AHANIX Iceberg 1 Water Cooling System ReviewBosco - May 31, 2003
Closer Look (Continued):
Here's the rear of the rad, for perspective compare the size to the power supply. You can see some slightly bent fins in the radiator but nothing was punctured, no leakage was found at any time in the review from any component. I was a little worried about the provided hose clips but needlessly - the surgical tubing REALLY grips well on the barbs of the res, rad and block. I had a lot of difficulty removing the tubing even without the clips when I wanted to re-do one connection so have concerns no about the clips. The tubing itself is overall nice to work with, but being so flexible you have to watch that you dont crimp it, either by making a connection the wrong length or by, say, installing another component in the rig that might be near where the hose runs.
Here's one more shot of the installation, you can clearly see the clips - I used the flexible spring steel clips around the rad and res barbs, and the more conventional screw down clips on the block. I went in the recommended order of res/pump - block - rad - res. I also prefer this, as it gives the most water pressure directly to the block, though we are having a *minor* debate about this in our forums, some preferring to run to the rad first and take out pump heat prior to hitting the block. I have no conclusive evidence one way or the other but there is compelling evidence to maximizing water pressure at the block, based on my reading.
But before I cleaned up the wires, I wanted to make sure everything ran. I filled up the res with straight distilled water and plugged in the pump briefly to circulate some water in the system, then refilled the res and plugged back in. Seemed to run fine but I let it run overnight and checked one more time for leaks before firing up the computer. As mentioned before, there were no problems.
Back to the FuzzyCam, you can make out the bubbles in the rad, primarily caused by the water coming down into the res over the distance of the gap between the lid and the top of the water level. I filled it a bit more and most of the bubbles disappeared, and there was no indication of air trapped or moving through the hoses.
Well, you're dying to know what temperatures I saw. Let me first say a couple of things. One, I didn't have a ton of time with the rig and I never ran it on its stock cooling. Two, I'm not going to compare it to other rigs on other motherboards - my experience has been that every motherboard reports temperatures differently and it would be untrue and unfair to you the reader to compare apples to oranges. What I will report is what the Gigabyte GA-7VAXP-A Ultra's bios and Motherboard Monitor5 told me. At stock 166 front side bus, I ran it idle for an hour to get a reading then loaded up SiSoftSandra's burn in wizard at 95% utilization, plus ran Folding@Home in the background, for half an hour to get a load temperature. Then I ramped up front side bus to 180 with an extra 7.5% volts over default and repeated the process. Yes, I'm a wimp with other people's gear, I did not feel the need to burn something and have to write a big cheque =P so I am not going to be able to tell you what the upper limits of the system are overclocked. I had enough time to repeat the process twice.
You can see that as the voltage and processor speed increase, there's a fairly steep increase in temperature, although 49C is still well within safety margins for this cpu. I speculate that the combination of a fairly low volume pump combined with the small inner diameter tubing, while being fine for stock cooling, really can't cut it once you start to ramp up the heat output wattage via overclocking.
Not bad, not spectacularly good, somewhere in between. Whisper quiet, it's barely audible when running and most of what I heard was case fan noise. I will speculate that lapping the block might be worth another couple of degrees of cooling, if you are inclined to do the work. Overall, it's a decent value, it performed better than what I had expected when I first opened the box and saw the size of the radiator, pump and tubing. But it's probably not what you're after if you're after the maximum overclock for your system 24/7.