AquaXtreme MP-05 Pro Water Block Page: 1
Introduction

When it comes to high-end water blocks a name that generally springs to mind is Swiftech or Alphacool. However, it's not always the best known blocks that have the best performance as proven many a time by people who go to the trouble of designing and milling their own custom designs.

Today I'm going to be taking a look at a block named the "MP-05 Pro" by a little known company called AquaXtreme. Searching around the internet, I wasn't able to find much information on this mystery company - in fact the only information I could find, is that AquaXtreme blocks and pumps originate from a website named CoolTechnica.com.

Many enthusiasts have already hailed this block as the best on the market when it comes to price vs performance, and today I'm going to be comparing the MP-05 against the Swiftech Apogee block. The Apogee falls into the same price bracket as the MP-05 block, and therefore makes for a very good comparison.


Packaging

Copper is a very soft metal and doesn't fair to well when thrown around by a rough courier. Most companies package their blocks up very well and even go to the trouble of placing a plastic film over the blocks base to prevent scratches and oxidisation.

AquaXtreme MP-05 Box AquaXtreme MP-05 Box

The MP-05 comes in a plain white, single walled cardboard box - not exactly a great talking point! Disappointingly the block was placed inside the box without any form of padding or other protection. The base of the block was also unprotected, being left to rub against the bottom of the cardboard box.

Continuing in the MP-05's minimalist ways, the box contained no instructions on how to mount the block. However, those of us with previous water cooling experience shouldn't find it too difficult as the MP-05 comes with a universal socket mounting adapter that caters for most of the recent socket and motherboard layouts.



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Specifications

The following information has been taken directly from CoolTechnica's website:


Features

• The inlet is located directly above the CPU die area for flow-impingement action to create very high levels of turbulence.
• The new and improved Copper 110 base plate of the MP-05 Pro Limited Edition features 432 Micro Pins covering the CPU die area. This design maximizes the surface area exposed to coolant while improving turbulence where it's most needed.
• MP-05 Pro Limited Edition CPU Water Block comes with N02 X REV.2 Nozzle accelerator mid plate made out of Clear Polycarbonate or Black Acetal (Delrin).
• Outstanding performance with only two barbed fittings.
• MP-05 Pro Limited Edition CPU Water Block comes with 1/2" High-Flow inlet and outlet barbed fittings by default.
• S/S 304 Universal Socket Mounting Adapter is compatible with most modern motherboards featuring mounting holes around the socket area.

Compatability

The Universal AquaXtreme™ MP-05 Pro Limited Edition comes with all the necessary mounting hardware for the following CPU sockets:
• Socket 462 (AMD Socket A) via the 4-holes through the motherboard method. Important Note: AMD 462 Socket lug mounting is not supported.
• Socket 423 (Intel Willamette P4), Socket 603/604 (Intel Xeon) via the 4-holes through the motherboard
• Socket 478 (Intel Northwood P4/EE) via the 4-holes through the motherboard by removing the black plastic heatsink retention frame.
• Socket 754/939/940 (all AMD Athlon64 series) via the 2-holes screwing into the socket back-plate method
• Socket 775 (Intel Socket T Prescott-style LGA) via the 4-holes through the motherboard method

Layout

AquaXtreme MP-05 Layout

From the top down we have:

• Universal Mounting Hardware.
• 9/16-18 straight threaded inlet and outlet ports for High-Flow barbed fittings with O-Rings.
• Black Acetal (Delrin) Top.
• N02 X Accelerator Nozzle Mid Plate made out of clear polycarbonate or black delrin.
High-precision CNC machined Copper 110 Base Plate featuring 432 Micro pins and fine channels.



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A Closer Look

It seems that recently water block manufacturers have been spending just as much time on improving the looks of their blocks as they have improving the performance. Let's take a look at the MP-05 to see what it has in store for us...

