Swiftech Apogee GTZ Water Block
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 09-10-2008
Provided by: Swiftech
Pages:
Testing / Conclusion

The test system is comprised of an AMD Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition processor with TF8200 motherboard in a Mountain Mods H2gO case. Temperatures were recorded using the CoreTemp program at stock (2.5Ghz @ 1.3v) and overclocked (3.0Ghz @ 1.4v) configurations. Idle temps were taken after booting to Windows and running 0% CPU utilization for ten minutes. Load temps were generated using two concurrent F@H SMP clients at 100% CPU usage. The ambient temp for all tests was a chilly 20°C (68°F) and temps are displayed in Celsius.


As you can see, the Swiftech GTZ water block keeps the processor temperature very much under control when combined with the MCP355 pump and MCR220 radiator. Despite the load temps barely topping the forty degree mark however, I was a little disappointed in the results. Compared to the performance of the Apogee Drive combination block/pump that was in use previously, the GTZ improved operating temperatures by only a degree or two at most. Possibly this can be attributed to using 3/8" tubing, as the GTZ does include 1/2" fittings as well, and most high-performance liquid cooling systems will be using 1/2". However the MCP355 pump that Swiftech sent along with the block for testing only allows for the smaller diameter tubes.


Conclusion


Although I have tried several liquid cooling "kits" in the past, the Swiftech GTZ block was my first experience with reviewing a separate water cooling component. Just like the H20-220 Compact system that the GTZ was tested with, Swiftech's quality and appearance really shine through. The fit and finish on the GTZ was impeccable, with a highly polished copper base and attractive block and mounting system. The only exception to this is the optional AM2 kit, which really appears to be more of an afterthought for Swiftech rather than a finished accessory product. Compared to the Intel 775 mounting that comes with the block by default, the AM2 kit is rough and incomplete. There are no instructions provided for installing on socket AM2, unlike the Intel guide which is very detailed about a specific orientation that must be used to obtain optimum results. We were left to guess which way was best for AMD.

The Swiftech GTZ block is hands down the best performing CPU cooling device I have ever used. But I have to admit that it's only marginally better than the Apogee Drive block/pump that came with the H20-220 kit. And given the difference in specifications between the integrated Drive pump and the MCP355 I'd be willing to bet that most of that difference is due to the flow. I would have liked to have included results using 1/2" barbs on the GTZ for comparison, however I had no pump that used this size fittings. Certainly using 1/2" tubing throughout the system should yield better performance and probably represents the typical setup that the majority of GTZ buyers will be using.

The MCP355 is a nice and compact pump that does have some impressive specifications, however it is a bit noisier than I'm used to or prefer in a water cooling setup. More than likely Swiftech buyers would choose the 355 to use in systems with more than just the CPU in the loop, as the head this pump produces is ideal for multi-block configurations. If you're looking for something a bit quieter though and only plan on cooling the CPU and/or CPU/GPU then the 350 or even the Drive might be better suited to the task. You'll give up a very small amount of performance for a much quieter system.

The Swiftech GTZ retails for $69.95 which puts it in the same price neighborhood of competitors' high performance water blocks. It certainly makes an excellent choice for Intel 775 users, which probably represent the majority of those with high performance liquid cooling systems anyway. If appearance is important to you and you're an AMD user however, you might want to look into an alternative simply due to the very industrial-looking AM2 mounting kit.

OCIA.net has awarded the Swiftech Apogee GTZ Extreme Performance CPU Waterblock our Seal of Approval.




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