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Wing Zero's AquaTuning/Phobya Product Testing page - FOR SCIENCE

Discussion in 'Watercooling' started by Wing Zero, 9 Mar 2012.

  1. Wing Zero

    Wing Zero Ita-sha owner

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    PART 1: Phobya HeGrease Extreme : Phoyba Nano 2g PWM fan 120mm : Phobya 24Pin PSU extension individually sleeved 30cm - UV Red : Phoyba Lanyard
    PART 2: Phobya LED-Flexlight HighDensity 60cm green (72x SMD LEDŽs)



    The nice people at Aquatuning sent me a review sample of the new thermal grease from Phoyba, one of their partner companies, called HeGrease Extreme. Along with the grease, they also sent me a bottle of Phobya's TIM cleaning agent. will this provide a cleaner result than just wiping away with a tissue, we'll find out later.

    Bold claims, let's see if they match up. for starters, let's put some details down on the test PC.

    I run a Intel 2500K CPU which is not overclocked. it runs in a Asus Sabertooth P67 motherboard with the assist fan added. the CPU cooling is done via water cooling. a single loop consisting of a Swifttech Apogee XT with ArticSilver5 thermal paste, Laing DDC 18W pump, a XSPC bay reservoir, 1x Phobya Xtreme 200 and 1x Black ICE Radiator GT Stealth 240lite. this is all connected by 3/8" tubing and uses a 50/50 mix of Feser1 Green and Deionised water.

    [​IMG]
    Ambient room temperature was 19'c and the CPU temperatures are shown below in an idle state, just left on windows desktop for an hour after booting up
    [​IMG]

    the CPU was then stressed out by multitasking a few things. first was the System Stability test built into AIDA64 Extreme edition (the successor to Lavalys ultimate edition). this is a system monitoring software, that not only monitors your system's various sensors, but can show you details on your hardware, their overclocking and bus speeds and incorporates several benchmarking systems. Second was running PCMark 7. a well known benchmark program make by Futuremark. Finally (because I was bored) the PC was playing some HD video (Top Gear if anyone was curious) and the temperatures levelled out as such
    [​IMG]

    Let's start the test. a quick drain of my WC loop and then the first test, the TIM cleaner.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Here is the block and CPU, with the old thermal grease on it. This was Arctic Silver 5, a very popular brand of thermal paste for many years. and in this case, been used here for over 6 months. so it's pretty baked on here.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The left side of each part had it's TIM cleaned off, simply by rubbing off with a tissue. the results are seen above, while the bulk of it is gone, there is a thin residue of TIM left on the CPU and block. most people would claim this to be 'clean enough' and continue with their new TIM application, but it could be better

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is the right side cleaned off with 2 drops of Phobya TIM cleaner and tissue. the results are quite clear. on the CPU, it's cleaned right down to the writing on the heat spreader block that can be legible to read. the water block however is not as clean, but it is cleaner than the side not using the TIM cleaner. this may be attributed to the poor surface finish my particular block has.

    So, verdict on the TIM cleaner. Top marks, does exactly what it says on the bottle. the large bottle will last numerous CPU cleaning operations and just the fact it makes it much easier. it took a lot more force to clean off the TIM without it, which drove the old TIM into the CPU and block surfaces, making the dark smudging appear, which no doubt will affect the heat conductivity of the new TIM being applied.

    In short, anything that makes life easier, even by a little bit, is worth it. the TIM cleaner just makes a better job at cleaning TIM easy.


    Anyway, back to the thermal grease test.
    Applying the thermal paste was a little tricky. I've never got the hang of it the many times i've applied TIM in the past. What was nice however was not needing to get my finger messy in the process of spreading out the TIM. there's a small spatula included with the TIM package, a nice touch.
    I placed a small square of TIM on my CPU, then placed my Waterblock on top to squash it out. removing the block, i then used the spatula to spread it out thinner on both surfaces, before putting the block back on and screwing it down tight.

