Welcome to my review of the New coolant from Thermochill. But with all the bad press Non conductive/UV coolant has had over the past 6 months or so, can this coolant really live up to all the hype which it has created?
Before we find out what this coolant can really do, I would like to thank Rob & Paul at Thermochill for providing the coolant for this review.
Thermochill is the word/brand every water cooling enthusiast knows and has respected for a long time. For the last 7 years Thermochill has produced high performance radiators of the highest quality, and with the new owners settling in nicely, the future continues to look bright for Thermochill.
Bearing in mind all the recent “Bad Press” non conductive coolants have attracted, my tests will try to focus on these issues - thermal performance, flow, non-conductivity and gunking and clunking. While gunking may happen over a space of time, (which I don’t have time to test), I will try my best in simulating by Boiling and Freezing the coolant, as well as testing alongside a control liquid - leading competitors coolant, Feser One.
An Overview of what is in the coolant and it’s features:
• Pre-mixed with no need for additional additives
• Electrical Conductivity <2µS/cm at 24C *
• Non-Toxic and RoHS Compliant
• Freezing Point - 6C
• 85% Bio-degradable Within 30 Days
• Shelf Stable UV Reactive Dyes of up to 2 years
• EC6 is a true Eco Friendly Product
I performed a restriction test to see how much the coolant limits flow, I ran the pump at 12v, through a Digmesa Flow Meter and normal loop components for a actual loop result. With information recorded every one minute, a total of ten results were averaged out and presented as simple graph. Since I use the same setup for each coolant I test, with all the parts being the same, I am able to compare restrictivty to other coolants.
Does adding coolant affect your flow?
Flow Rate Loop – Laing DDC 1T + XSPC Res Top, 2 Meters XSPC 7/16” Tubing
Alphacool NexXxoS 360mm Radititor, Alphacool HF 14 Yellowstone 2 Alphacool Ball Valves, Disstilled Water
From the above graph we can see that, using Thermochill EC6 restricts the flow by 0.07 GPM - Distilled water reading 1.68 GPM, Thermochill EC6 reading 1.61 GPM.
(Note: Flow test used with clear EC6 coolant and Tesco Value Distilled)
Thermal Test Specification
A 5-mount test with 1hour with each mount, 50 Mins Warm Up 10 Mins Temperature logging.
• The 1366 Test Setup is as follows, Intel Core i7 920 DO Overclocked to 3.6 GHZ (No Lapping) running on a Gigabyte UD5 Extreme Motherboard. 6GB (3x2GB) of Patriot Viper DDR3 1600MHz Memory, The motherboard cooling is stock with no extra airflow. Video card is an EVGA 8800GT, also on stock cooling. The power comes form a Zalman 850W Modular PSU, Samsung 500GB Hard drive split into 2 250 GB partitions. Test case is my Le Chuck Test Bench, which had horizontal mounting.
• The cooling setup I am using is based more around Euro Style, With Few exceptions.
o Radiator: Alphacool NexXxoS Xtreme III 360mm Radiator 3x Scythe S-FLEX SFF21D Fans @ 1200rpm, I chose this rad, as it has great value for money and good performance to go with it.
o Pump: I run a Laing DDC 1T with an XSPC res top, also known as a Swiftech MCP350 ran at 12V. I chose this pump, as DDC’s Seem to be the norm with most users using the basic model.
o CPU Waterblock: Alphacool HF 14 Yellowstone for 775-1366 Intel motherboards.
o Loop Order: Optimal to my needs my loop Is setup in this order, XSPC Res Top > DDC > Digmesa Flow Meter > 360mm Rad > Temp Sensor (Water In) > Ball Valve > Alphacool HF 14 Yellowstone > Ball Valve > Temp Sensor (Water Out) > Res Top. For an optimized loop for any set up always have your res feeding the pump.
• TIM Material I use MX-2 like most other enthusiasts and testers, primarily as it works at optimum efficiency as soon as you apply it, (no break in time like AS5). and it is non conductive, conductive could become a problem with multiple applications per test and multiple blocks. The TIM Application method I use is the dot in the center. (Small pea sized TIM Applied to centre of CPU, then when block is Compressed TIM Is spread evenly across the cores of the CPU), Recorded data is only used if TIM application is confirmed as good on the following re-mount.
