Testing and Performance:
Now, the true measure of any cooling system is
not how easy it is to install, or how pretty it looks, but how well
it actually performs So we have to put some heat on this
beast. To test the kit, I will be using the following
||DFI Lan Party P35-T2R
||OCZ 8800GTX, 648MHz-1674MHz-1050MHz
||4x1GB Crucial Ballistix, DDR2-1066, 2.2V
||Danger Den Water Box Plus
2x150GB Raptor X
Performance will be judged against my current
favorite air cooler, the Cooler Master GeminII, with two Antec
TriCool fans, as well as the stock cooler. The test consists
of 5 minutes of idle time on the Windows Vista desktop, and then 15
minutes of stress testing using Prime 95 version 25.4. Prime95
loads all cores simultaneously, using the Large FFTs setting.
SpeedFan is used to log temperatures in 3 second increments, logging
the temp for Core 0, my hottest core. All fan speeds are set
to 100%. After we compare with the other coolers, we will see
just how far we can push this Q6600 before it either overheats or
reaches a wall.
First up, here is the stock Intel cooler, at
2.4GHz and 1.225V:
It is actually painful for me to bench this
beautiful processor with the stock cooler. Here, Core 0 idles
at 46C, and loads 72C. Yuck.
On the other hand, the H2O-220 idles at 28C, and
loads at 38C. Now that is delicious, considering ambient room
temperature was around 23C throughout testing.
Next up, we ran it head to head with the GeminII:
At this speed, the GeminII idles at 39C and loads
at 65C. I was able to squeeze out 3.6GHz at the same voltage,
but it just got too dang hot to run that 24/7.
Now, the H2O-220 at the same speed and voltage.
Here, it idles at 33C, and loads at 50C. That is an
improvement of 15C. Consider my socks blown off.
So rather than "settle" for 3.15, or even 3.6GHz,
I decided to go for all the marbles. Since I was already
running an FSB of 450, just with tuned down multipliers, I figured I
would just bump it back to 9x and shoot for 4050MHz. Perhaps
it was a little too ambitious, however I was determined.
Unfortunately, for the life of me, I could not stably reach that
speed, even at 1.55V. I thought I was going to have to settle
for 3.9GHz at 1.4V, however I kept pushing anyway. I finally
reached a speed of 4005MHz, at 1.5V even! At these speeds, I
had to put some supplemental air cooling on the RAM, Northbridge and
MOSFETs in order to keep things happy.
For anyone out there running a DFI P35-T2R
motherboard, I have saved my settings for you:
Enough of that, you say? Results, is that
what you want? Well here they are:
So, at 4GHz, the H2O-220 has nearly identical
performance as the GeminII at 3.15. At this point, we stand
back, and applaud ourselves for a job well done, Swiftech has slayed
the quad-core beast!
It is without a doubt, Swiftech has taken a solid
product and vastly improved it for higher powered quad core systems.
We have definitely broached ground that is untouchable by air.
And to make the deal even sweeter, the H2O-220 Compact is only
marginally more expensive than the 120, running about $40 more.
If you are looking for an easy way to introduce yourself to the
world of water cooling, this is hands down the best way to do it.
So, with that being said, what can Swiftech do to
make it even better? I would like to see some options for the
MCR220 that would allow for horizontal installation, as well as the
standard location for the barbs to make it easier to install in
cases pre-fitted for these types of radiators (like my Danger Dens).
The only other thing I can even think to add is perhaps something to
improve the aesthetics.
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