    Refilling my WC loop, and bleeding it takes a few hours, so the testing would continue the next day. After making sure the room temperatures were the same as the control test, i then proceeded to boot up the PC and leave it on desktop for the hour.
    It returned the same idle temperatures as the control test (which is why there's not a picture confirming it, i didn't think i would really need one). but it was the load test that really matters. would this new TIM compound actually lower my temperatures.
    [​IMG]
    It has. only by a few degrees, but that's an improvement none the less. so yes, it does live up to the bold claims made earlier.
    Thinking it could be better, I took my water block off, cleaned the block, but left the TIM on the CPU, smoothing it back out with the spatula (effectively, halving the amount of TIM I used earlier) and did the testing again. I dropped another 1'c off each core again (didn't take photo, forgot to, sorry) so it really pays to use the TIM sparingly.

    I will admit, the WC loop in my PC is rather overkill for just a stock 2500K. this would explain the idle temperatures being the same. sometime in the future however, i will be including a GTX560ti water block into the same loop, so it will be interesting to see how it will be affected then. (I may also attempt to change the TIM on the 560ti before block installation, so see if it can improve the stock air cooler's performance)

    If someone is using an Air cooler for their CPU, then i could theorise that this TIM would improve their temperatures. as they experience a more varied range of heat changes, this TIM would help level them out better.

    In short. yes it works as it claims to do and not as expensive as the competition.


    Finally, unrelated to the supplied review items, I did receive a goodie bag from Aquatuning from a competition a while back. and while i'm in a review state of mind, here's some brief notes.

    [​IMG]
    Phoyba Nano 2g PWM fan 120mm
    This is a fantastic fan. it's a red LED fan to go along with it's red/black colour scheme. it runs at 1500rpm at maximum, and is quieter at this speed than an Akasa black apache at full tilt.
    I also recommend this fan for this reason:
    [​IMG]
    No, I've not broken the fan. it's designed to be removable, for ease of cleaning. a great idea and one I wish others used.

    [​IMG]
    Phobya 24Pin PSU extension individually sleeved 30cm - UV Red
    Get the sleeved look, without the warranty voiding. braid is nice and dense, and is reasonably stiff, so it holds it's shape well.

    [​IMG]
    Phoyba Lanyard
    Silky smooth finish with a good quality print. Makes a good sling for your foam dart firing projectile blaster.
     
    Last edited: 30 Jun 2012
  2. warejon9

    warejon9 New Member

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    Good detailed review. Rather than taking photos with your camera, you can use the prt sc button on your keyboard (it takes a photo of your whole screen). Also if you wanted to reduce your computer temperatures slightly more check this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyXLu1Ms-q4 it shows you what happens if you spread your tim (you get air bubbles reducing performance)

    In general the best method of tim application is using a small amount the size of a grain of rice.
     
  3. Wing Zero

    Wing Zero Ita-sha owner

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    a photograph of the screen helps eliminates the 'photoshop' aspect. wouldn't want anyone claiming i altered the results.

    as for the actual application. your video does show nicely how it does not work when spread out. i'll take that into notice next time. considering that a spatula was provided with the thermal grease on test, i thought best to use it (i do like to make sure my CPU's heatspreader is covered with TIM).

    I can see a slight flaw with the dot method, with CPU coolers which rely on just heatpipes contacting the CPU heatspreader. the tim would get stuck in the grooves. any suggestions for that?
     
  4. Wing Zero

    Wing Zero Ita-sha owner

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    Phobya LED-Flexlight HighDensity 60cm green (72x SMD LEDŽs)

    Phobya LED-Flexlight HighDensity 60cm green (72x SMD LEDŽs)

    Phobya, in association with Aquatuning, sent me one of their LED Flexlight kits to test out. I opted for a green set, to compete with my green cold cathodes.

    [​IMG]

    Let's talk about the package. last time, there wasn't much in the way of packaging. this time however comes with a hard plastic case with card backer. the front of the packet doesn't have much in the way of specs or detail. just a clear view of the product and the company logo in the corner. there's no indication of the colour of the lighting, nor is there an indication of length (if you can't guess it from looking at it in the packet.

