|January 6th, 2007, 04:20 PM||#1|
D-TEK FuZion: Solid Construction Creates Serious Performance
Solid Construction Creates Serious Performance
Date: 11 January, 2007
Author: Kristopher Boughton
Category: Water cooling
There’s little more that we can ask from such a well-constructed, performance-oriented block such as the FuZion – D-TEK’s done an outstanding job in this right. The design is solid and fresh and includes a few smart adaptations of some rather well utilized engineering principles. The placement of the inlet and outlet barbs give the block an asymmetric appearance, but don’t let this fool you, the internal flow paths created are some of the more well-balanced that we have ever tested. The goal has (and always should be) to focus as much water flow as possible at precisely the point of maximum heat production. This allows the coolest liquid to come into direct contact with the area(s) of the block that are experiencing the highest local heat flux – something the FuZion does quiet well. A single high-flow ½” metal inlet barb aims the incoming charge directly at the center of copper base-plate allowing nearly 100% of the flow to spread radially outward, collecting heat energy along the way, as the fluid makes its way to one of four output plenums placed at the corners of the block. These four output plenums lead to a common collection chamber which then allows the water to leave the block via a separate single high-flow barb. Although the placement of the outlet barb is (and cannot be) symmetric with respect to the block, we feel that the addition of a second output barb would bring at best, insignificant (and most likely immeasurable) gains.
When held in the hand the block presents an appearance of solid construction. The base is lapped to a metallic shine and the injection-molded, 2-part shell is extremely durable. The removable hold-down plates (which provide the mounting mechanism for both Intel- and AMD-based systems) are exceptionally wonderful as the block does not need to be disassembled in order to change them – this means that the installer has more control over the quality of the mount. With other blocks, once the mounting screws are in place and the block is placed on top of the CPU there is no opportunity to move the mounting surfaces against one another – something that can help tremendously in assuring that the thermal interface material is somewhat properly distributed before the block is secured in place. The hold-down system is easy to install and provides a great deal of clamping force.
Worth noting is the method in which the base plate has been made. Rather than the traditionally more expensive CNC-machining used in most designs, D-TEK has chosen to create their base plate with the help of a copper cast mold. Undoubtedly this allows D-TEK to offer this waterblock at a much more competitive price point than would be possible with the machining that would be otherwise required.
To date the FuZion has provided the highest level of performance that we have seen from any waterblock when it comes to cooling an Intel quad-core processor. (Keep in mind that although a dual-core CPU has not been formally tested, there is reasonable assurance that this waterblock will continue to feature better than average performance.) With that being said, let’s move on and take a look at the specific results and discuss what they mean.
Testing Guidelines and Intermediate Results
The testing guidelines adopted in the performance of this review can be viewed in a previous article and as such will not be repeated here. Graphical analysis explanations can also be revisited in the linked article.
Graph 1: Measured Full-Load Voltage vs. ΔT for D-TEK FuZion
Graph 2: Processor Frequency vs. ΔT for D-TEK FuZion
Graph 3: Processor Power vs. ΔT for D-TEK FuZion
Final Results and Conclusion
The D-TEK FuZion created consistently low temperatures when tested a-top a Kentsfield (quad-core) processor and can only be viewed as our top choice for the watercooling enthusiast that wants the ultimate in performance and quality. Testing shows as much as a 3°C gain over similar style blocks with an increasing lead to be had when upgrading from those that utilize jet-impingement technology. These impressive gains can be attributed to a super-low measure system thermal resistance of only 0.159 °C/W.
Although D-TEK's solution is quite elegant, there are no doubtably gains to be seen. Whereas other blocks are somewhat limited in mass by their design this block shows amazing potential for an easy performance gain with only a simple change in materials. We'll be sure to tell D-TEK just what we have in mind...
Figure 1: Final Results for D-TEK FuZion
Copies of the official data collection/calculation spreadsheets and usage instructions can be downloaded below. Microsoft Excel is required to view and manipulate the XLS files. This work is Copyright © 2006-2007 The Tech Repository (All Rights Reserved) and no portion may be used for commercial or marketing purposes without the express written consent of The Tech Repository. Distribution and licensing rights available upon request.
Questions, comments, and request for review of commercial samples should be directed to the author of this article via email.
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