To have some sort of basis of comparison I picked a couple of the top air coolers in our air cooler testing and the stock Intel cooler. After looking at the temps it’s not fair in the least bit, but shows fairly well what benefit you get out of going to water cooling.
With the system running at the stock settings our i7-920 ran at a very cool 48*C, spanking the stock cooler by 26*. Even leaving the closest air cooler behind by 8.25*C, and the Corsair H50 by 10.75*C.
With the system overclocked to 3.5GHz the benefits of the water cooling are still showing through. Still spanking the stock cooler, this time at over 30*C, 11.25*C better then the Cooler Master V10 hybrid cooler, and 16.25*C better then the Corsair H50.
Because I knew if I didn’t I would get email anyway, I pushed the system up to 3.8GHz. Under full load the average core temp topped out at 62.75*.
In all I’m rather impressed with the Apogee GTZ Core i7 CPU water block. Combined with the rest of the cooling system this is the coolest the test bench has run when overclocked or otherwise. Granted, the cost of the overall cooling loop is almost double the cost of the Cooler Master V10, but it is actually quieter.
I will admit this was my first full on, non-kit type, water cooling setup I have messed with. It is a little nerve racking the first time flipping the switch with around 1 liter (give or take) of water inside your case. Even after leak testing, after a couple weeks of messing with the system moving it here and there in the office I still found myself looking to see if I could see any leaks.
Now the up side to a custom loop like this is, and most importantly, if I find I need more cooling or I want to add in a video card or chipset I can. With the closed loop sealed kits there is no real easy way to splice into it. If you did manage to do it, it may not work.
Now this is most definitely one of those “mileage may vary” situations. There are more variables than just ambient temp and a case. The pump used, tubing size, radiator size, and so on.
I want to thank Xoxide.com for providing us with the Apogee GTZ Core i7 CPU water block. While this article was being written it was announced that Xoxide was going out of business. You can pick up an Apogee GTZ i7 for your next build for $69.95 plus shipping $29.77 plus shipping with their going out of business sale. If you’re still running an LGA775 socket you can pick up the Apogee GTZ for $63.95 plus shipping $42.00 plus shipping at this time. While you’re there, check out the other water cooling parts Xoxide.com has to offer as some good deals can be had with the going out of business sale. If you are looking for a place that has the Swiftech Apogee GTX Core i7 water block in stock for purchase today you can check out Sidewinder computer systems as they have them for $49.95 plus shipping.
Legit Bottom Line: If you’re looking to make the jump to a full on custom water cooling setup, the Swiftech Apogee GTZ core i7 should be on your short list of CPU water blocks.