Adding the block to the water cooling loop was easy. It was a simple matter of sliding the tubing over the barbs (after putting the hose clamps over the tubing first) and tightening up the clamps. The barbs on the block that we’re testing are the chrome ones which came with our block. After having used plastic barbs in previous systems, the chrome barbs were just that extra bit nicer to fit tubing to because of the ease which the tubing went over them. I have found that plastic barbs are incredibly hard to slide tubing over, so Danger Den get bonus points for their nice barbs which, while not impacting on performance, are certainly much easier to work with. They are also surprisingly resistant to sliding the tubing back off. I tried pulling on the tube and wriggling it but the tubing was very reluctant to come off – a good sign indeed.
The chrome is also highly corrosion resistant meaning no contamination of the water in the loop.
In our water cooling loop, we have the following
- Danger Den Maze 4 block
- Swiftech MCP 650 pump (identical to the Danger Den D4 pump – it’s rebadged by both companies anyway, actually made in Hungary!)
- BlackIce Xtreme radiator with a single Sunon 120mm fan pushing 108 CFM
- Swiftech Hydrx water additive
All of these components are designed for 1/2" internal diameter (ID) tubing so no converters are necessary.
Block with filled water loop.
Note that Hydrx is UV reactive. It looks really green under a camera flash.
To connect the Maze4 block to the CPU socket using the 4 holes in the motherboard, the kit comes with an unusually large selection of threaded rods, nuts, thumb nuts, washers, spacers and stops. Even more unusual is the fact that it comes with no instructions.
As no instructions are provided in the package, you will have to follow the videos provided by Danger Den here. The page is quite detailed, giving instructions on how to install it with the supplied hold down as well as the Socket Hold Down (SHD) mechanism. It also has instructions on how to use it with an Athlon 64 system, a capability that people looking to upgrade hardware in the future will surely smile upon.
The unit we’ll be reviewing today uses the SHD kit (Socket Hold Down) due to the fact that this test rig’s motherboard does not have mounting holes.
Installation using the SHD kit was a simple matter of locating the block over the processor and screwing home the thumb screws to lock it in place. Danger Den’s video tutorial on the installation of the block is easy to follow and is pretty foolproof. Unfortunately, the block we are testing did not come with the SHD kit attached to it as Danger Den said it would, so we were left to figure out how to attach the SHD to the block. We hope that we have it correct, we based it on how it looked in the video.
The SHD fits uses the 3 lugs on either side of the socket (all 6 in total) and securely holds the block in place, resisting twisting and uneven forces.
One quirk when installing this block was that the thumb screws on one side of the SHD kit hit the fan on the northbridge. They cleared the fan when the block was completely installed, but we couldn’t fit the thumb screws past the fan. So we just took the fan off the northbridge, installed the block and put the fan back on the northbridge. This was probably due to the fact that we installed a high power 40mm fan on the northbridge which was almost twice the height of the stock fan. When we tested the fit with the stock fan, the thumb screws cleared, allowing us to install it without removing the fan.