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Swiftech Swiftech MCW-Chill452 Review
Date Posted: Apr 27 2004
Author: pHaestus
Posting Type: Review
Category: H2O and High End Cooling Reviews
Page: 3 of 3
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Swiftech MCW-Chill452 Review By: pHaestus

Swiftech MCW-CHILL 452 Review
Page 3                       By: pHaestus and KnightElite 4/27/04

Overclocking and General Performance

While the MCW-Chill testing was very useful in getting me up to speed in bench testing and the test results can provide some insight in how to properly implement a chiller, the bottom line is "Does it work and is it worth it?" I have to say that I don't think I have ever had more fun overclocking than I did while testing with the MCW-Chill. It's just kick ass to watch water temperatures drop like a rock below freezing, and it's great fun to push CPUs to their limits. 

 

There have been a lot of DIY water chillers that have been complete failures in our community and there have been a few that worked marginally well. Swiftech has produced a product that actually excels in its task.  My first instinct was that the MCW-Chill would be inferior to a converted dehumidifier (phase change water chiller), but after using it I am not so sure.  Most dehumidifiers are using comparable AC power (~500W) to the peltier PSUs that I used in MCW-Chill testing, and I don't think that the average dehumidifier conversion gets water any colder than this peltier-based setup.How cold does the MCW-Chill get?  Well with the system idling I could regularly see -10C coolant temperatures; under heavy load water temperatures rarely rose above freezing. 

That translates to overclocked CPU temperatures under load of well below room temperature. 

I mentioned the joy of overclocking with chilled water earlier. With the MCW-Chill setup I could overclock my 1700+ TBredB (JIUHB stepping) stably to 2638MHz:

That's a pretty hefty overclock considering that I could only manage about 2350MHz stable with straight water cooling.

Summary/Conclusion:

After getting the opportunity to play with the MCW-Chill, I can say with confidence that chilled water has to be where the future of cooling lies.  Sure the setup was bulky and expensive and messy and pretty damn loud.  But the grin that playing with it put on my face and the performance boost it can give a water cooling system I think makes the effort and complexity of setup worthwhile.  After all, I didn't get into water cooling because it was practical or logical.  The real strength of a system like the MCW-Chill is that you can use waterblocks and pumps from your existing cooling loop and add extreme cooling for GPU or northbridge with very little effort.  The drawback is that running two 226W peltiers is going to make a noticeable mark on your monthly power bill.

The MCW-Chill isn't really targeted to PC cooling people and so it's a bit pricey.  I strongly urge all the other cooling nuts out there to give chilled water a try though.  Either buy this unit, convert a dehumidifier, look for a lab chiller on ebay, or try a DIY peltier-based chiller. It's great fun.

 I'd like to again thank Bill Adams at Swiftech for loaning me the MCW-Chill for testing.

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