Introduction and Technical Specifications
The latest rage in CPU cooling seems to be the self-contained water cooler because of the cooling potential of these coolers without the noise of a comparable air-based cooling system. This is something that cooling enthusiasts have known for years with the custom water cooling solution heat dissipation capacity only rivaled by its varied composition. A typical custom water loop is comprised of a pump, CPU cooling block, and a radiator in its simplest form.
Today, we are looking at the impact of the radiator on the custom water cooling loop, specifically the affects of radiator thickness and fin density on the cooling efficiency of the cooling loop. For this testing, we are comparing a single Swiftech MCR 320-QP Radiator, dual Swiftech MCR 320-QP Radiators in series, and an XSPC RX360 radiator while keeping the pump, CPU cooling block, and coolant used constant between tests.
Courtesy of XSPC
MCR 320-QP Radiator
Courtesy of Swiftech
Both radiators used in this comparison are in a 3 x 120mm form factor, supporting up to six total 120mm fans in a push / pull configuration. The Swiftech MCR 320-QP radiator is approximately half the thickness of the XSPC RX360 radiator, but has 150% more surface fin density (measured in fpi (fins per inch)). A thicker radiator can handle more coolant as well as spreading the coolant over a larger surface volume for cooling capacity, while a higher fin density allow for more effective heat dissipation via the cooling fans. However, there are negatives of each. A thicker radiator can inhibit coolant flow speed because of its larger capacity and and surface volume. On the other hand, higher fin density requires a higher CFM rated fan to effectively pass air through the radiator effectively.
Technical Specifications (taken from the XSPC and Swiftech websites)
Swiftech MCR 320-QP
|124mm x 63mm x 400mm||128mm x 34mm x 402mm|
|8 fpi||12 fpi|
|Black Matt||Satin black|
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 29, 2013 - 06:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, non-interference cooler, NiC, heatsink
One hurdle many Ivy Bridge owners have to deal with is the proximity of the DIMM slots to the CPU socket as many high end coolers impinge on the space which high DIMMs occupy. This has lead to the adoption of low profile DIMMs or even users removing heatspreaders from their DIMMs in order to have them fit with an installed cooler. Thermaltake is addressing this issue with their new line of NiC heatsinks which do allow the use of full sized DIMMs. This does lead to a taller heatsink, the NiC F4 that ProClockers reviewed is 155 x 140 x 50mm so you should make sure your case is wide enough to accommodate the cooler. The design does not seem to have effected the cooling efficiency of the design, in tests it proved to match the performance of other mid-range coolers.
"Thermaltake’s newest CPU cooler consist of four cooler models for now and the line-up is called the NiC or Non-Interference Cooler series. The reason behind the name is that the coolers allow for the builder or end user to fill all of their motherboard DIMM slots. This is something that is often not possible with most coolers because of their massive size. With that in mind, you can be at ease to know the series allows for maximum ram slot usage. It’s great that we didn't need to fill all the memory slots but it is another issue if we have to sacrifice performance. Well, you don’t have to worry because each of the coolers on this series is rated to a certain wattage level. The Thermaltake NiC F4 model we will be looking at today is rated up to 180 watts of TDP. The other three models are the F3, C4 and C5 and are rated at 160W, 200W and 230W respectively."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- DeepCool GAMMAXX S40 CPU Cooler Review @ Pro-Clockers
- SilverStone AR01 CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Phobya Nano-2G 12, G-Silent 12 Slim Edition and NB-eLoop Bionic 120mm Fan Reviews @ eTeknix
- NZXT FZ-200 Airflow Fan Series 200mm fan @ Modders-Inc
- XSPC RayStorm 750 RS240 Water Cooling Kit Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Lamptron CW611 Watercooling Fan Controller @ eTeknix
- Guide: how to install liquid cooling in your PC @ Hardware.info
- Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene Mid Tower Computer Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- NZXT H630 Ultra Tower Chassis @ eTeknix
- Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Cooltek Coolcube Maxi Black @ techPowerUp
- Spire X2 6018 XMOD Chassis @ eTeknix
- Lian Li PC-TU100 Mini-ITX Case @ AnandTech
- Thermaltake Chaser A31 Thunder Case Review @ Ninjalane
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 29, 2013 - 02:03 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Windows key, mouse, microsoft, I Hate This Key
Has this ever happened to you while playing a shooter? You need to get to a position so you mash the alt key to sprint and... aw crap I hit the Windows key... well, now I am dead. Have you ever considered purchasing software or a gaming keyboard which allows you disable that button?
Have you ever considered purchasing a mouse which also has that button to give both hands something to fear?
Definitely not a member of their Sidewinder product line.