Thermal Test Results
With Distilled water being the best cooling fluid at the lowest price, does adding stuff into a coolant give you better or worse temps?
The graph compares distilled water, Thermochill EC6 and Feser One. The results show there is a small variation in efficiency between coolants. Thermochill EC6 – 33.1 Degrees, Distilled water – 33.2 Degrees and Feser One – 33.4 degrees.
(Note: Thermal test used with clear EC6 coolant, Tesco Value Distilled water and Feser one Black UV)
We fine-tune our systems to get the best temps as possible, but does running cool gunk you up?. If we put these coolants in the freezer, will they clump when they thaw out? This is what I intend to find out.
• 500ml of both coolants placed in a freezer for 12 hours, Stored in a 500ml plastic still water bottle.
• 4 hours defrost time with the coolant removed from bottle and poured into a small plastic container for closer inspection.
When you put 500ml of EC6 in the freezer for 12 hours, and then leave it thaw out for 4 hours. It is safe to say that the coolant doesn't lose any of it's UV properties, nor does it clump/group together. The above picture shows you there was no clumping after the defrost time.
(Note: This is an extreme test and with a normal working loop you won’t see freezing happen)
Cooling loops are usually getting constant use, and may run hot under certain conditions. But how long does it take for the dye to separate under these certain conditions?
• 500ml of coolant poured into saucepans and heated to boiling point.
• Once at boiling point left to boil for 30 minutes.
• Each coolant left to cool for 30 minutes, with an inspection of each coolant at this point.
• Test repeated four times if the coolant hasn’t already broken up.
When you put 500ml of EC6 in saucepan, and leave it boiling away for 30 minutes. I saw a vast amount of evaporation happing much more then normal water. I believe this is down to being able to carry more heat away then plain water.
After the cool down process, and being able to see in the photo provided above no dye separation happened while i was boiling the coolant.
(Note: This is an extreme test and with a normal working loop you won’t see Boiling happen)
Where To Buy
As this is a brand new coolant to the market. Retailers in the United Kingdom are the only ones to have stock, at the time of this review. These retailers include WatercoolingUK, Specialtech, Overclockers UK, Aquacooled Pcs and the XSPC Shop.
I will update the list of places to buy once retailers start to receive they coolants.
• All in one coolant, with no need to add anything else to your loop
• Twist back seal, so you know you coolant hasn’t been tampered with, and no contamination
• High flow, easy pour lid which makes filling your loop a breeze
• Eco friendly and completly Bio-degradable
• Corrosion protection for Copper, Brass, Steel, Nickel and Aluminum Proven to ASTM D3306 and BS6580 standards
• Can get costly for multiple and long loop setups
Notes from Thermochill
We recommend that you do not mix any other additive or coolant with Thermochill EC6.
We recommend frequent coolant changes to maintain your system loop correctly, and to reduce the conductive potential within the loop as much as possible. EC6 can become electrically conductive in normal use over time or if contaminated just like any other coolant on the market.
The use of this product is at your own risk. Thermochill is not responsibility for damage caused to hardware, property or data arising from its use.
This new premix non conductive coolant, isn't just vibrant colour in a bottle - it has the cooling power to match. It's long development time shows though with it passing both the freezer and boiling up test which i though at it with flying colours. It's UV reactivity is more than pleasing with a whole bottle changing from non UV to UV with just two 3mm 12V LED's.
With a lot of new coolant which has been realsed lately and with past experience with others, I would recommend to give the Clear coolant a try. Instead of Distilled water with PT Nuke or Kill-coils (Sliver alternative will work). And buy some coloured tubing of your chosen colour to make it more colourful if you still want to avoid Dyes.
I plan on testing the non-conductivity of this fluid on some hardware, but unfortunately I haven't been able to get hold of enough old cheap gear which I can pour coolant onto at the moment - this may be added to the review at a later date. If you have any old Components that you don't mind donating for this test, please just PM Me.
www.watercoolinguk.co.uk www.alphacool.com www.xspc.biz www.skinneelabs.com www.thermochill.co.uk/