OCZ HydroFlow HF-MK1 CPU Waterblock
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 11-16-2008
Provided by: OCZ Technology
Pages:
Testing / Conclusion

We pitted the HydroFlow against another leading waterblock, in this case the Swiftech Apogee GTZ we reviewed in September. The pump used in that review was the Swiftech MCP355, a slightly higher-rated pump with a nominal discharge of ~120gph, rather than the MCP350's ~116gph, however it was noted at that time the difference accounts for no more than 1-2 C between results. Tuniq TX-2 thermal paste was used in both tests.


In the stock CPU configuration, the Swiftech GTZ pulls slightly ahead of the OCZ HydroFlow by 2 C at idle, and 4 C at load. With a margin of error of +/- 1 C this indicates that the HydroFlow is capable of running nearly neck-and-neck with the GTZ.


When we turn up the juice however, the gap widens a bit. Idle temperatures remain fairly consistent, with the HydroFlow giving up only 1 C difference this time. However at full load the GTZ takes a 6 C lead over the OCZ block. Even given the margin of error due to pump variation, the HydroFlow must concede victory to the GTZ.


Conclusion


The OCZ HydroFlow represents everything we've come to expect from OCZ - a high quality product, great performance and outstanding finish. Almost all the hardware needed to install the waterblock in your system is included, the only exception being a pair of clamps to secure the tubing. Two sets of barbs in the most popular sizes ensure compatibility and upgradeability with nearly every other liquid cooling component on the market. Despite a slight mixup with the instructions and the inclusion of some seemingly unneeded pieces, the HydroFlow installation went relatively smooth. And the high polished looks of the mounting bracket earns major appearance points.

When it comes to performance, the HydroFlow is certainly no slouch either. Yielding better results than any top-of-the-line air cooled heatsink and fan I have tested, the OCZ waterblock will make a nice addition to any water cooling system. When directly compared with another high-end waterblock, the Swiftech Apogee GTZ, the OCZ HydroFlow does come up a few degrees short. However it's not by much, and OCZ definitely wins in the appearance department, at least where the AMD bracketry is concerned. Price is another area where the HydroFlow really shines. With a retail cost of only $40, the OCZ HydroFlow is half the price of the $70 Swiftech + $10 optional AMD mounting bracket.

If you absolutely must have the best performing waterblock that money can buy, be prepared to pay for it. But if you're willing to maybe give up a few degrees of cooling for better looks and a much lower price, check out the OCZ HydroFlow HF-MK1, it's OCIA.net approved.




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