originally tested the Sub-Zero in the NZXT ZERO
mounted on the Asus P5W DH Deluxe
where it played a crucial role in the article entitled Asus P5W DH Overclocking
. The test system was 100% benchmark stable to 445FSB and stable in all but a few benchmarks at 460FSB.
For this review I re-mounted the Sub-Zero onto the Gigabyte GA-P965-DS3
motherboard in hopes a higher overclock could be reached. In addition to the P965-DS3 I've mounted the entire system into my new test-case, Thermaltake's Mozart TX
One of many advantages to this case is the ability to remove both side-panel "doors" resulting in a work-station like tower. This effectively eliminates any temperature differential which exits between ambient room temp and a sealed case with a higher internal temp. The Mozart TX will be reviewed here soon. From the rear you can see four 120-fan vents allowing Mozart TX to support some of the larger radiators out there 2x2 stacked.
The radiator used in this review is Alphacool's NexXxos PRO-II
. While it’s difficult to argue in a cohesive system which component is most important, I've found the radiator (heat exchanger) / fan combo, has greatest affect on temperature. The semantics behind the name heat exchanger say it all; this is the location where H20 carrying energy from the processor will dissipate that energy (heat) into the environment.
Matching fans are equally important and choosing your fan is where you can have a direct impact on water-temps with the least cost. If you’re looking for silent operation then you’re going to sacrifice a slightly higher temp for peace. The obvious answer is to find very powerful (high CFM) fans and use a rheostat or saving more money simply plug the fans into your mainboard headers. Just about every motherboard on the market has a BIOS fan controller and most offer software giving you fan speed control through the Operating System. The only way I know of combining ultimate silence with temps close to ambient would be a large (usually very large) passive radiator. I tested Alphacool's CORA 662
and found it to be competitive with dual and even triple radiator systems depending on the fans. I chose two Papst 4412 2/GL's which move 74CFM each using 12V with a noise rating of 26dBA (ISO standard measured, except 40+dBA ~ @ 50cm in real life).
Finally the pump which is another source of contention as to which component is most critical as part of an H20 system. This argument is easily answered when you compare an increase (or decrease) in flow-rate and/or height delivery compared to installing higher CFM fans. Of course as with most technical subjects the argument becomes more complicated when you throw in a water-block based on 1/2-ID tubing and a mini-jet design. For 10mm system testing I've been using the Alphacool AP1510 centrifugal pump
with external DC adjuster from 12V ~ 24V in 4V increments. The pump is made specifically for Alphacool by OASE
This pump produces 1500l/h with a 6m max delivery height, while consuming 17W. I did increase the voltage and found there was some improvement in temps at higher flow rates. I've eschewed that data since many End-users cannot afford the 1510 and DC voltage converter. Therefore the DC adjustment hence delivery was set to default pump voltage at 12V.
Onto test methods and results ->