Okay, so I should be fair: the Microsoft Sculpt Comfort mouse is not designed for gaming and Windows 8-like user experiences revolve heavily around the start button. The mouse button is also more useful than a redundant Windows key; the blue pad also has swipe functionality for extra functions. According to how it is described on its product page, slide gestures are bound to respond to the computer as mouse buttons 4 and 5.
So you can probably bind them to game functions, if you feel daring.
But, in the end, I still need to congratulate Microsoft for trying to innovate computer hardware. This is more than just trying to graft touch functionality to a mouse surface, as both Apple and Microsoft have tried in the past, and tries to make the classical mouse experience better. I doubt it is for most of our audience, but not everything needs to be.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 21, 2013 - 11:52 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: be quiet, Power Supplies, haswell, Intel, c6, c7
In addition to Be Quiet!, Thermaltake has announced its own list of Haswell-compatible PSUs. The majority of high end Thermaltake power supplies will work with Haswell and its new sleep states. Further, all of the current generation high-end and mid-range Thermaltake power supplies are compatible with the new CPUs.
Power supplies in the Toughpower, EVO, and Smart M family are compatible with Haswell. Specifically, the chart below details which specifc models are compatible with Haswell and the new C6 and C7 low power sleep states.
The following companies have also listed Haswell-compatible power supplies:
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 21, 2013 - 10:50 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sleep state, PSU, Power Supplies, haswell, c7, c6, be quiet
Be quiet!, a power supply manufacturer based in Germany, has announced that almost all of its recent power supply lineups are fully compatible with Intel's upcoming Haswell processors. The PC Perspective team has talked in-depth about the new C6 and C7 sleep states used by Haswell CPUs. However, for the uninitiated, the new Intel processors have two new low power sleep states. The lowest state, C7, draws as little as 0.05A from the 12V PSU rail. That is a good thing, but not all power supplies will be compatible with the new sleep states as such low load on the 12V rail was not a concern when the PSUs were designed and manufactured. Notably, even incompatible power supplies will still work in Haswell systems, but those computers will not be able to enter the lower-power C6 and/or C7 sleep states.
There is good news for users of Be Quiet! Power supplies, however. The following power supplies are fully compatible with Haswell and the new sleep states:
- Dark Power Pro 10 Series (all models)
- Straight Power E9 Series (all models)
- Pure Power L8 Series (all models)
- System Power 7 Series (all models)
- Pure Power L7 Series (the 630W and 730W models only)
Older Be Quiet! power supplies will still work in Haswell systems, but use of the lowest power C7 state is not recommended. Fortunately, most desktop users can live without the new low power states (which, while nice to have, the new sleep states are more beneficial to laptop users).
As the launch of Haswell approaches, more and more PSU manufacturers are releasing compatibility information. So far, the following companies have put together compatibility lists.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 14, 2013 - 03:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Lian Li, PC -Q30, mini ITX, case
Lian Li has just released a very unique case for those who want to show off their internal components, the PC-Q30. The unique curved chassis will certainly make your system stand out as no other competitor is offering a case with this particular look. It is mini-ITX so their are some space constraints for the highest end systems but you can still fit a good system into the (W)223mm x (H)357mm x (D)300mm chassis.
May 14, 2013, Keelung, Taiwan - Lian-Li Industrial Co. Ltd, today announces a new brushed aluminum Mini-ITX chassis – PC-Q30. With its curve-shaped design and large acrylic front window the fully aluminum PC-Q30 allows users to show off their systems, and is sure to be the talking piece of any room.
Whether in the living room, bedroom, or office, the PC-Q30 with its curve-shape and brushed aluminium finish takes visual command without being ostentatious. Additionally, DIY builders can put their stylized internal components and intricate builds on full display – as they should not be hidden from sight.
Thanks to the two expansion slots on the top of the chassis, the PC-Q30 supports graphics cards up to 200mm (7.8”). For storage, up to four 2.5” hard drives or SSDs can be mounted in the removable hard drive cage at the bottom of the chassis.
A 140mm fan in the rear of the chassis expels hot air, while ventilation on the top and side allows for cool air to enter. A small form factor power supply up to 125mm (4.9”) is placed on rubber pads in order to reduce vibrations.
The front of the PC-Q30 is minimalistic in aesthetics and houses the dual LED illuminated power button that glows blue when on and red while loading. The I/O panel with two USB 3.0 ports and HD audio connections is located on the left side of the front of the chassis to not interrupt the elegant aesthetics.