AquaXtreme MP-05 Block AquaXtreme MP-05 Block

The MP-05 block utilises a Nickel plated universal mounting plate very much reminiscent of the Storm or Apogee water blocks by Swiftech. This type of mounting hardware not only looks great but also ensures excellent compatibility with many types of motherboard. The only downside is that you will need to remove your motherboard in order to mount the block.

The surface of the mounting plate did have some minor imperfections around a few of the mounting holes, but nothing that would be noticeable from a distance.

AquaXtreme MP-05 Base AquaXtreme MP-05 Base

Despite the lack of protection during transit, the base of the block was in perfect condition. Using a sheet of glass and water I was able to determine that surface of the base was very flat with no imperfections.

From the pictures above you can see that the base has been lapped to a semi-reflective finish. There is an ongoing debate whether lapping to a mirror finish actually produces any noticeable increase in performance, but in my opinion the finish above should be more than good enough to get optimal results.

AquaXtreme MP-05 Base AquaXtreme MP-05 Accellerator Plate

On disassembling the block, I was rather disappointed to see shavings of copper lurking between the pin array on the base. Also, the insertion of the barbs seemed to cause small strips of delrin to fall inside the block. This is quite worrying as particles of plastic and copper could cause damage to some water pumps.

As you can see above, the internal base of the block was rather dirty and managed to turn one of my cleaning cloths a dark shade of brown. I strongly suggest disassembling the MP-05 and giving it a thorough clean before placing it in your water loop.



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Testing

In order to test the capabilities of the MP-05, I am going to be installing it on one of our test rigs sporting an Intel Core2Duo X6800 chip. Idle and load temperatures will be taken in both stock and overclocked configurations with a room temperature maintained at 28ºC.

To ensure that the comparison between the MP-05 and Apogee remains fair, I will be using fresh Arctic Ceramique on each of the blocks, along with plain deionised water for the loop. Each block will be mounted 3 times, and an average calculated from the results.

Below is the full specification of the test PC:

• Asus P5B Deluxe (P965) Motherboard
• Intel Core2Duo X6800 2.93ghz (3.8ghz / 1.65v Overclocked)
• Laing D5 Water Pump
• 1/2" Danger Den UV Tubing
• XSPC D120 Dual 120mm Rad
• 4x Delta 120mm 70cfm fans (push/pull config)
• T-Line configuration (no reservoir)

AquaXtreme MP-05 Installed AquaXtreme MP-05 Installed

Results @ Stock Results Overclocked

At stock settings there was very little noticeable difference between the two blocks, with the MP-05 only pulling ahead by 1°C at idle.

Increasing the voltage on the processor up to a toasty 1.65v kicked out some serious heat, putting both water blocks under a lot of stress. However, from the results it was clear to see that the MP-05 was far more effective at removing the excess heat, keeping the CPU a full 3°C cooler when under load.



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Conclusion

Currently retailing for £32 over at Extreme Prometeia, the AquaXtreme MP-05 block just goes to show that great performance need not come with a high price tag. Managing to beat the Swiftech Apogee block by 3°C under load, the MP-05 could very well be capable of beating one of the most highly regarded blocks on the market - the Swiftech Storm.

Unfortunately the MP-05 does have its fair share of negative points - the largest being our finding of copper and plastic shavings inside the block. This could possibly be shrugged off as a block that slipped through the quality control net, but AquaXtreme should really take more care to ensure that all blocks leaving their factory are free from any foreign objects that could cause damage to a water cooling system. I would strongly suggest inspecting your MP-05 after purchase.

With better packaging and stricter quality checks the MP-05 would have easily nabbed out "Editors Choice" award. I really hope AquaXtreme can resolve these minor issues and make the MP-05 the best block on the market where price vs performance is concerned.


Pro's
+ Excellent performance.
+ Great looks.
+ Low cost compared to other high-end blocks.
+ Universal mounting bracket.

Con's
- Poor packaging could easily damage block.
- Shavings of plastic and copper found inside block.
- Dirty finish on inside of block base.


Recommended

Thanks to Extreme Prometeia for providing this block for review.

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