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Swiftech Swiftech MCW6000-A Review
Date Posted: May 25 2004
Author: pHaestus
Posting Type: Review
Category: H2O and High End Cooling Reviews
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Swiftech MCW6000-A Review By: pHaestus

Swiftech MCW6000-A Waterblock Review
By: pHaestus 5/25/04


The Swiftech MCW6000-A is an all-copper pin style waterblock with a central inlet and single outlet.  Its  baseplate is 3/16" thick, and the baseplate and top piece are brazed together. The MCW6000 waterblock has 3/8" OD copper pipe for inlet and outlet barbs, which can either be connected to 3/8"ID tubing directly (hose clamps are included) or indirectly via the optional quick disconnects.  The quick connect fittings are color coded (blue for inlet and red for outlet).  The MCW6000 is compatible with Intel socket 478 and 603/4, AMD Athlon64, and a separate version (MCW6000-A) is available for AMD Athlon Socket A.  The baseplate of the MCW6000-A is stepped so that it can clear the cam box of the socket. Here's what Swiftech had to say about the MCW6000:

"The Design of the MCW6k reflects the application of basic principles implemented in a mass production industrial environment. The MCW6000 waterblock is intended to demonstrate that waterblocks of high reliability can be mass produced as a commodity, while still achieving top flight performance at a reasonable price. We at Swiftech are particularly pleased with the low flow performance, as this will enable the MCW6000 waterblock to provide superior performance also with small pumps."

 Gabriel Rouchon, Swiftech

More insight on the MCW6000's design and construction can be obtained from Swiftech's Bill Adams:

"The design of the MCW6000 reflects the application of basic principles, rather than sophisticated artifacts achieved with complex CNC machining. In this case the manufacturing process was the initial selection, and the design evolved around the capabilities and limitations of that process. The MCW6000 is innovative in the following regards:

  • use of multiple temperature brazing/silver soldering processes
  • considered inlet nozzle design, placement, and internal flow control"

The fit and finish of the MCW6000-A is excellent.  The baseplate is both flat and polished as is typical for Swiftech. The brazed joint between the baseplate and the top is very well done; I had to look closely to locate it.  The familiar Swiftech blue is present on the hold down piece.   

Test Results and Observations

Testing methods are the same as used in earlier waterblock reviews.  One new development is the estimation that my TBredB 1700+ at 13x175fsb and 1.85V (BIOS) generates approximately 73W under load. I am hesitant to convert the graphs from deltaT to C/W as of yet (still playing with this sort of W estimation), but that should give you a ballpark number for CPU power.  Since the Swiftech doesn't use the AMD 4 hole mounting, I used their included mounting hardware.

A word of explanation about the following graphs may be helpful.  I measure CPU diode temperature, the temperature of the water at the waterblock's inlet, and the water flow rate.  By plotting the difference between CPU temperature and water temperature, we can normalize all testing.  This is required because water temperatures may vary from day to day in my testing room.  The closer that this delta T (engineering-speak for temperature differential) is to 0, the better the waterblock is performing.

The first test I conduct is the variation of waterblock performance over repeated mounting replicates at 1.50 GPM flow rate: 


The average temperature difference between the CPU diode and the water temperature at the waterblock inlet was 9.89C (dashed line), and the standard deviation over 10 mounts was 0.30 C.  You can see that the individual tests are pretty evenly scattered around the average.  

I want to mention at this point that I had some issues the first few times I mounted the MCW6000-A.   The hold down isn't attached to the block and so the block can wobble some as you tighten it down.  I solved this issue by making a concerted effort to get the block and hold down placed where the top of the block is parallel with the top edge of the motherboard. The other (more important) consideration is that it is vital to get the clips fully engaged on all six of the socket's lugs.   I found that if the clip didn't fully engage as I loosened the screw that it could be easily snapped back into place by tightening the screw until the socket lugs snap back into the clip.  This was only an issue the first few times that the block was mounted so I do suggest that Socket A users go through at least one practice mount to get the hang of it.  It's an easy way to pick up a couple of degrees of cooling.

The next test conducted is the relationship between waterblock performance and flow rate.  I also included Swiftech's MCW5000-A waterblock on the graph for comparison:

The MCW6000 performs a full 2C better than its predecessor over all flow rates.  It also appears that the MCW6000-A benefits somewhat more from higher flow rates than does the MCW5000.  This isn't too surprising to me since the new block does have a central inlet and therefore some die area impingement effect.   You can also see that the maximum flow through the MCW6000-A was 2.23 GPM; this block is more restrictive than earlier Swiftech blocks.  This also makes sense; now that Swiftech uses the high pressure MCP600 pump they can design blocks to take full advantage of its capabilities.

The MCW6000's performance is more easily compared with other waterblocks when they are all graphed on the same Delta T vs. Flow rate graph:

The low flow rate performance (0.75GPM and less) of the MCW6000-A is the best I've seen in my testing.  At higher flow rates, the MCW6000-A performance flattens out somewhat but remains competitive with the best waterblocks available.  For users with 3/8" ID tubing or multiple waterblocks, the MCW6000 is highly recommended.  And for the performance-minded, the MCW6000-A can also provide top notch performance in 1/2" loops with high pressure pumps as well.  Considering this block's low price ($39.99US), excellent construction/finish, and outstanding performance, I can recommend the Swiftech MCW6000-A to all Procooling readers without reservation.

Thanks again to Bill Adams and Swiftech for providing the MCW6000-A for testing.

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