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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

it's time for another roundup, this time about Laing tops and, as an added bonus, three XSPC Slot In 5,25" reservoirs for one or two Laing pumps. Older models as well as new ones will be featured in this overview.
As previous tests have shown, all Laing tops are very close when it comes to flowrates. In the results chart I'm going to display the highest rate achievement by every product in the setup "top in, front out", which is the only possibility for a few tops.
Event though they flowrates aren't too different, this can't be said about the noise: this is the reason why I want to present a small overview about it.
There aren't only the standard single Laing tops in this roundup, but also three Dual-Laing tops and even a Triple-Laing top! Also, because some users asked me to do it, there's also a comparison to two single tops.
As you can see, I did a lot to offer you a good roundup when it comes to Laing tops. There should be a top for everyone in here and I also added two older models, that aren't produced anymore, for comparison.
With all the tops in this review you should always check the correct mounting on the Laing pump, to avoid damage due to leaking water.
When removing the tops, I recommend to put the pump top down, so that no fluid can reach the pump itself when removing it.

Have fun with this roundup!

Testsystem:

Banchetto 101 Bench Station
Gigabyte GA EX58 Extreme
Mips Fusionblock Nickel
i7 920 @4GHz @1.41V (Bios setting)
Seasonic M12D-850
Patriot Viper DIMM Kit 6GB PC3-12800U CL8-8-8-24
Watercool HEATKILLER® CPU Rev3.0 1366 nickel plated
EVGA GTX 275 (not part of loop!)
ThermoChill PA140.3 - 420 Radiator + 3x YL D14SL Fans
Aquaero VFD
Laing DDC-1T+ or 2x Laing DDC 1T for dual tops!
Noise Destructor v1.1 pumpdecoupling
Alphacool HF 38 Cape Cyclone 250 reservoir
Aquacomputer flow meter "high flow" G1/4"
CPC Metall quick-release couplings
16/10 tubing + barbed fittings
3x water temperature sensors (2x T-Line, 1x in reservoir (G 1/4") )
1x dig. sensor in reservoir for calibrating
3x dig. thermometer for measuring room temperature
GELID GC Extreme
Feser UV Clear/Blue
ArctiClean

The tests of the three bay reservoirs by XSPC took place in a Lian Li V1010.



The candidates

Zern P12 top - available in two versions:






The two versions of the Zern P12 Laing top differ when it comes to the position of the fittings, as can be seen in the pictures above. Mounting is done by using the included screws, washers and plastic shells. With a low price of only 10.90? the Zern tops offer great value for money and are, when compared to others, silent when used. My test sample showed some traces of the milling which can't be seen in use and also don't affect the top's performance.
At an additional charge, you can also get a very useful mount out of stainless steel, offering decoupling and more ways of mounting at the same time - a good idea in my opinion!
The P12 tops are only available in a black POM version. They could fit a little bit better, but they still offer great value for money.

Koolance PMP-400



This Laing top initially showed up in our shops in two versions: one out of acrylic glass and the other one out of metal, which I did use for this roundup and which isn't available anymore, even though it cost around 40 EUR in German shops before. The version out of acrylic glass costs around 30 EUR. The tops come in a white retail box with the required mounting material and a thin, rubber-like mat, which is supposed to mount the pump in the case and also decouple it. The decoupling doesn't really work, though. Threads in the side of the top offer a variety of possibilities to mount the pump.
The tops also come with two low profile seals, because of the four threads for fittings the top features, so you can choose which ones to choose for both in and out.
The Koolance tops can convince with good flow and good looks, the mounting is easy and done quickly. Still, the price is rather high when compared with other tops in this roundup.

Aquacomputer Aquacover DDC





Aquacomputer.de presented me their first top for the popular Laing pumps. The top looks very classy with the mix of POM and stainless steel, making it easy for the top to blend in in most watercooling loops. It comes with screws for mounting and to sealing plugs. The writing on the top is exemplary, making it easy even for beginners to find the right threads, four of which are available.
On my pictures I also used a sealing plug from another manufacturer for illustration and used black screws as a little modification. The top is available for around 20 EUR in the usual shops.
On the inside, there ware a lot of traces from the milling...other companies in this roundup show how it's done in a better way. A manufacturer, bragging with "Made in Germany", should maybe put more effort in this aspect.

Aquacomputer Aquacover Dual DDC





This top for two pumps features the same aspects as the single top. The scope of delivery is also the same and the flow rate isn't bad, either. The noise it makes is around identical with the other dual tops in this roundup. Also, just like for all the other tops, I can only recommend the use with decoupling material to reduce the noise. The Aquacomputer dual top costs around 30?.
 

