 model) places just a few millimeters of material between heat-source and H²0. In my experience, less material combined with higher pressure results in better performance. An "ideal" thickness would be difficult to estimate for water block design, as some designs might benefit from slightly more material or a larger "foot-print". Cool-Cases CF-1 base plate represents a minimalist approach in its use of material and is just a few mm thick.
I'd estimate the thickness outside the impingement zone and chamber to be approximately 5mm. One reason this design has been so successful, is due in part, to a minimal amount of highly conductive material between heat-source and coolant. The next photo shows the CF-1's impingement area and return flow zones. The recess depth on either side of the impingement zone is approximately 3mm. I fail to see the reasoning behind these recessed areas on both sides of the impingement zone. In theory water could gather in the recessed area not located beneath the outlet nor affected by the inlet. This water could stagnate retaining heat, allowing temps to build. It could also effect water pressure and flow dynamics. The machining between pins reaches the same 3mm depth as the recessed areas. This leaves just a few millimeters of copper between H20 and heat-source (CPU). This is one of the better examples of CNC work I have seen.
Next we move on to the heart of the matter, the CF-1 Rev-2's Lucite section, which introduces a new flow dynamic. The two small inserts on either side of the outlet threads, accommodate LEDs, which is quite an interesting feature and ergonomically attractive when used. It was wise of Cool-Cases to place the LED's near the outlet, so any heat generated by these devices, no matter how small, doesn't raise incoming water temps. A small detail, but it's all in the details.
Most pertinent, is the new chamber design off the inlet. Water entering the inlet barb, is redirected into the chamber, down through the mini-jets, located above the primary impingement zone. The combination of mini-jets, and extruded-pin impingement zone, is a departure from the atypical combination of mini-jets paired with isolation-cups. You'll see an example of isolation cups in the TDX.
Seen below is the CF-1 Rev.2 with LEDs installed, and illuminated. The 478-toplate is installed in this photo, providing an example of how light will reflect onto the motherboard surface;
While the CF-1 was an excellent block in its own right, the CF-1 with Rev.2 flow section in place significantly enhances the blocks performance. Cool-Cases did an excellent job at improving their CF-1 water block, without passing the cost onto the consumer. Original CF-1 owners only need to purchase the replacement Rev.2 part, which is less costly had the block been designed from the "base-plate" up. The upgrade kit for the CF-1 can be found at Watercooling.de for just €26.90.