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MSI HydroGen - Watercooling, MSI Style

MSI HydroGen - Watercooling, MSI Style

MSI's HydroGen waterblock which will be fitted to its Intel X48 motherboard.

bit-tech has obtained some exclusive photos of the final designs of MSI's new HydroGen waterblock that will be offered as a limited edition on some of its next generation Intel X48 boards.

The block is made in Germany as an all copper design where the water travels all the way from one end the other. This is completely unlike any previous design that we've seen before which has just featured simply a single in-out from a single block on a single chipset or power regulation components by the CPU. This means that you can run a system completely passively as there's no need for some airflow over the heatpipes like with other boards and the amount of flow reducing 90 degree turns is kept to an absolute minimum.

What's more, there are no barbs included, just simple threaded sockets. This means watercooling enthusiasts can for once use exactly the same barb size as the rest of their system, keeping a more optimal water flow.

It looks like finally a motherboard company has listened to enthusiasts' actual needs, however there's no word on the warranty situation, or how it performs without being plugged into a water supply - the pipes are empty after all.

MSI claims up to 20 percent more power efficiency and up to six times longer life because of the continually reduced component temperature. We expect this also means there should be some better potential overclocking too - providing the BIOS (and new X48 chipset) is up to it.

A tentative and early price of €379 may put a lot of people off, but if you're serious about it consider how much it costs for an entire watercooling kit in addition to finding a non-heatpiped board to fit it. From the pictures below, the awesome professional CNC milled piece might say enough to watercoolers to spend the money. Even if you're not a watercooler, we've discovered that MSI is working on its own kit to work in conjunction with it, but is remaining extremely tight lipped as to how this is progressing.

It's essentially no different than the BFG Tech 8800 GTX waterblock we looked at last year, or the Asus Maximus boards, so are you sold or do you think companies should leave watercooling to the niche high end? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.


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34 Comments

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Woodstock 26th November 2007, 08:33 Quote
i like how motherboard companys are integrating water cooling products, but im not so sure about the whole heatpipe array...
Bindibadgi 26th November 2007, 08:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodstock
i like how motherboard companys are integrating water cooling products, but im not so sure about the whole heatpipe array...

It's not a heatpipe - it's a single tube that fills with water which makes it travel from top to bottom (or bottom to top)
Mankz 26th November 2007, 09:00 Quote
Looks nice, but I'd be worried about the inner diameter of the copper tubes... Might be good on a sepereate 6/8mm loop, but not on a larger diameter tubing loop ...
Woodstock 26th November 2007, 09:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodstock
i like how motherboard companys are integrating water cooling products, but im not so sure about the whole heatpipe array...

It's not a heatpipe - it's a single tube that fills with water which makes it travel from top to bottom (or bottom to top)

fine then the part of the loop that is attached to the south bridge and mosfits and of cause the actual copper tubing, you still knew what i meant lol
Bindibadgi 26th November 2007, 09:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankz.
Looks nice, but I'd be worried about the inner diameter of the copper tubes... Might be good on a sepereate 6/8mm loop, but not on a larger diameter tubing loop ...

Oh yea, totally, but at least this is the first complete solution - it's a step in the right direction if I was wanting to watercool everything. The problem with the Asus ones is that you still need some airflow for the heatpipes, which kind of defeats the object to an extent.
(RFFN)-SqUeD 26th November 2007, 09:47 Quote
Looks good, The board has got a great layout ..... me like a lot!!!! :D can't wait for the first reviews
Bindibadgi 26th November 2007, 10:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by (RFFN)-SqUeD
Looks good, The board has got a great layout ..... me like a lot!!!! :D can't wait for the first reviews

Unfortunately it doesn't have a great layout - the yellow slots are x4 only which make them almost pointless. Better to have had an extra PCI slot and an x8.
Tim S 26th November 2007, 11:19 Quote
I wonder what the switch is in the bottom right corner. :)
Jamie 26th November 2007, 11:33 Quote
Is it me or does the exit on the southbridge look a little close to the seconds pci-e slot? With a large 1/2" barb plus tubing and a hose clip it could foul on longer graphics cards.

Really like the concept though, much better than the Asus which was reviewed last week in my opinion.
nemesis80 26th November 2007, 12:21 Quote
[QUOTE=]From the pictures below, the awesome laser cut design might say enough watercoolers to spend the money[/QUOTE]

Laser cut? Sorry to disappoint but those are cnc milled for sure, as the shape of the piece wouldnt correspond to a leser cutted piece...
airchie 26th November 2007, 12:32 Quote
I love the idea of this.
I had a water-cooled PC before my laptop and having to find blocks that fit your NB, SB and MOSFETs is a major PITA.
Buying a board with them custom-made and pre-fitted is a really nice idea IMO. :)

I'd buy one. :)
Bindibadgi 26th November 2007, 13:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesis80
Laser cut? Sorry to disappoint but those are cnc milled for sure, as the shape of the piece wouldnt correspond to a leser cutted piece...

