Test System Setup
For our tests we installed our ASUS Z97-WS Workstation Motherboard and 4770K processor. We found this motherboard to have excellent overclocking capabilities and in fact we have used this board and CPU for a workstation here in the lab with the same overclock for some time now and found it to be very reliable.
Processors that can be overclocked can come in many different types or SKU's, each one may have a slightly different ability to achieve certain overclocks. Some processors may run very hot and require more vcore to achieve the same overclock as other processors, while others may require much less vcore to achieve the same clocks. All processors are different and might require additional tuning to achieve desired overclocks. Pushing overclocks to high clock speeds can also cause instabilities. What we did for this CPU was attempt to achieve a moderate overclock that was stable and could be used for just about any application.
Here we see the CPUz screen shot of the 4770K and the overclock we will be using for our tests. Just to note on the overclock, we used the Z97 WS auto overclocking features in the BIOS to attain our base overclock; we did boost the multiplier up to 45, but most settings were left on auto. In the BIOS, vcore came out to 1.0V, and you can see what the auto features boosted it to with CPUz. We could have spent a great deal of time fine-tuning the overclock to get the maximum performance out of the CPU, but we have found that the ASUS Auto overclock features in the BIOS to work very well, even though it might be a tad higher in vcore.
After everything was set up and we were happy with the overclock on the 4770K, we started AIDA64 Stress Test and ran the system for four hours. We had no issues while the system was running, our room was at 76F and here we can see the final screen shot of our tests. We also used HWiNFO to log our temperature results during our tests.
Here we see the results of our four hour stress test. The system idles at ~36C which is higher than we would like to see. Some of the AIO water cooling setups can run about 10c cooler at idle. We could run the radiator fan speeds at full speed which might have lowered these idle temps at the expense of added noise. In the working environment, we found our settings to be a good compromise and we noticed no ill effects of these temperatures.
When we pushed the system with AIDA64 Stress Test, we saw temps in the range of 68c to 69c, which is actually pretty good when you compare to AIO water cooling kits. Some of these kits use double and triple radiators and have a larger number of fans to help keep the system cool. The QuantaCool MHP system achieves this with a single radiator, one fan, no pump and just as importantly, no water, which is impressive.
Overall, we were impressed with the QuantaCool MHP cooling system; it offers many advantages for enterprise cooling. In hosted locations, using water-cooling is considered bad form and in some cases might generate extra costs in the form of insurance the hosting company might require you to pay to use a water-cooling solution. The thought of a water leak getting into the server racks next to yours can have disastrous consequences. With QuantaCool's MHP cooling, an inert refrigerant is used that protects the systems against short circuits if a leak happens, in addition, the refrigerant used simply turns to a gas state should this happen.
The heat exchanger or radiator can be placed in just about any location, even outside the server room itself. This offers unique opportunities for different forms of heat exchangers that could be used, larger and more powerful, perhaps even water based systems used for building heating. By eliminating the various intermediate heat transfer loops, and directly rejecting the heat to un-chilled air or water, a datacenter should be able to improve its power usage effectiveness (PUE) and simplify its mechanical systems, as illustrated in the graphic, below.
The systems QuantaCool offers at this time are in development stages that can be modified for many different types of systems. The MHP tech is flexible enough to meet the needs of a wide variety of systems, simple to use, low power and offers very good cooling capacity without putting water near the electronics. Units for workstations are factory sealed and require no maintenance. For enthusiast use, it does have some mod ability that might look very good in showcases; even a UV dye could be used with the refrigerant, and added UV lights would look very nice showing the liquid bubbling up through the tubes.
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