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Old 2nd September 2010, 9:30 AM   #1
Chappy0061 Thread Starter
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Default Copper Vs Nickel - Plexi Vs Acetal

So i am looking at replacing my 9800GX2 with a GTX480 (possibly with a second one in future) and i cannot seem to find details on the different blocks available forthe GTX480.

Ideally i would want to get a Nickel block with a plexi top. For one it looks better, and i also like to see inside the block so i can make sure there are not bubble cavities forming due to un-forseen flow issues.

I have been searching the net, and the only reason i can find as to why blocks now come in nickel is because copper gets blockages?
How is this? Can anybody please explain the difference to me?

I also read that plexi tends to form stress fractures over time, causing leaks.
Has anybody else experienced this? How long did it take?

I really would prefer to have a see through top for my VGA waterblock, because i have had so many problems in the past from bubbles being stuck in the water channels of the block due to the orientation of the block in the case and its relation to the water flow.

Is there any other clear block cover that is not prone to cracks?
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Old 2nd September 2010, 10:53 AM   #2
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from what I've read copper is more prone to oxidation and therefore will show signs of discolouring and ageing over some period of time......
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Old 2nd September 2010, 10:54 AM   #3
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from what I've read copper is more prone to oxidation and therefore will show signs of discolouring and ageing over some period of time......
So it is just asthetics?
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Old 2nd September 2010, 11:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chappy0061 View Post
So it is just asthetics?
pretty much......besides, copper has the cheap look imo so the other only choice is nickel..
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Old 2nd September 2010, 1:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chappy0061 View Post
So it is just asthetics?
Larely yes, but not entirely. The thermal conductivity of the three and thermal paste are:
  • Copper - 400 W/mK
  • Nickel - 91 W/mK
  • Copper Oxide - 20 W/mK
  • Artic Silver thermal paste - 8 W/mK

Although generally not an issue unless you get a very large build up over time. Basically, you know what happens if you don't apply thermal paste properly? Well the same thing can happen if you get a thick layer of copper oxide forming on the contact surface.

However, if you do change out the block frequently (say benching), or if it is exposed to high humidity environments, degradation of the surface quality can become an issue. You'll loose the mirror smooth finish as the surface is effectively rusting away.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 1:39 PM   #6
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What does W/mk stand for?

So essentially if i want the block to be in place for a long time i should get nickel?

Do you know how long (on average) the plexi face would take to form cracks?
Are we talking years?
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Old 2nd September 2010, 4:48 PM   #7
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To get copper these days you'd be mad. Unless you really like the look of copper.

Nickel for long term.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 4:58 PM   #8
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To get copper these days you'd be mad. Unless you really like the look of copper.

Nickel for long term.
An incomplete answer which I will endeavour to fix>

Copper is a far better conductor and therefore is much preferred to nickel in any thinking person's water cooling.

Disadvantages .. it corrodes over time (to be honest I never keep my loops longer than two years and have never found corrosion in my copper blocks).

Nickel does not corrode but is a significant disadvantage in conduction (this is why we water cool after all) than copper. You will never get a better overclock with nickel over copper.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 6:47 PM   #9
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Coppers and nickel are the pretty much the same, Copper would be a very very very small performance boost...
It your worried about the outside turning grubby, separate the part, block the holes, and give it a once over with clear gloss paint, and use plain distilled water with a silver coil.
Problem solved.
(i use 2 foot of copper piping in my res, no noticeable build up.. considering your rads probably have copper innards anyway... the block would hardly make a difference)

Plexi: Alcoholic solutions (dyes, and some solutions) will chip away at the insides, and can cause cracking over the long run.
Not to mention the dyes can turn the water conductive = bye bye motherboard if your unlucky, when it cracks.

Acetel does not have these issues.

The end.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 8:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldnBold View Post
An incomplete answer which I will endeavour to fix>

Copper is a far better conductor and therefore is much preferred to nickel in any thinking person's water cooling.

Disadvantages .. it corrodes over time (to be honest I never keep my loops longer than two years and have never found corrosion in my copper blocks).

Nickel does not corrode but is a significant disadvantage in conduction (this is why we water cool after all) than copper. You will never get a better overclock with nickel over copper.
Yes, I totally agree with what he has said.
If you have a piece of silver inside your loop, everything will be fine. Copper has a significant more conducting capacity than nickel does.
But yes, copper really doesn't look good, nickel would be more prefered.
By the way, in your acetal vs plexi, acetal wins ; )
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Old 3rd September 2010, 8:36 PM   #11
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It is true about nickel verses copper but you have to appreciate... most nickel blocks are coated nickel... the core is copper.

There is is very little difference in heat transfer.
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Old 6th September 2010, 5:32 PM   #12
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So there is no real performance difference say between an EK supreme HF block in full copper or full nickel?
(am also debating this - i need a nickel block for vga and have read on here that i should not mix metals? or am i really reading into this too much for my first loop...)
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Old 6th September 2010, 6:23 PM   #13
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Speaking with retailers and looking for reviews I say no.

If you want certainty go the copper. It might get you a fraction of a degree (maybe) but you have to clean it regularly. I am nickel coated from now on in. There is a reason why it is more expensive.
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Old 6th September 2010, 6:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chappy0061 View Post
What does W/mk stand for?
Watt(unit of power) over meter(unit of length, duh) times Kelvin(unit of temperature).
It tells you how well heat is transmitted within the medium.
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Old 6th September 2010, 6:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50 Million Year View Post
So there is no real performance difference say between an EK supreme HF block in full copper or full nickel?
(am also debating this - i need a nickel block for vga and have read on here that i should not mix metals? or am i really reading into this too much for my first loop...)
In theory, copper should give better performance.
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