Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What happened when I reseated the Antec Kuhler 620's water block?


In the previous post I mentioned that there was a problem with cooling of my new CPU. The Antec Kuhler 620 CPU that I had been using to cool it was not up to the task. The CPU was touching TJ-max kind of core temperature when stress tested using OCCT 4.4.

There was one thing for me to do: reseating of the water block.

I had some free time in the last weekend as the baby went into his regular evening nap, so I went down to business.

Almost all the guides out there recommend that you use a tiny amount of thermal paste in the middle of the heat spreader and let the pressure from of the heatsink mounting mechanism spread and thin the paste. I followed the same guide. But when this method is employed, the spread become a circular area and the edges don’t get proper contact with the heatsink. I thought the thermal issues that I had were caused by this contact issue. I cannot remember if I mentioned this before, but the pressure from the mounting mechanism seemed insufficient. The spread could be better with other heatsinks with better mounting pressure.

This time I decided to do take another approach.

Two approaches actually.

  • Use the cross method to apply paste on the heat spreader. This would spread the paste uniformly on the surface.
  • Move the radiator to the drive cages so that the fans could feed in cool air from outside the case directly to the radiator.

If you were sharp, you would have caught the fact that I was saying “fans” instead of “fan”. Yes, it was not a typo. I actually decided to the Scythe Kama Flow 2 fans on the radiator instead of the (non-) Gentle Typhoon AP-29 fan that I was using all this time. The reason was to lower the noise while maintaining similar cooling performance.

Relocating the radiator was a lot of hard work. And it didn’t even fit properly. Something was wrong with the screws. They didn’t properly get tightened. But as long as I was not moving the case, there was no risks of anything coming apart. I also used the stock Silverstone fan as the top exhaust. Finally, I applied the thermal paste – again this was Arctic Cooling MX-4 – conforming to the cross method and installed the cooler.

Then I quickly went into Windows and fired OCCT and observed the temps. To my dismay, there was hardly any improvement. Damn it!

Guess there is something wrong with this cooler after all. I posted asking about this on forums and we eventually came to the conclusion that the pump might have gone bad. Now I have another assignment. Locate the best cooler for my current case as well as for my next case - in case my SFF build project goes online.

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