Yes, you're right :o
[USRF]Obiwan 26th November 2007, 13:42 Quote
no sli ;( Where are the nforce7xx boards???
TomD22 26th November 2007, 14:15 Quote
Layout looks a bit dodgy though...only 1 pci slot and if you use a dual slot pci-e in the lower of the blue one, no pci slot at all. So there goes the space to plug in my sound card, tv card, or whatever. (not that I would afford this mb anyway ^^)
OleJ 26th November 2007, 14:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
I wonder what the switch is in the bottom right corner. :)

Do you mean the display? As far as I can tell it's a four digit display. I think I remember these being used for status codes from the mobo. I think we first saw them on the Fatal1ty boards?
And it actually is the lower left corner if you turn the mobo standard wise :)
salesman 26th November 2007, 14:56 Quote
it clearly says X38 on the board yet its supposed to be a X48 can someone clear the air on this one for me? I'm confused. Maybe its just showing off what the waterblock would look like on a motherboard and this isn't the actual board or even the chipset MSI is going to use. What do you guys think.
Bindibadgi 26th November 2007, 15:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by salesman
it clearly says X38 on the board yet its supposed to be a X48 can someone clear the air on this one for me? I'm confused. Maybe its just showing off what the waterblock would look like on a motherboard and this isn't the actual board or even the chipset MSI is going to use. What do you guys think.

Yea it's X48 - the press release was for X38 but MSI have saved it for the X48 release instead in order to finalise the details of the HydroGen block. The layout stays the same but they haven't changed the ink yet that's all ;)
Bluephoenix 26th November 2007, 15:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
no sli ;( Where are the nforce7xx boards???

+1
liratheal 26th November 2007, 16:58 Quote
I'm not sure about this setup by MSI. I like the idea of integrated W/C blocks, but running a second loop for the motherboard as well as the main loop for cpu+gpu because of the insanely tight copper tubing (Which has to be small for obvious reasons).. I think it might have fared better with heatpipes between the blocks and either each of the end pieces having an entrance/exit or one in the middle, as with the Asus Maximus series.
Paradigm Shifter 26th November 2007, 17:36 Quote
Would work well for a low-flow system? Looks interesting and I'd certainly be tempted. :D
mrb_no1 26th November 2007, 21:26 Quote
great concept and hopefully something that we'll see more of in the future in my opinion, certainly in the high end enthusiast boards

peace

fatman
ryanjleng 26th November 2007, 22:48 Quote
the block must have cost a bomb with reknown German machining and fabrication. i would like to see the BoM.

while water cooling may be interesting, i think it is only time when some vendor or enthusiasts will use higher thermal surface-transfer oil based liquid or even a bit nutty - diesel.

cool factor 100%. practicality <you decide>%

fantastic piece Richard!!
airchie 26th November 2007, 22:56 Quote
diesel???
Is that good as a coolant in WC loops (other than the flammable risks though I believe it needs to be at high pressures to be highly combustable).
Bindibadgi 26th November 2007, 23:31 Quote
It's as good as non combustible unless you really stress and heat it.

liratheal - if you're going to do it properly you'll get individual blocks like EK makes for the 680i, like EVGA sold with its Black Pearl board, but that has tons of 90 degree turns and is generally a low flow design. Being German, I assume this works better with a low flow as well, and from the looks I'd argue a greater diameter than heatpipes, but I'll see when we get one.

Even with the Asus blocks, you still need an additional fan iirc.
Drastik 27th November 2007, 02:53 Quote
just lettin the bit community know...found this on digg.com
ryanjleng 27th November 2007, 17:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by airchie
diesel???
Is that good as a coolant in WC loops (other than the flammable risks though I believe it needs to be at high pressures to be highly combustable).

diesel is not combustable even with open flame unless in particle form and with correct air-fuel mix ratio.

diesel is a poor-man's coolant, but has changed with rise in oil price.

imagine your rig smelling of diesel!

try this..
http://www.5min.com/Video/Build-Your-Own-Mineral-Oil-Computer-Aquarium-772248
Qhs 27th November 2007, 19:14 Quote
Anyone know of a tentative release date?
r4tch3t 28th November 2007, 08:09 Quote
With the placement of the PCI slot, I don't think its a problem. I have yet to see a dual slot GPU water block, and why would you water cool your Chipset etc and not cool your GPU?

I think it is a step in the right direction.
Bindibadgi 28th November 2007, 09:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qhs
Anyone know of a tentative release date?

It's for X48 so whenever that arrives, but I think it's going to be some sort of limited edition - not with every Diamond.
ledbythereaper 28th November 2007, 12:43 Quote
I don't quite understand why all these manufacturers are getting these high end boards with w/c stuff on when all of it's going to kill the flow rate in a 1/2" system.
Bindibadgi 28th November 2007, 12:57 Quote
That's because it's a German design = low flow. But that's also no diff from any chipset block.
airchie 28th November 2007, 19:09 Quote
lol, I love the idea of submersion cooling tbh.
I have some fluorinert I bought ages ago with the intention of doing it but the drum I got was quite small and cost about £300 IIRC. :(

Mineral oil may be worth a look though... :)
liratheal 29th November 2007, 21:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
It's as good as non combustible unless you really stress and heat it.

Even with the Asus blocks, you still need an additional fan iirc.

Aye, I know, when I end up W/Cing this rig again, I probably won't lose many of the fans (I just like the lower summer temps to be honest), and will probably be using the included strange little fans that clip onto the whole cooling assembly.. thing. I know no integrated W/C system is going to be perfect, but I really don't like dropping the ID of tubing like that, it really messes with your flow, no matter where you put it.
donnie 8th May 2008, 00:04 Quote
I think this is a better direction for watercooling the main board, the EVGA 680i pearl was just not to my liking however if a company did this in a high flow model then sign me up and skin my wallet
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