June 24, 2017 // 2 p.m.
As a modder, I use a lot of liquid-cooling products, so anytime I see a new brand, I like to get hold of them and check them out. Phanteks has just released a new range of water blocks and fittings, so I did just that.
We wouldn’t particularly call this a review, as there are too many variables with this test setup, and we don’t really have anything to compare against, but we know fellow modders will be interested in looking at these products.
We managed to get hold of enough parts to do a little build, and Phanteks even provided us with its Enthoo Evolv MATX Tempered Glass case in silver so that we had something to put the products in. This meant we could use them exactly how an end-user would; what better way to give them a workout than doing a quick build? The components supplied include the Glacier G1080 Asus Strix GPU water block, the Glacier C350I CPU water block, and a bunch of 12mm standard and 90-degree fittings.
First things first, let’s check out the Glacier C350I CPU water block. We don’t often mention packaging, but this is boxed very well. There is dense foam stopping everything from moving around and scratching the shiny block. All the accessories are hidden under a second layer, just like a box of chocolates, but somehow even tastier.
Inside is a plethora of goodies. There is the block, some thermal paste, adapters for the LEDs, and mounting kits. This block fits Intel LGA 2011(-v3) and LGA 115x series CPUs. There is an alternative block with a similar design for AMD chips, the Glacier C350A.
The block itself is nickel-plated copper with an acrylic top. It didn’t really excite me when I was first looking at it, but later, once it was installed, my mind changed completely. The block is quite heavy and feels like a quality product.
I did see that aluminium was used with these blocks, and initially, this was a worry. Luckily, though, this is just for these two removable plates that don't come into contact with any fluids. These allow you to spin the block and keep the logo the correct way around, and they also cover the RGB LED strips.
If we flip the block over, there's a nice sticker to keep everything shiny and clean. It also reminds us to remove the sticker, something which we keep on seeing folks not doing! Once the sticker is off, it is a very shiny surface indeed. A good, flat, shiny surface ensures a better contact with the CPU, so it isn’t just for show; if it was rough and scratched, the heat would not transfer as well.
The block uses a standard G1/4 thread, and this means most other fittings on the market will be compatible. Looking a little closer at the corners of the block, we see that some of the mounting gear is already in place, saving you having to mess around so much with the installation.