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[Review] Roundup: Bay Reservoirs & Laing Tops

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by bundymania, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. bundymania

    bundymania

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Hey guys,

    it's time for another roundup, this time about Laing tops and, as an added bonus, three XSPC Slot In 5,25" reservoirs for one or two Laing pumps. Older models as well as new ones will be featured in this overview.
    As previous tests have shown, all Laing tops are very close when it comes to flowrates. In the results chart I'm going to display the highest rate achievement by every product in the setup "top in, front out", which is the only possibility for a few tops.
    Event though they flowrates aren't too different, this can't be said about the noise: this is the reason why I want to present a small overview about it.
    There aren't only the standard single Laing tops in this roundup, but also three Dual-Laing tops and even a Triple-Laing top! Also, because some users asked me to do it, there's also a comparison to two single tops.
    As you can see, I did a lot to offer you a good roundup when it comes to Laing tops. There should be a top for everyone in here and I also added two older models, that aren't produced anymore, for comparison.
    With all the tops in this review you should always check the correct mounting on the Laing pump, to avoid damage due to leaking water.
    When removing the tops, I recommend to put the pump top down, so that no fluid can reach the pump itself when removing it.

    Have fun with this roundup!



    Testsystem:

    Banchetto 101 Bench Station
    Gigabyte GA EX58 Extreme
    Mips Fusionblock Nickel
    i7 920 @4GHz @1.41V (Bios setting)
    Seasonic M12D-850
    Patriot Viper DIMM Kit 6GB PC3-12800U CL8-8-8-24
    Watercool HEATKILLER® CPU Rev3.0 1366 nickel plated
    EVGA GTX 275 (not part of loop!)
    ThermoChill PA140.3 - 420 Radiator + 3x YL D14SL Fans
    Aquaero VFD
    Laing DDC-1T+ or 2x Laing DDC 1T for dual tops!
    Noise Destructor v1.1 pumpdecoupling
    Alphacool HF 38 Cape Cyclone 250 reservoir
    Aquacomputer flow meter "high flow" G1/4"
    CPC Metall quick-release couplings
    16/10 tubing + barbed fittings
    3x water temperature sensors (2x T-Line, 1x in reservoir (G 1/4") )
    1x dig. sensor in reservoir for calibrating
    3x dig. thermometer for measuring room temperature
    GELID GC Extreme
    Feser UV Clear/Blue
    ArctiClean

    The tests of the three bay reservoirs by XSPC took place in a Lian Li V1010.

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    The candidates

    Zern P12 top - available in two versions:


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    The two versions of the Zern P12 Laing top differ when it comes to the position of the fittings, as can be seen in the pictures above. Mounting is done by using the included screws, washers and plastic shells. With a low price of only 10.90? the Zern tops offer great value for money and are, when compared to others, silent when used. My test sample showed some traces of the milling which can't be seen in use and also don't affect the top's performance.
    At an additional charge, you can also get a very useful mount out of stainless steel, offering decoupling and more ways of mounting at the same time - a good idea in my opinion!
    The P12 tops are only available in a black POM version. They could fit a little bit better, but they still offer great value for money.


    Koolance PMP-400


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    This Laing top initially showed up in our shops in two versions: one out of acrylic glass and the other one out of metal, which I did use for this roundup and which isn't available anymore, even though it cost around 40 EUR in German shops before. The version out of acrylic glass costs around 30 EUR. The tops come in a white retail box with the required mounting material and a thin, rubber-like mat, which is supposed to mount the pump in the case and also decouple it. The decoupling doesn't really work, though. Threads in the side of the top offer a variety of possibilities to mount the pump.
    The tops also come with two low profile seals, because of the four threads for fittings the top features, so you can choose which ones to choose for both in and out.
    The Koolance tops can convince with good flow and good looks, the mounting is easy and done quickly. Still, the price is rather high when compared with other tops in this roundup.


    Aquacomputer Aquacover DDC

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    Aquacomputer.de presented me their first top for the popular Laing pumps. The top looks very classy with the mix of POM and stainless steel, making it easy for the top to blend in in most watercooling loops. It comes with screws for mounting and to sealing plugs. The writing on the top is exemplary, making it easy even for beginners to find the right threads, four of which are available.
    On my pictures I also used a sealing plug from another manufacturer for illustration and used black screws as a little modification. The top is available for around 20 EUR in the usual shops.
    On the inside, there ware a lot of traces from the milling...other companies in this roundup show how it's done in a better way. A manufacturer, bragging with "Made in Germany", should maybe put more effort in this aspect.


