Posted: January 14, 2004
Author: Jason Kohrs
Source: High Speed PC
The gpu temperature was tested next, and the following software/hardware was used:
• FutureMark’s 3DMark 2001SE (to stress the gpu)
• Cool Bits overclocking utility (to stress the gpu)
• Folding@Home 4.0 (to stress the processor)
• Senfu Super Thermometer (to acquire temperatures from the gpu)
3DMark 2001SE is a standard benchmark for video cards, and is being used here to stress the video card and generate more heat. Although 3DMark 2001SE is what I am officially listing as the stressing software, I did try a few other methods, including 3DMark2003 and playing a few different games, none of which provided any more heat. Folding@Home is not associated with the video card, but I left it running to simulate real world conditions where the cpu would be working just as hard as the gpu, and perhaps a bit more heat would be generated.
The video card in question does not have an onboard thermal sensor, so the SenFu Super Thermometer provided by High Speed PC was utilized. By sticking the sensor to the side of the gpu, overlapping onto the waterblock, reasonably accurate temperatures should be acquired, and the differential in temperatures will confirm any performance gains. The image below shows the basic setup for obtaining the temperatures on the gpu...
For the idle portion of the testing occurred simultaneously with the cpu idle testing, and results were recorded. For the full load testing, the card was overclocked via Cool Bits from 250 MHz to 275 MHz, and 3DMark 2001SE was set to loop indefinitely, with results monitored on the Senfu thermometer for one hour. All phases of the testing were conducted while maintaining an ambient (room) temperature between 20-21 degrees Celsius and a system (case) temperature of 28-30 degrees Celsius. The graph below compares the idle and load results of the Innovatek Graph-O-Matic waterblock with the stock aluminum heatsink which featured a small ADDA fan.
Once again, the idle temperatures show no real benefit from going to water cooling, but as soon as the stress on the card increased, the Innovatek XXS water cooling kit with Graph-O-Matic gpu block installed provided much better temperatures than the stock setup. Just as noted on the cpu testing, the noise is also reduced, by eliminating one more fan from the system.
The performance of the Innovatek Premium XXS Water Cooling Kit is without a doubt admirable. It substantially reduces the noise over the stock configuration, while producing temperatures on the processor and video card far lower than the stock coolers. I was equally impressed with the solid construction of each piece, and the inclusion of all the extras that made installation a snap.
The Innovatek Premium XXS Water Cooling Kit is an excellent choice for someone who wants a complete kit consisting of some of the best built water cooling gear available. The performance and ease of use should appeal to someone making their first foray into water cooling, as well as an experienced veteran. The universal nature of the kit is also appealing as it allows the owner to know they can move their investment to a new Intel or AMD based system if an upgrade is on the horizon.
Some of the negative aspects of the kit are personal concerns which may not be true problems, and others may only apply to my particular installation, but should be addressed. I had a particularly difficult time locating the radiator. Its shroud and four tabs required extra contemplation while trying to figure out a reasonable place to install it in my case. Another concern was with the softness of the tubing. Although I had no problem, I did take special care to keep it from kinking or twisting, as it seemed like it may be an issue if handled hastily. The other main concern I had was with the interface between the pump and the reservoir. A simple press fit with two o-rings is all that seals the assembly and keeps the water from soaking the inside of your pc. I would prefer some kind of clamp or other device that provides a positive seal that can’t come apart unintentionally.
The base price of the kit from High Speed PC is $294 (US). Definitely not a small investment, and perhaps more money than other kits on the market that include similar components. But, the completeness of the kit and the extremely high quality of the components provided make it a ‘Premium” kit as the name implies. To simplify ordering, or to further stretch your budget, High Speed PC’s site allows you to custom configure the kit to include only the base components you need/want, as well as adding the extra items such as the Graph-O-Matic gpu block ($43.99 US extra) and inline temperature probe ($24.99 US extra).
If someone is prepared to go water cooling, they should be prepared to spend some money if they want to do it right. With that in mind, the price isn’t that out of line, and the performance and silence of the kit make it easy to recommend, and earn it 4 out of 5 stars...
• Kit provides essentials for a solid start into water cooling
• Components are all well designed/manufactured
• Provides excellent thermal results compared to stock cooling
• Generates far less noise than stock cooling
• High Speed PC not only sells the kit, but they support it and it’s users
• Bulky radiator shroud is only difficult part of installation
• Tubing works well, but if not handled with care may be prone to kinks or twists
• ‘Premium’ kit comes with a premium price
• Interface between pump and reservoir works, but I am not convinced of permanent water-tight seal
Special Thanks to High Speed PC for providing the Innovatek XXS Water Cooling Kit to BigBruin.Com for review!
Please drop by the BigBruin.Com Forum and feel free to discuss this review.
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