The OCZ HydroFlow comes tightly packaged in a small cardboard box. The contents include the waterblock core pre-installed with the Intel mounting bracket, the Intel backplate, the AMD backplate, the AMD top bracket, 3/8" and 1/2" barbs, a packet of thermal paste, installation instructions and various mounting hardware consisting of screws, springs, standoffs, washers and a hex tool. The install guide comes with a single sheet update for page 12, which has to do with the AMD installation procedure.
Removing each individually plastic-wrapped piece for a closer look, here we show the Intel and AMD backplates, thermal paste, mounting hardware and hex tool. Also pictured is the waterblock with installed Intel top bracket, alternate AMD bracket and both sizes of barbs. The brackets are very highly polished and printed with the HydroFlow HF-MK1 model name as well as OCZ's logo on both pieces.
The waterblock can be disassembled using the included hex tool and must be taken apart anyway if changing from the Intel to AMD mounting bracket. The poly top has a rubber O-ring seal around the outer circumference, just like the ones found on the threaded barbs. The machined copper base shows off its triangular pin design which is designed for a particular direction of water flow. The installation guide makes a point of taking care to note the orientation of the pins when reassembling the block in order to achieve best performance.
The copper base is protected during shipping with a thick plastic sheet that must be removed prior to installation. Peeling it back reveals that the center of the base is raised, which OCZ claims "increases center contact with the processor core for the greatest possible cooling potential, ensuring maximum exchange and functionality between the waterblock and CPU". If you've ever seen the results of lapping modern IHS-capped processors you know that they are not always completely flat and indeed often raised along the outer edges. Using a smaller center die should help to alleviate the effect of an uneven IHS while focusing contact with the CPU core. The raised portion of the base has been polished to a mirror-like shine.
Continue ahead to installation.