This has been a long time coming, I have to admit. The whole review was delayed because two samples were delayed. Anyway, without further ado, here's my review of three EVGA X58 Classified mainboard waterblocks.
I guess by now everyone knows about the EVGA Classified. Thanks to positive reviews and, no doubt, it's visual design, it seems to have become a very popular piece of hardware.
It is equipped with a notably huge heatsink-combo, but as we will see later on, this heatsink doesn't do it's job very well.
This is where the waterblocks come in.
Bitspower Black Freezer
Bitspower's cooling solution consists of one main waterblock (copper base, brass top, both black nickel plated) called the EIX58NSC and a mosfet waterblock (black nickel plated base, POM top) called the EI58DP II.
At this point it's worth noting that the Classified's heatsink is modular, so it is possible to watercool the NB/SB and NF chips and leave the air-cooler on the mosfets.
The design and finish of the Black Freezer blocks is very well done. The nickle plating is almost flawless. Unfortunately, the block i had here still had one blot of slight discoloration. Nothing tragic, but perhaps annoying to perfectionists.
Here are the blocks' internals:
EK Waterblocks EK-FB X58 Classified - CF
EK's block is a full-cover or full-board block. The two nickel plated copper bases are combined with a bridge, acrylic in my case or made of POM if you get the POM-version of the block.
This bridge can be replaced with a red acrylic one that comes supplied with the waterblock, which is a very nice addition. Also note that both the bridges have two holes for 3mm-LED.
I found the manufacturing quality on this block to be flawless. The nickel-plating is perfect, all surfaces are smooth and highly reflective and the whole thing just oozes quality. Here are some more pics including internals:
MIPS EVGA X58 Classified Triple-Chip and Mosfet POM
MIPS also offer a cooling solution consisting of two parts, much like Bitspower. Both have copper bases and POM tops. I've had a few MIPS parts before and in my experience, they were always pure perfection. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the block I got here. The POM had some slight blemishes and the copper base was scratched in one place. I assume that this is an exception, though.
Here are more pics, including the internals:
Installing the blocks
I can report that I had no problems whatsoever installing any of these blocks. The one thing I criticized in my installation video for the Bitspower blocks has already been fixed.
I kind of expected that installing the EK full-cover block might be difficult. After all, it has a lot more screw-holes that need to be aligned and it is one big, rigid thing that needs to be maneuvered past the mainboard's components. But it was actually very easy to install, so no worries there, either. One great advantage of the EK block is that it needs only two fittings and thus makes tube-routing easier. On the other hand, many people like the looks of many tubes in their system, so I guess it also depends on personal taste.
It's worth noting that the blocks from EK and BP come with thermal pads for the mosfets while the MIPS block uses thermal grease (not supplied) for the mosfets. This is reflected in the cooling performance, as we will see shortly.