Test results, stock CPU
Core 2 Duo CPU's are remarkable power friendly (compared to Pentium 4/D) for the amount of performance they deliver, even the new line of Quad Core doesn't have too much troubles to keep their power usage (or heat dissipation) well within reasonable limits. Intel's stock CPU cooling has remained pretty much the same over the past few years, though for the new line of quad core CPUs they've added a copper core to improve the cooling ability of their standard heatsink. In our test we saw how the heatsink had not much trouble keeping the CPU running stable at all times, though average CPU core temperature climbed over the 60°C mark which is not that great when you are looking to overclock. The fan on the Intel heatsink is rather quiet.
The Zalman 9500 improved the overall CPU cooling by ~6°C, not that impressive, certainly not compared to the results of the water block. At 12V we had no doubt that there would be such a gap, though even at 7v the water cooling solution remained powerful enough to keep ahead of Zalman's 9500LED, near 12°C better at full load! The difference between low and high waterflow/fanspeed is very small too, seems like TTIC's Micro Flow will work good even with a small radiator, fan at low speed. Let's add some more juice ->Test results, overclocked CPU
This Q6600 scales very well when we increase CPU core voltage, the downside of course is heat. The stock Intel heatsink already didn't had much headroom with the CPU at standard settings, if you want to overclock it advisable you get a 3rd party heatsink or water cooling:
Using high-end heatsink really does pay off, though at 74°C average we can't be very satisfied, 1.53V is just too high for daily use on such CPU if it's combined with air cooled heatsinks. Water-cooling on the other hand didn't have much trouble keeping the CPU below 60°C, even at 7V. The extra flow and fan speed didn't provide much extra cooling power, ~2°C, allowing to undervolt pump and fans will surely give you the best of both words: excellent cooling and quiet operation!Conclusive Thoughts
A head-on between air-cooling and water-cooling is not what we are trying to compare today, instead we tried to show how you could improve your CPU temperature by choosing a water-cooling setup with a TTIC's Micro Flow water block. At stock settings every cooling method - being water-cooling, high-end air-cooling, or even standard air-cooling - had no troubles keeping the CPU temperature at reasonable level, though the water-cooling rig was superior to the air cooled setups by far. At overclocked settings this difference became even greater; no air cooled heatsink was powerful enough to keep the CPU below 70°C while with our TTIC water block the temperature remained below 60°C even at low water flow and fan speed.
Water block base design is very important when it comes down to cooling huge amounts of heat, TTIC's approach isn't new but based on a proven concept which works well. Even at reduced flow it managed to keep an overclocked Quad Core running cool.Let's sum it up once again:+
Excellent CPU cooling ability+
Usable for low and high flow water loops+
8 and 10mm fittings+
Adhesive pad hard to remove-
Only AM2 OR
LGA775 mounting gear included-
We have had no news yet about estimated retail price, but hope it won’t be more than the price of a high end air cooled heatsink.
I would like to thank Gary from TTIC
for providing us this review sample and for having the patience to let us do all our tests.