Price and Availability
The PC-Q30 will be available in June in the US and Canada for the suggested retail price of US$149
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 11, 2013 - 09:17 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: seasonic, haswell, Power Supplies, PSU, 0.05A
Following the announcements from other power supply manufacturers, Seasonic has now released a list of its own power supplies that are compatible with Intel's upcoming Haswell processor. The new Haswell CPUs, set to launch June 3rd, incorporate new C6 and C7 sleep states that draw as little as 0.05A from the 12V PSU rail. Because of the low load, some existing power supplies will have issues with the new sleep states and could result in system instability. In light of that, many manufacturers are validating their existing lineups to determine which ones are compatible.
As of the time of publication, the following power supplies from Seasonic are compatible with Haswell and the new sleep states.
Platinum Fanless Series
M12 II Evo Edition Series
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more information on PSU and Haswell compatibility.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Processors | May 10, 2013 - 04:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: c6, c7, haswell, PSU, corsair
I cannot do it captain! I don't have the not enough power!
We have been discussing the ultra-low power state of Haswell processors for a little over a week and how it could be detrimental to certain power supplies. Power supply manufacturers never quite expected that you could have as little as a 0.05 Amp (0.6W) draw on the 12V rail without being off. Since then, companies such as Enermax started to list power supplies which have been tested and are compliant with the new power requirements.
|AXi||AX1200i||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX860i||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX760i||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX||AX1200||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX860||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX850||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX760||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|AX650||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX||HX1050||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX850||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|HX650||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX-M||TX850M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX750M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX650M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX||TX850||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|TX650||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|GS||GS800||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|GS700||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|GS600||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|CX-M||CX750M||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|CX600M||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX500M||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX430M||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX||CX750||Yes||100% Compatible with Haswell CPUs|
|CX600||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX500||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|CX430||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS||VS650||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS550||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS450||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
|VS350||TBD||Likely compatible — currently validating|
Above is Corsair's slightly incomplete chart as of the time it was copied from their website, 3:30pm on May 10th, 2013; so far it is coming up all good. Their blog should be updated as new products get validated for the new C6 and C7 CPU sleep states.
The best part of this story is just how odd it is given the race to arc-welding (it's not a podcast so you can't Bingo! hahaha!) supplies we have been experiencing over the last several years. Simply put, some companies never thought that component manufacturers such as Intel would race to the bottom of power draws.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 8, 2013 - 03:43 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: cooler master, n200, n400, n600, atx case
PC case and cooling manufacturer Cooler Master has launched a slew of new cases, including the N200, N400, and N600 cases. The new N series spans from Micro ATX to full tower cases. All three cases are black with mesh fan grills with front IO that supports two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two audio ports.
The N200 is the smallest of the three cases. It is constructed of steel (with a plastic front bezel) and measures 202 x 378 x 445mm. The N200 case can host mini-ITX or micro-ATX motherboards, up to two optical drives, four SSDs, and three hard drives. The case comes with two Cooler Master XtraFlow fans, but it can also fit a thin 240mm radiator in the front of the case if you remove the SSD drive bays. A 120mm rear fan rounds out the cooling options. It supports CPU HSFs up to 160mm tall.
The N400 is a bit larger at 190 x 426 x 501.4mm. The mid-tower case can support full ATX motherboards, 320mm long GPUs, and up to eight 120mm fans. A maximum of eight hard drives and seven expansion cards are also supported. Cooler Master provides two XtraFlow fans with the case.
Cooler Master’s N600 rounds out the new case series. The case measures 207 x 455 x 520mm and is constructed of a plastic polymer. In addition to the included XtraFlow fans, the case can accommodate up to 8 more 120mm fans. It has a removable hard drive cage that allows gamers to use graphics cards up to 430mm GPUs. A 240mm water cooling radiator can be installed in the top of the case as well. The N600 has a large mesh front panel that allows for front intake fans.
According to TechPowerUp, the Cooler Master N200 will be available in Europe later this month for 33 Euros while the larger N400 and N600 cases will be available in June for 42 Euros and 67.5 Euros respectively. Those prices work out to about $43 for the N200, $55 for the N400, and $89 for the N600, though that could change a bit as there is no word on official US pricing yet. Personally, I'm not a fan of the aesthetics, but at least the prices aren't terrible.
Introduction and Features
Enermax has a well-earned reputation for delivering reliable power supplies, enclosures, and other accessories to the PC enthusiast market. Their new TriAthlor Series includes three power supplies including 550W, 650W and 700W models. We will be taking a detailed look at the TriAthlor 550W power supply in this review. All TriAthlor power supplies are certified to deliver 80 Plus Bronze efficiencies and feature modular cables and quiet operation. Ecomaster is the authorized US agent for Enermax branded products.
Enermax TriAthlor Series PSU Key Features:
(Courtesy of Enermax)
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