Liquid Cooling System – CPU Waterblock
The CPU waterblock included with the SwordM liquid cooling system is a new one and so far it’s not even listed on Thermaltake’s website. The all copper waterblock is very compact and comes with universal mounting hardware that supports Intel socket LGA775 and P4 478 along with AMD K8 and AM2 processors.
The Thermaltake waterblock is thin and appears to be made up of two copper pieces brazed together. Since we can’t take it apart, its hard to know for sure what kind of features are used inside to increase the wetted surface area (channels, pins, etc).
The circular base of the waterblock exhibits a near mirror finish and appears to be flat.
Installing the CPU Waterblock
For this review I will be installing the Thermaltake waterblock onto an Intel LGA775 platform. All of the necessary hardware is provided and the installation was quite easy.
The first step in installing the waterblock is to mount the metal backing plate with the supplied insulating spacers, screws, washers, and standoffs. This must be done before installing the motherboard.
After cleaning both the CPU IHS and waterblock base with isopropyl alcohol, I applied a little thermal compound and set the waterblock on top of the CPU. The waterblock is held in position by the top metal H-plate and secured with four thumb screws.
Connecting the Tubing
Once the CPU waterblock is mounted, it’s time to finish plumbing the system. Thermaltake recommends connecting the WCS parts in the following order. Many water-cooling enthusiasts might prefer connecting the pieces in a different order (Pump > Radiator > Waterblock > Reservoir) but in a system like this it makes little difference.
(Courtesy of Thermaltake)
Note: Prior to attaching the tubing onto the barb fittings, I recommend soaking the end of the tube in hot water (a cup of water from the microwave 🙂 This makes installation a lot easier.
Filling and Testing the WCS
Once all the connections are made, the reservoir can be filled with coolant and the system tested. It’s always a good idea to run a new liquid cooling system prior to actually starting up the PC. I prefer to use a small external 12 VDC power supply for testing but you can also jumper the PC’s main power supply if you prefer.
Do not run the pump dry. Only run the pump when it has liquid to circulate. It will take about one full bottle of coolant to fill the system. Let it run for at least several hours (preferably more) to insure there are no leaks and to let the air bubbles work their way out of the system.