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Watercool DDC Case LT & Dual Case LT











I got three tops by Watercool for this Roundup. There are two versions of the DDC Case LT: one out of acrylic glass and one out of POM. Then there's also the DDC Case Dual Top for higher flow. All three tops feature a top out of stainless steel and great craftsmanship, showing in a good fitting accuracy. While the POM version showed some traces of the milling process, the version in acrylic glass also offers a small hole for LEDs, which sadly is placed on the top, making understated wiring hard - this is also the fact on the dual top.
The DDC Case LT top costs around 20 EUR, the dual top around 35 EUR
When it came to noise, the single tops couldn't convince me at all: the difference to the best models in this category is easily hearable. To make sure I didn't just get a faulty top, I also used the other top, too - with the same result. The dual top doesn't have this problem, it sounds around the same as the other dual tops.
Overall, the Watercool tops performed well.

2x Watercool DDC Case LT serial vs. Watercool DDC Case Dual



Some users in an US forum asked me to do this test. The result shows that a dual top from the same manufacturer offers better flow rates.

Alphacool Laing top





As far as I know, this top isn't available anymore separately and is only available in a bundles with Laing pumps anymore. It's also part of this roundup because a lot of users still use this top. For the price of around 20 EUR you get a well crafted product, also featuring a hole for LEDs in the front and threads in the side to mount it in a 3.5"-cage. Also, several reservoir additions are available separately. The top has been available for some years but it still performs well: the flow rates are good and the noise is quite low.
 

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XSPC Single, Dual & Triple tops











The English company XSPC also offers a large selection of reservoirs and Laing tops, so it's almost normal that I had six different tops and reservoirs for this review. I'll start with these three: a single, dual and triple top for the Laing pumps, costing 17, 26 and 35 EUR respectively.
The build quality can be called flawless and all the required mounting material is, of course, included. Fortunately, the LED holes are on the back of the tops. Of course, a single Laing DDC-1T is usually more than enough to provide more than enough flow for all loops, but just as in any other hobby, there're watercooling enthusiasts, that just want to have this plus on performance. This is where dual tops come in or even this triple top, which offered more than 300l/h in my test!
By the way, the single top is also available in black.

The XSPC triple top in use - two videos for illustration:

YouTube - Kanal von hwluxxbundymania

YouTube - Kanal von hwluxxbundymania

EK Water Blocks EK-DDC X-Top Laing DDC V2





The world-famous company EK Waterblocks is, of course, also in this roundup with a Laing top and so I got this current version in the rare white color. It's also available in clear and white. It comes in a retail box with all the required screws. The version out of acrylic glass also offers holes for LEDs on the back of the top. Overall, the product makes a good impression: the build quality is good, it fits very well and the price is all right: around 20 EUR.
 

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XSPC Dual Bay Reservoir One & Two & Bayres (Version with Plastic Frontplate = EOL)











These three XSPC reservoirs make a little exception in this roundup with their mountability in two 5.25"-cages. Up to two Laing DDC-1T pumps can be mounted directly in the reservoirs and be run in two unused drive cages. The Bayres with black acryl front plate is a version, which has been around for some time and is being replaced by the other two, but is still available in some shops. The Bayres One and Two come with two replaceable front plates each, especially creating good looks in combination with aluminum cases.
You should always try to keep the fill level over 3/4 to keep the noise level low and the air bubbles out of the loop. You fill the reservoirs over an opening in the top that closes with an included sealing plug and an O-ring. There is also a metal adapter available at additional charge that can be used to create another G1/4" thread instead of the filling hole.
Apart from the countless screws, an Allen key is also included for changing the front plates and a blue 5mm LED. The craftsmanship is once again flawless.
While the two pumps share one large reservoir in the older EOL-product, the new version (Bayres Two) features a wall in the middle, creating two separate reservoirs with a separate filling hole each. The old version also features a plate to use the reservoir with only one pump. To reduce the noise it makes, the reservoirs are fitted with two rubber bands, helping to reduce the amount of vibrations sent to the case.
This works pretty well, but I still recommend reducing the pump's performance for those on the lookout for a silent system, even though the mass of the reservoir helps to reduce the vibrations.
Theses three products really show no weaknesses. The pumps have to be mounted in a 90° angle because of the mounting holes on the Laings, but this can easily be solved with a saw or any other tool.
The XSPC Bay Res. are available for around 45-50 EUR

The test procedure:

For measuring the flow rates I used the system presented above with an Aquaero/Aquasuite and a flowmeter by Aquacomputer. After switching the pump's top, I let the system run for three hours to get rid of any air that might be trapped in the loop. I measured the highest flow rates after one hour of full load, independent of the way of mounting of the fittings. Some tops feature both threads on the front and on the top, but the inlet on the top always offered best flow rates, but only barely better than the other way, so I'll not incur this in the charts.
When using the XSPC reservoirs, you should always take note of the minimum fill amount of 3/4, so that they don't suck in air.

