Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2018 - 07:42 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: phase change, overclocking, der8auer, computex 2018, computex, closed loop cooling
Famed overclocker Der8auer and Berlin-based online retailer CaseKing showed off a prototype phase change cooler at Computex 2018. The new cooler is a pressurized and closed system that places a block over the processor and uses a vertical tube to connect to a holding tank and a condenser that is cooled by a copper fin stack and two 90mm fans. While phase change cooling is nothing new, what is interesting about this prototype is that the team plans to bring what they call a Phase Shift Cooler to market as a commercial product like an AIO liquid cooler sometime before the end of the year.
The system uses a 3M Novec-like fluid (it is not Novec, however, according to Gamer's Nexus in speaking with CaseKing at Computex) with a low boiling point. The system is pressurized, and the boiling point can be changed by adjusting the pressure of the cooling “loop”. As the processor heats up, the liquid begins boiling off and gas rises up the tube to the condenser where it cools and changes back into a liquid which then flows back into the CPU block with the help of gravity (which does limit placement of the condenser to vertical case orientations above the CPU. The copper fins of the condenser plate are cooled using two fans that do not need to spin at high RPMs.
According to Gamer’s Nexus, Der8auer and CaseKing plan to reduce the size of the cooler and hydralic tubing to make it more in line with a typical 240mm or 360mm AIO liquid cooler and it would be comparable in performance with them without the need for a pump and its associated noise, size, and risk of failure. The Phase Shift Cooler should also be quieter as well, with the planned cooler moving from 90mm to 120mm fans on the final product and the fans not needing to spin up as fast as those high-pressure fans used with water cooling radiators. I have to say that it is an interesting proposition and I am looking forward to more information on this cooler as it progresses!
The AMD Closed Loop System
Closed loop water cooling is not new, but it certainly is a pretty hot topic now. Some of the first units out there had some interesting issues (like internal corrosion clogging everything up), but once those teething problems were solved the closed loop systems turned out to be pretty effective and easy to install. Initially these units had the performance of a top end air cooler, but with a lot lower noise. The latest generation of liquid cooling systems (LCS) is now further improved and provides performance approaching that of larger, more complex cooling systems. These products will not replace exotic systems like phase change, but they provide a lot of cooling in a fairly decent sized package.
Clean lines and graphics give this box a striking look without being tacky.
Last year with the introduction of the AMD FX-8150, AMD decided to create a SKU which not only included the CPU, but also a fairly robust LCS. This unit is based on an Asetek design which features a double wide cooler/reservoir with the push-me/pull-ya fan combination. Other manufacturers offer this particular product under a variety of names, but this is simply an AMD FX branded unit with some small cosmetic changes to differentiate it from other units.
AMD will eventually offer this cooler with the new Vishera based FX-8350 CPU (or at least we assume they will), and we wanted to take this combination out for a spin. In our FX-8350 review we did not hit the overclocking targets that AMD had set. In most literature that we were provided AMD stated that most FX-8350 parts would be able to hit around 5 GHz with some aggressive cooling. In our review I was able to get to around 4.6 GHz max and around 4.5 GHz stable with better than average cooling. The results were not as impressive as we had hoped, but we again did not have a top end cooling solution such as what AMD provides with this particular LCS.
With a brand new LCS in hand, I retested the FX-8350 to see how hard it could be pushed. I also wanted to see how this particular unit performance in terms of thermal properties. The results were quite surprising for me, as this is my first real experience with a LCS.