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 it shows fairly well what benefit you get out of going to water cooling.
Now chances are that if you’re running a custom water loop you’re not running stock, but you never know. With the system running at the stock settings the Apogee XT kept our Intel Core i7-920 at a very nice 46*C. That’s 1.75 degrees better then it predecessor the GTZ i7, and a massive 10.25 degrees better than the popular Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 air cooler.
Bumping the system up to 3.5GHz the Apogee XT is still in the lead. Running at 51*C its 1.75 degrees cooler then the GTZ i7 and 13.5 degrees cooler than the Cooler Master V10 hybrid cooler. When compared to the stock Intel box cooler the Apogee XT is running an outstanding 32.5 degrees cooler.
Pushing on up to 3.8GHz the Apogee XT still maintained its lead over the GTZ i7. If nothing else, the results have been very consistent. The XT is still 1.5 degrees better than the GTZ i7. This is a little shy of the 3 degrees that Swiftech claimed on their site. Now every loop is different, but an almost 2 degree jump in performance is still nice; lower is always better.