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Full Review

Reviews

The Senfu Watercooler
Page 1 of 1
Author: serwei
Date of review: 31-December-2000
Type Of Review: Miscellaneous

Introduction
When I first received the bag containing the Senfu water-cooling kit, I was rather surprised by the weight of each item. The two Senfu boxes came with spiky blue hues and with the nice packaging, gave people the impression of a well-designed product.


The impressive packaging for the radiator.



Packaging for the Senfu CPU water block.


What is water-cooling?
The novelty of using water-cooling to cool our processors was only out in the past few years. Let us retrace slightly: It seemed to have begun when this guy posted on how he wrapped his heatsink on a cut Cola can, dumped the processor into the Cola can, waterproofed it and ran water into it using an old aquarium water pump. His qualitative results were enough to prompt overclocking die-hards all over to try the same. Soon after, I got news from him again that his CPU died. Reason? Water seeped into the processor.

It was not until Senfu came out with a proper and well-designed kit like the Senfu Watercooler that finally allows the average consumers to purchase a water-kit readily and deploy it on their home computers.


The Senfu Water Cooler clipped on the Celeron.


Not a new idea, basically running water conducts the heat away better rather than air in your traditional heatsink-fan combo.

How does a radiator works?
A radiator is a device which is designed to dissipate heat with the aid of a coolant. When air passes over an object, it can accumulate heat energy or lose heat energy. This is what we call thermal convection. Inside the radiator core, it consists of numerous water tubes so as to provide a large surface area with the atmospheric air. Water is pumped into the radiator by means of the water-pump and recycled using a small water tank. As the water flows into the radiator, it loses heat to the airstreams (cooled by the twin-fan) which passes around the outsides of the tube.

The packages
The evaluation kit comprises the Senfu water block, a water pump and the twin-fan radiator.


The Senfu twin-fan radiator.


Just check the size of the twin-fan radiator! It is HUGE! Towering besides the radiator is a standard heatsink for the Slot-1 processor.


A closer look at the side of the radiator.


The Senfu water block has a nice hologram sticker that is about the size of a standard CPU package and has an internal zigzagged water pathway to maximize contact time with the CPU. Alternating protrusions serve to increase the surface area of the water to the block.


Hologram on the water block for the processor.



The water block package contains the following:

  • 2 x Slot-1 Slot-A style clip-and-mounting-pin combo with an extra mounting plate to replace the slot's original.
  • 2 x Chip-based clips for FCPGA and PPGA packages.
  • 1 x graphite mounting pad
  • 2 x rubber seals for the water block (1 already mounted)
  • 1 x mini screw-driver
  • 1 x cup of thermal grease
  • 1 x big long strip of insulating foam
  • 1 x long rubber tube to cut as required (Cuts required)
  • 1 x piece of badly photo-copied instructions
The motor came with a metal head mount and a plastic head mount.

Water Block - The water block itself is well made and sturdily built and visually appealing (especially with the holographic label). The instructions were brief but should be easy to understand.

Graphite Pad - The graphite pad is a thin adhesive film that sticks onto the block's base, thereby smoothing any machining irregularities. The graphite pad should provide sufficient heat conduction without the need for thermal grease. The nozzles have knobbed grips for the tubes and they are able to hold the tubes securely without leakage.

Water Pump - The water pump has a metal nozzle similar to that on the block.

Radiator - The radiator uses two Senfu-labeled fans of the standard 12V x 0.13A variety and the only assembly required is for the power clips for the fans and the nozzles.


A close look at the water pump.


Structurally, it is a very long aluminum pipe bended back and forth within a box, with lateral fins running across the tubes, and fans to drive the air across - akin to a refrigerator of some sorts.

The Senfu Watercooler is of a good design, but sharp fin edges on the radiator makes me think this is an unpolished and rushed product.


Water tubes.


You can see the water carrying tube going in from one end, passing through the radiator and then coming out from the other end. The connections goes about this way: from the pump to the radiator, then to the block and back to the pump which is placed in a bucket of water.

No sign of water leakage!

Function
We benchmarked the kit using a Celeron 366 Mhz overclocked to 550MHz and ran it on a BX motherboard. The Senfu watercooled CPU did not demonstrate increased overclockability since it was very much limited by the CPU core.



The existing GlobalWin Cooltium used by the Celeron.





Temperature wise, the Senfu Watercooler was able to maintain a stable regulated environment for the CPU and it was not as dependent on the ambient temperature like when using the GlobalWin Cooltium.

However, if Senfu would have provided a more powerful pump the results might be even better. But as it is, do not expect this novel form of cooling to provide magical overclocking mileage.


Conclusions
To sum up, the cooler is not going to produce MHz-barrier breakers out of a typical CPU, but what you will get for the hassle and a SGD200 price tag is better regulated temperature and a boost in geek ego for living on the edge.





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