Date: August 31st, 2006
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: ZalmanUSA
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PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
After installing the ZM-NWB1 on a couple of motherboards, I can assure you that you'll have much more trouble getting the stock solution off of your mobo than you will installing the Zalman unit. After removing the OEM ‘sink and cleaning the chip, apply some thermal grease and you're good to go.
If the motherboard has those little wire loops like this Asus P5LD2, the crossbar and hooks can be used to secure the block.
If the mobo has mounting holes, like this DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR board, the black spring pins should be used. The included spring clamps secure the tubing on the barbs.
Here you can see the three blocks installed and the tubing connections made up. Notice that I was NOT able to use the top PCIE slot on this SLI board, the block interfered with the graphics card. The lower slot worked fine, but SLI types and nVidia chipset users need to do their research before buying this block. With everything installed, it's time to fire up the pump and check for leaks. No leaks were found, so we're ready to start testing.
The testbed we'll be using consists of the following:
- AMD Opteron 148 processor
- DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR motherboard
- eVGA 6800XT
- GSkill F1-4400DSU2-1GBFC (512mbX 2) memory
- Thermaltake Purepower 600W PSU
- Western Digital WD800 SATA hard drive
- Lite-On CDRW/DVD Combo drive
I chose this board to test the ZM-NWB1 because the nF4 chipset runs relatively hot and the stock cooling solution is notoriously loud.
The following parameters were used throughout testing:
1) Arctic Silver 5 TIM used on all waterblocks.
2) Ambient temperature kept at a constant 21C.
3) All blocks allowed to burn-in at maximum heat setting with Prime95 for two hours to partially set the thermal paste. The computer was then shut down overnight.
4) Idle temperatures were recorded every 30 minutes until temperatures stabilized.
5) Load temperatures were recorded every 30 minutes during maximum heat torture testing using Prime95.
6) Idle and load temperatures were recorded at stock CPU speed (2.2 Ghz.). Northbridge (chipset) voltage was a constant 1.47V.
The fluid temperature reached a maximum of 35C. Looking at chipset temps only, the Reserator 1 Plus with the optional ZM-NWB1 chipset block does a good job of keeping temps in check. This performance coupled with silent operation will be a boon to quiet computer enthusiasts.