Testing Configuration and Cooler Comparison Testing

Testing Configuration

GIGABYTE X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WIFI with Aquacomputer Cuplex Kryos Next water block in its default orientation

In order to validate the performance of the water blocks under comparison, the water blocks were tested with the CPU running at stock and at a known stable overclocked speed using an AMD X470-based motherboard so that comparative results could be provided for Ryzen and Ryzen 2 based systems. The Ryzen 2 X470-based platform was chosen for cooler comparison testing because of the processors heat output – the top among all current processors available. Given this fact, the results should give you a good feel for the waterblock's performance on any current generation platform (Intel and AMD). The benchmark tests used should give you a good understanding of the tested water block capabilities so that you, the reader, can make a more informed purchasing decision.

Test System Setup
CPU AMD X470-based system
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
Stock – 3.7GHz CPU, 37 x 100MHz FSB
Overclocked – 4.3GHz, 43 x 100MHz FSB
Motherboard GIGABYTE X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WIFI
Memory AMD X470-based system
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 modules Stock – 2667MHz, 16-18-18-35-1T, 1.225V
Overclocked – 2667MHz, 16-18-18-35-1T, 1.225V
Hard Drive Intel 730 240GB SSD
Sound Card On-board sound
Video Card NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB
DYI Water Loop XSPC Photon 170 Tube Reservoir with D5 pump
XSPC RX480 V3 Radiator

Water blocks tested:
  • Aquacomputer Cuplex Kryos Next CPU water block
  • Swiftech Apogee SKF Heirloom Series CPU water block
  • Koolance CPU-390CI CPU water block
  • EK Supremacy MX CPU water block with Supremacy EVO copper top
  • XSPC Raystorm Pro water block
Video Drivers NVIDIA 376.33
Power Supply Corsair HX750
Operating System Windows 10 Pro x64 Spring Creators Update Release (v1803)
Thermal Paste MG Chemicals 860-60G Silicone Heat Transfer Compound
Coolant Distilled Water with PK-Nuke

The 64-bit Windows 10 based test bench used for AMD AM4 board testing includes an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU, 32GB of DDR4-2666 memory, an NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB video card, and an Intel 730 240GB SSD. Using the selected components gives us the ability to demonstrate the cooling system's capabilities rather than that of the system components.

Benchmark Tests used for evaluation:

  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v5.30.4000
  • EVGA OC Scanner X v3.6.1.2

Cooler Testing Methodology

To best gauge the quality of the system coolers under review, system CPU temperatures were taken with the CPU idle and under load. To replicate CPU idle conditions, the system was rebooted and allowed to sit idle for 10 minutes. To replicate a stressed system load, AIDA64 System Stability Test was used in conjunction with EVGA OC Scanner X for 30 minutes per run. After each run, the system was shut down and allowed to rest for 10 minutes to cool down. Then the CPU cooler was removed, cleaned, and remounted to the CPU with fresh thermal paste applied. This procedure was repeated a total of six times for each cooler – three times each for the stock and overclocking speed runs on the X470-based system.

Thermal paste was applied in a five-point fashion to the processor surface (as shown below). The water block was then mounted to the processor, removed, and the surface of the block cleaned. Then the water block was remounted to the processor. This ensured a consistently even and thin coat of thermal paste applied between surfaces of the processor and water block.

Temperature measurements were taken directly from the CPU thermistors using CoreTemp and HWiNFO64. Because of the volatile nature of the processor thermistor readings, the system temperatures were measured as follows. For idle temperatures, the highest recorded value was used for the run. For load temperatures, a series of three values were notated from the CPU(Tdie) measurements from HWiNFO64: the average temperature, the low temperature, and the high temperature.  For accurate temperature readings, the sensor measurements in HWiNFO64 were reset 20 minutes into the test run with the reported results coming from the true load values recorded during the last 10 minutes of the test run.

Note that the temperature values are reported as deltas rather than absolute temperatures with the delta value reported calculated as CPU temperature – ambient temperature. For all tests, room ambient temperature was maintained between 22-27C.

AMD X470-based Ryzen 2 System Testing

CPU Stock Speed Testing

The CPU stock speed testing was conducted with the BIOS defaults set for the CPU and Turbo Mode disabled, equating to a 3.7GHz CPU speed, 2667MHz memory speed, and 100MHz base clock.

With the Ryzen 2 processor running at stock speeds, the Cuplex Kryos Next water block performed well within acceptable margins of the top performers.

CPU Overclocked Speed Testing – Maximum water-cooled speed

The CPU overclocked speed testing was conducted with known stable settings from a previous board review, equating to a 4.30GHz CPU speed, 2667MHz memory speed, and 100MHz base clock.

Board voltage settings were configured as follows:

  • CPU Core Voltage – 1.45V
  • CPU VCore SOC Voltage – 1.35V
  • CPU VDD18 Voltage – 2.12V
  • CPU VDDP Voltage – +0.20V
  • DRAM Voltage – 1.23V
  • All other settings set to Auto or stock settings

With the Ryzen 2 processor overclocked, the Cuplex Kryos Next block performed admirably with its measured temperatures putting it neck-in-neck with the best performing block. Its performance scaling is likely because of its all copper construction and the density of the micro-channel design.