Recently a box not much larger then a cantaloupe
arrived at my door addressed from Danger Den
. I couldn't for the life of me, remember what I'd requested or what they could be sending me in a box this small? Some time ago I did request their Silver TDX
. Could this be that block? Had I indeed received the Montezuma's Treasure
of the water block world? As I peeled away the layers and started to get to the inner box, my heart began beating wildly as Holiday visions of a Silver TDX danced in my head.
When I finally came to that last box, and opened it, there was a bag inside? I pulled out the bag and that's when I came face to face with "the thing." Upon seeing "thing" (as I called it) for the first time, I honestly didn't know what the heck it was? I quickly realized it was a pump, and the initial wave of excitement quickly faded as I thought anything this small was bound to be a mediocre performer at best.
I had visions of plugging "thing" into my system and the water circulating so slow all I'd have was a miniature water-heater. When Prescott was originally released people had joked it could double as a space heater. Was I to literally put this theory to test? In trying to keep an open mind, and given "thing's" diminutive size I had to admit the pump would be ideal for SFF (Small Form Factor), Micro-ATX possibly even a laptop? Nonetheless I immediately emailed Danger Den about the pump, and they sent me some material. It was at this point I would begin my refresher course in pump pressure/volume with respect to water cooling.
Listed below are the DDC-12V specs, pay close attention to the pump curve chart
:Motor design: Electronically commutated, brushless DC, spherical motor
Voltage Range: 6 to 13.2 VDC
Maximum system pressure: 22 PSI
Maximum flow @ 13.2 volts = 400 LPH
Temperature range: Up to 140°F (60°C)
As indicated in the flow/pump-curve chart above, the DDC-12V packs quite a punch. To test the pump's "real world" performance I'll be comparing it to the high powered, somewhat high pressure Hydor L-40
Comparing the chart above to specifications provided by Danger Den, there seems to be a discrepancy. Danger Den claims the DDC-12V circulates 400LPH (@ 13.2V). While the chart above seems to indicate the DDC-12V's maximum flow to be 1.5GPM x 60 = 90GPH = 340LPH. Or 400LPH = 105GPH / 60 = 1.75GPM? I've written Danger Den regarding this.
Comparing the chart above with Hydor's chart below, reveals that the DDC-12V
, while circulating just 400l/h (@ 13.2V), offers a max head to feet height of 426cm/14FT. This is significantly higher then the Hydor L-40's 230cm/7.5FT. Amazingly, the L-40 circulates 7X the flow rate of the DDC-12V at 2800l/h, which goes to show one cannot judge a pump's pressure by its flow rate.
Its apparent from comparing these charts that the DDC-12V (or Delphi pump originally from LAING
) is a remarkably powerful pump, especially for its size. Until my water-pressure gauge arrives our test will simply involve replacing the Hydor L-40 with the DDC-12V and measuring the results. As I've just finished a review on the TDX for Socket-775 the data is there. All we need then, is to ensure the ambient temp of the room and water temp, are the same when recording data with the DDC-12V in place. This will be easy this time of year as its getting cold out, so testing at night all I need to do is adjust the heat in my room to match the temp during all TDX tests.
Our catalyst, Danger Den's TDX
CPU-cooler, should make for some interesting results with respect to its design. I've theorized based on the design the TDX is a water block which would benefit from a high pressure pump. Of course, this is speculation on my part and until today the most powerful pump I've mated with the TDX has been the Hydor L-45. The L-45 circulates a massive 3500l/h with a max height of 270cm/8.8FT. Now onto the TDX design in detail.
Danger Den's TDX is a copper water block utilizing isolation cups (or as Danger Den describes them heat voids
). The cups are designed to create turbulence when water flows down into them, and it's this turbulence which ensures the water absorbs as much heat as possible. If for example, the water simply flows over the copper surface where CPU heat has risen, only the water molecules at the stream's edges would absorb heat. The isolation cups, machined into the block's base allow most of water molecules to absorb heat from the cup's base and its sides. These cups comprise the impingement zone which is always located over the CPU core. The photo below is a close-up of the TDX impingement zone:
Danger Den has come up with a novel approach to the tried and true isolation cup design. By staggering and alternating each of their heat voids
they form channels across the impingement zone. These channels are intended to force the water (once it has absorbed the CPU's heat) to the block's outer chamber where it will of course exit the block. Danger Den has machined each heat void so that its maximum depth leaves just .5mm of copper between water flowing into these heat voids, and the CPU surface below.
Additionally Danger Den engineers have employed a series of "accelerator nozzles," each with a different opening to control incoming water flow. These nozzles serve a dual purpose as each not only dictates water flow down into the impingement zone, but as they lay on top of the heat void channels, their Lucite surface seals the impingement zone thus ensuring water is forced along the channel length to the outer chamber. Danger Den's "heat voids" first seen in the RBX
have been largely responsible for both the RBX and the TDX's success.
Below you can see the accelerator nozzle in place (notice the Lucite portion of the accelerator nozzle "seal's" the channel top is forcing water to the outer chamber).
Finally the photo below shows the TDX, with its accelerator nozzle number 1 removed and placed to the side.
From the discussion above it may become clear why a specific amount of pressure (not just flow) is required for the water block to perform at its best. In theory, water entering the TDX through the accelerator nozzle should have enough pressure behind it to flow uninhibited down into the bottom of the isolation cups and create enough turbulence so thorough heat absorption occurs. Equally important, the water shouldn't remain in the heat voids too long and there must be enough pressure to remove the heated water forcing it along the channels to the block's outer chamber, where the H20 will exit the block. Why delve so deeply (literally) into the TDX? It's important to understand how water block design either benefits, or fails based on combinations of high-flow/low-pressure or low-flow/high-pressure pumps. Now onto the tests
: I've included a photo of my test system, this first picture shows the Hydor L-40 in place.