Beta Orionis – Part XV: Follow-up with Koolance blocks

Build Log:

I’m a little conflicted.

Earlier I posted about a rather interesting temperature differential I was experiencing with the Koolance VID-NX680 blocks I had originally purchased for my graphics cards. Under Bioshock Infinite, the cards had experienced a greater than 20C difference in temperature with the hotter card getting into the upper 70s. I posted about this on The Mod Zoo forum, and it was recommended I contact Koolance. In hindsight as well I decided I needed to attempt to re-test the blocks — this time around, though, with the intent of doing an RMA. So I set out to do just that — identify which block needed to be returned on an RMA and start the RMA process with Koolance.

Only that’s no longer necessary.

Flushing the blocks

Before re-mounting the blocks on the cards, I flushed them with distilled water. The apparatus I set up for this involved the old Phobya pump from the original water cooling build that preceded Absinthe, a Bitspower reservoir sitting with an open top to feed into it, pushing water through a tube into the block, with the outlet on the block just dumping into the sink.


Obviously I had the pump wired up with the intent of actually using it to push water through the blocks. It’s similar to how I described flushing the radiators for Beta Orionis in an earlier article. The beauty of using this kind of setup for flushing blocks is the pump will put pressure behind it instead of trying to rely on gravity or the seal and shake method.

After flushing both blocks, I mounted them and set them up in a serial configuration. Then after refilling and bleeding the loop, it was time to test.

Temperature testing

And the results compared to previous are like night and day. I ran two tests against it: Valley Benchmark running the benchmark sequence, and bfgminer on its benchmark setting for around 30 minutes. In both cases, the temperature differential was similar to what was seen with the Watercool blocks: about 3C or 4C difference between both cards. That is exactly where you want it.


With Valley Benchmark, as shown here, the temperatures maxed out at 46C and 43C, which is very similar to what I got with the Watercool blocks running Heaven Benchmark. Now with the Watercool blocks, I never captured any screenshots running bfgminer, but I can tell you that it produced temperatures exactly the same as Bioshock Infinite, making it a pretty good means of temperature testing cards. And in the case of the flushed Koolance blocks, the temperatures were, again, very similar to the Watercool blocks, maxing out at 51C and 47C.


This is what you want to be seeing out of your water blocks. So no RMA will be necessary on this.


As I said, though, I’m now conflicted on what to do: keep the Koolance blocks or switch back to the Watercool blocks. I think it’ll be the latter. Watercool’s blocks just look better, in my opinion, especially with the back plate, though the performance between the two is very similar. I had the Watercool blocks running in parallel, whereas I had the Koolance blocks running in series, and the difference between the two tends to be a couple degrees, advantage series. So with the Watercool blocks in parallel performing similar to the Koolance blocks in series, that tells me the Watercool blocks are still the better performers.

Plus, again, they look better in my opinion.

Now I don’t need to swap them out right away. The temperatures are exactly how I expected them from the outset. But since I have a mainboard swap coming up soon, I’ll wait till then to swap the blocks so I do it all at once.