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    It's on the back of the card where all the information is, a couple of simple marker pens dot on a white chart indicates what lies in the packet. the only information that's more difficult to find, is on top of the barcode in small lettering that tells you if this is a high intensity or low intensity LED light strip.
    the infodump on the card details the many uses for the Flexlight, including it's waterproof ability. (something I'm not sure I'll be needing, but it's nice to know it's there)

    [​IMG]
    Take it out of the packet and first thing you'll notice is the smell. it's got a strong PVC/Rubber smell that will put off some people. However, this is due to the whole LED strip being encased in a flat, waterproof, clear tube.
    This is the 60CM version on test, and it has a 30CM long power lead, bringing the total length to 90CM there is a 4pin Molex connector for power, and it has a pass-through Molex socket, so it doesn't take up a PSU wire by itself. It is unknown how many Flexlights you can daisy chain together off one PSU wire, but that would depend on your PSU anyway.

    [​IMG]
    The power cable is braided and is up to usual Phobya standards. However it does not go all the way from Molex socket to the start of the Flexlight, so you may want to slide the braiding up to hide the red and black wires. Despite the Flexlight being very flexible and resistant to damage, the end cap where the power wires enter is a weak point in the design.

    [​IMG]
    Case in point, during the course of this testing, i managed to break the wires off. sliding the cable braiding and the rubber end cap off reveals the contacts buried under some clear sealant. So i had to strip that away in order to resolder the wires on again. some Hot glue was then applied to help seal it up and hopefully prevent wires coming loose again.

    So, let's light it up shall we?
    [​IMG]
    72 very bright SMD LEDs produce a lot of light. Unlike a cathode tube, which can be brighter in the middle compared to the ends, the Flexlight produces bright lights along the whole strip. even when bent, there was no noticeable dimness from the end furthest away from the power cable.

    The cable does feel like it has a preference to bending with the LED's facing outwards, compared to inwards. this may cause people issues with fitting long lengths inside PC cases. Not to say that it won't flex, but you can get a tighter bend with LED's out.

    [​IMG]
    Here's the Flexlight wrapped around a spray can. this would be about the maximum bend you could do with the LED's facing either direction. a pure 90 degree bend int he corner of the case will not be possible, only way to do something like that would be to cut the strip and connect the 2 halves with wires

    However, if you want to know how tight you can wrap them, with LEDs outwards...
    [​IMG]
    Fancy a piece of tube shaped chocolate caramel cup?

    And providing you're not going to be more than 30cm away from a PSU....
    [​IMG]
    It'd make an excellent bracelet.


    Finally, let's talk about illumination. the Flexlight is bright, but how bright is it?
    [​IMG]
    These are 2 30cm long cold cathodes.
    [​IMG]
    And this is about 40cm of Flexlight.

    You can see from the white card in the back, that the Flexlight is throwing out a lot more light than the cathodes, so illuminating a PC case should be no issue.


    Let's sum up. They're brighter than cathode tubing lights, the mainstay of PC lighting. They're flexible to bend up and other objects and can be cut to length, unlike cathodes where you had 2 fixed lengths (30cm and 10cm). there's no need for inverters or boxy power supplies, runs straight off a 4pin Molex.
    The claim that they run cooler than a cathode is dubious. I've been running this Flexlight for over 30mins and it feels as warm as my cathodes running the same time.

    My biggest irk with the Flexlight, is the lack of an on/off switch. Someone savvy with a soldering iron can wire one in easy enough, but is it that hard for it to be done out of the box. While the NZXT LED lighting kits have a downside that you must start your lights from the area near your PCI slots on the motherboard tray, the shear fact that they have not only a dimmer control but an on/off button for almost the same price is the reason i'd buy an NZXT kit.

    If you want permanently on lighting for your PC, i cannot fault the Flexlight. Just that lack of an on/off switch doesn't allow me to give it a higher score:

    PROs: flexible, cut to length, super bright
    CONs: poor power connection, lack of on/off switch.
    SCORE: 7/10
     

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