Results:



Flow rates: Liter/hour




Noise, my subjective impression from 60cm distance - smaller value is better




Price in Euro

This roundup should have offered the right top for every user. You shouldn't just buy the top because of the best flow, but have a look at the product in general.
When it comes to single tops, I was pleasantly surprised by the Zern P12 top, offering great value for money, while getting to number one on the noise-chart. This chart shouldn't be too important, as every person has a different impression of noise, but I'm sure that even a person with hearing disabilities will be able to hear a difference between the first and the last place.
I couldn't see many differences in the midfield, even though the Watercool top did disappoint me a bit.
I really like XSPC's idea to combine reservoirs and Laing tops, that can easily be mounted in unused drive cages.

Thanks: I'd like to thank all involed Watercooling companies for the support of this roundup !
 

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Thank you for the roundup. It really has my mind thinking more.


Anyone ever test the OEM Laing-ITT top inlet DDC pump yet? It's shown on the website ... http://lainginc.itt.com/pages/ddc.htm

 

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This is odd... kinda throws out the idea I had that European reviews favored the EK and Aquacomputer tops performance-wise. They still seem to do very well, though, especially the EK top.

Oh, and would you consider adding the stock-topped flowrate and noise for a DDC to those charts? I think it would help in showing people exactly how much a non-stock top improves things.
 

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the watercool single has let me down.

another good review though
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bundymania View Post
If the stock topped laing ddc pump were in the "noise chart", it would be clearly at the last place

What about flow? That's really the main reason people get those tops, besides making the pump compatible with non-stock fittings/barbs.

Oh, and I should ask; personally, outside of the review, which top would you prefer?


ACTUALLY. I had one more... sorry, just being very picky.
Did you test the Aquacomputer top with all fitting configurations, since it has 2 sets of in/out threads?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I can´t remember the flow rate with the stock top anymore, sry, it´s to long ago - but maybe i can find a very old review, where i made this comparison


Hmm, not easy to pick just one top on no. 1 when it comes to noise, design and quality and besides that, there are not all available tops in this review, which i have already tested, but a update will come
Depending, which coolant and tubing i´m using, i would go for the niceprice zern p12, the phobya metal top (it´s very quiet, and looks like a copy from the koolance top) , or an acrylic top from xspc, or the one from bitspower.
the koolance metal top is not produced anymore


yes, i´ve tested both the top and front In/out config. - best flowrate is, when using the top inlet.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bundymania View Post
yes, i´ve tested both the top and front In/out config. - best flowrate is, when using the top inlet.
What's the difference, then, and is the flowrate posted where the top inlet is used? I think both configurations (using side inlet and top inlet) should be on the flow chart. Again, just being picky, but I am curious.
 

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So a single DDC + XSPC top performs better than two DDCs in the XSPC bay res? Interesting...

And I never knew the tops made such a difference in noise. Now I'm tempted to buy the Koolance or Zern top and see how quiet it is. I had the XSPC top and ended up switching to a Jingwa dp-600 due to the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Nope, pls look again at my result charts, dual & triple configs from xspc are the best in flowrates

"big difference" between the tops is relative, the top on the last place is clearly louder than the top 3, in the midfield its not easy to give exact results without expensive testing materials (high end microphon, decibel measure equipment etc.) so i decided to make this simple charts to give an relative overview over the noise. this review is from 2009 and i can say, that over the last years there were many users in my home forum, that had nearly same noise results, when making little comparisons with only 2-3 tops ,so it seems to be ok so far what my ears "tell" me


the zern and koolance top (older metal version - EOL) are both very good choices when you´re in the market for a quiet top ! the newer acrylic koolance top, named pmp400 too, is a bit louder !
 

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I meant the bay res, not the dual/triple tops. I guess the bay res that holds two doesn't run the pumps together?
 

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Yep, it has a wall in the middle so you only can use 2 separate loops with it

Pls don´t care about the pics from the older dual version with plastic frontplate, it´s not available anymore since mid 2009 and i tested it only with 1 pump aswell. Maybe it´s better to remove some pics to avoid some confusing
 
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