Copper Vs Nickel - Plexi Vs Acetal

Discussion in 'Extreme and Water Cooling' started by Chappy0061, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. Chappy0061

    Chappy0061 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    766
    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?
     
  2. stormboy123

    stormboy123 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Melbourne
    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......
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Chappy0061

    Chappy0061 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    766
    So it is just asthetics?
     
  4. stormboy123

    stormboy123 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Melbourne
    pretty much......besides, copper has the cheap look imo so the other only choice is nickel..
     
  5. QuinRiva

    QuinRiva Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    101
    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.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Chappy0061

    Chappy0061 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    766
    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?
     
  7. Little Man

    Little Man Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    4,593
    Location:
    3147
    To get copper these days you'd be mad. Unless you really like the look of copper.

    Nickel for long term.
     
  8. OldnBold

    OldnBold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    4,261
    Location:
    Canberra
    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.
     
  9. ravencs

    ravencs Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    831
    Location:
    Sydney 2089
    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
  10. big.fatwilly

    big.fatwilly Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    Messages:
    271
    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 ; )
     
  11. Lothar_Wolf

    Lothar_Wolf Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Messages:
    915
    Location:
    Koongal, 4701
    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.
     
  12. 50 Million Year

    50 Million Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    32
    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...)
     
  13. Lothar_Wolf

    Lothar_Wolf Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Messages:
    915
    Location:
    Koongal, 4701
    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.
     
  14. spludgey

    spludgey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2001
    Messages:
    5,427
    Location:
    Sydney
    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.
     
  15. Hive

    Hive Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,709
    Location:
    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
    In theory, copper should give better performance.
     
  16. 50 Million Year

    50 Million Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    32
    So, if its copper plated with nickel its the best of both worlds? (ie no oxidation, yet being full copper conducts heat at peak performance)


    "The base plate is made of nickel plated electrolytic copper lapped and polished to +/- 0,0007 mm flatness. The top is made of nickel plated electrolytic copper material. Mounting plate is made of powder coated stainless steel."
    (from the EK site on the full nickel S HF block)
     
  17. Rory K

    Rory K Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,261
    Location:
    Melbourne, 3131
    Yes. All nickel blocks are just copper blocks that have been electroplated with nickel. This is an extremely thin layer, and makes absolutely no difference in the real world.

    Basically, get nickel blocks, unless you really really love the look of copper.
     

Share This Page