PolarFLO TT GPU Block
|PolarFLO TT GPU Block|
|Test Setup and Performance|
PolarFLO started as a side venture of Horse Of Iron Inc, a couple of years ago and has since taken the high-end enthusiast market by storm with their excellent performance and unmatched good looks. There's no mistake, if you're "pimping" your rig, you want PolarFLO in there. PolarFLO is becoming more independent on a business front as they are moving more product around the world than ever before. If you think the last couple of years have been interesting, the next few months should make your head spin. There is some very cool stuff coming from PolarFLO very soon.
A couple of weeks back, Nicao and I had an opportunity to head down to Bozeman MT, and hook up with Steve from PolarFLO. We also met his wife and son and were treated to a look around their shop where all of the watercooling magic happens. It's amazing how quickly these blocks are put together, and how professional and clean their whole fab is. After a nice look around and about 1 hour of questions, we bolted with some free schwag, and today we're looking at the new PolarFLO TT GPU Block. This unit replaces their earlier SF series GPU block, and fits virtually any nVidia, ATi, or Matrox Graphics card on the market today.
This block has been meticulously designed and carries with it the semblance of some killer Automotive performance parts (think Hot-Rodding Engine Heads). They use basically a two piece design which includes the top aluminum portion on the block as well as the bottom copper base. Instead of fastening these together with screws like they have in the past, these parts are threaded and can be screwed directly to each other. In between the top and bottom portion of the block is the rotating mounting bracket and a rubber "O" ring. This ring sits on a beveled edge and seals in three places, while the mounting bracket can be rotated freely to allow for easy custom installation. The aluminum parts are anodized to help limit corrosion and the interaction of two dissimilar metals (copper and aluminum) from oxidizing. I recently pulled apart the SF series GPU block and was pleased to see absolutely no corrosion on either the aluminum or the copper.
This block kit comes with everything you need to get started. It ships with a pair of small bolts, insulated poly washers, lock washers, and a pair of hose clamps to fit 1/16" wall hose. Our block came with 1/2" posi-seal barbs. These barbs use small, servicable "O" rings to seal - which they seem to do very well. It was amazing to see Steve assemble this block in a little over a minute while he was chatting and answering questions. Assembly of the older block required four screws and more parts resulting in slower turnover.
The pictures about really don't do the block justice as it is beautiful. Anyone who owns one of these blocks can testify to the fact that they are remarkably designed and very schweet.
The bottom of the block is not quite as polished as the SF series of blocks. PolarFLO simply CNC machines the base, then puts a little polishing compound on the bottom to help smooth things down and bring out a bit of a shine. Although the base of the block isn't shiney, it is still very flat and appears to make excellent contact with the GPU core.
As you can see by clicking on the above pic, the bottom is not mirror finished like before. Also with the bottom being flat as it is, you may be required to remove the shim on older Radeon 9700 cards before you can mount this block as the shim rides slightly higher than the GPU core. Radeon 9800 users, and GeForce 6x00 series users will have no trouble bolting this unit right on.
Block Specs & Installation:
PolarFLO has posted up the technical specs of their blocks lately, and this will help answer your questions regarding dimensions, rise, and hole-to-hole fit. The SF series block did not have a large enough span to reach the mounting holes on my BFG 6800GT. This block however, has a good 0.14" to spare. That's not a bunch, but it does suffice nicely.
Installation went very well, and simple. The only trouble I encountered was the fact that my RAM sinks were a bit too tall to be cleared by the low profile base-to-barb design of this block. I whipped out my side-nippers, and trimmed off the tall fins, and was ready to go in no time. The fact that the block could be swiveled once installed really helped determine the best orientation of the barbs, and worked very well.
Now that we've taken a good look at the block itself as well as the specs, let's head on over and take a look at the test setup, and see how this block performs when compared to stock cooling.