    Aquacomputer Aquacover Dual DDC

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    This top for two pumps features the same aspects as the single top. The scope of delivery is also the same and the flow rate isn't bad, either. The noise it makes is around identical with the other dual tops in this roundup. Also, just like for all the other tops, I can only recommend the use with decoupling material to reduce the noise. The Aquacomputer dual top costs around 30 EUR



    Watercool DDC Case LT & Dual Case LT

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    I got three tops by Watercool for this Roundup. There are two versions of the DDC Case LT: one out of acrylic glass and one out of POM. Then there's also the DDC Case Dual Top for higher flow. All three tops feature a top out of stainless steel and great craftsmanship, showing in a good fitting accuracy. While the POM version showed some traces of the milling process, the version in acrylic glass also offers a small hole for LEDs, which sadly is placed on the top, making understated wiring hard - this is also the fact on the dual top.
    The DDC Case LT top costs around 20 EUR, the dual top around 35 EUR
    When it came to noise, the single tops couldn't convince me at all: the difference to the best models in this category is easily hearable. To make sure I didn't just get a faulty top, I also used the other top, too - with the same result. The dual top doesn't have this problem, it sounds around the same as the other dual tops.
    Overall, the Watercool tops performed well.


    2x Watercool DDC Case LT serial vs. Watercool DDC Case Dual

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    Some users in an US forum asked me to do this test. The result shows that a dual top from the same manufacturer offers better flow rates.


    Alphacool Laing top

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    As far as I know, this top isn't available anymore separately and is only available in a bundles with Laing pumps anymore. It's also part of this roundup because a lot of users still use this top. For the price of around 20 EUR you get a well crafted product, also featuring a hole for LEDs in the front and threads in the side to mount it in a 3.5"-cage. Also, several reservoir additions are available separately. The top has been available for some years but it still performs well: the flow rates are good and the noise is quite low.


    XSPC Single, Dual & Triple tops

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    The English company XSPC also offers a large selection of reservoirs and Laing tops, so it's almost normal that I had six different tops and reservoirs for this review. I'll start with these three: a single, dual and triple top for the Laing pumps, costing 17, 26 and 35 EUR respectively.
    The build quality can be called flawless and all the required mounting material is, of course, included. Fortunately, the LED holes are on the back of the tops. Of course, a single Laing DDC-1T is usually more than enough to provide more than enough flow for all loops, but just as in any other hobby, there're watercooling enthusiasts, that just want to have this plus on performance. This is where dual tops come in or even this triple top, which offered more than 300l/h in my test!
    By the way, the single top is also available in black.


    The XSPC triple top in use - two videos for illustration:

    YouTube - Kanal von hwluxxbundymania

    YouTube - Kanal von hwluxxbundymania


    EK Water Blocks EK-DDC X-Top Laing DDC V2

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    The world-famous company EK Waterblocks is, of course, also in this roundup with a Laing top and so I got this current version in the rare white color. It's also available in clear and white. It comes in a retail box with all the required screws. The version out of acrylic glass also offers holes for LEDs on the back of the top. Overall, the product makes a good impression: the build quality is good, it fits very well and the price is all right: around 20 EUR.


    XSPC Dual Bay Reservoir One & Two & Bayres (Version with Plastic Frontplate = EOL)

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    These three XSPC reservoirs make a little exception in this roundup with their mountability in two 5.25"-cages. Up to two Laing DDC-1T pumps can be mounted directly in the reservoirs and be run in two unused drive cages. The Bayres with black acryl front plate is a version, which has been around for some time and is being replaced by the other two, but is still available in some shops. The Bayres One and Two come with two replaceable front plates each, especially creating good looks in combination with aluminum cases.
    You should always try to keep the fill level over 3/4 to keep the noise level low and the air bubbles out of the loop. You fill the reservoirs over an opening in the top that closes with an included sealing plug and an O-ring. There is also a metal adapter available at additional charge that can be used to create another G1/4" thread instead of the filling hole.
    Apart from the countless screws, an Allen key is also included for changing the front plates and a blue 5mm LED. The craftsmanship is once again flawless.
    While the two pumps share one large reservoir in the older EOL-product, the new version (Bayres Two) features a wall in the middle, creating two separate reservoirs with a separate filling hole each. The old version also features a plate to use the reservoir with only one pump. To reduce the noise it makes, the reservoirs are fitted with two rubber bands, helping to reduce the amount of vibrations sent to the case.
    This works pretty well, but I still recommend reducing the pump's performance for those on the lookout for a silent system, even though the mass of the reservoir helps to reduce the vibrations.
    Theses three products really show no weaknesses. The pumps have to be mounted in a 90° angle because of the mounting holes on the Laings, but this can easily be solved with a saw or any other tool.
    The XSPC Bay Res. are available for around 45-50 EUR



    The test procedure:

    For measuring the flow rates I used the system presented above with an Aquaero/Aquasuite and a flowmeter by Aquacomputer. After switching the pump's top, I let the system run for three hours to get rid of any air that might be trapped in the loop. I measured the highest flow rates after one hour of full load, independent of the way of mounting of the fittings. Some tops feature both threads on the front and on the top, but the inlet on the top always offered best flow rates, but only barely better than the other way, so I'll not incur this in the charts.
    When using the XSPC reservoirs, you should always take note of the minimum fill amount of 3/4, so that they don't suck in air.


    Results:

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    Flow rates: Liter/hour



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    Noise, my subjective impression from 60cm distance - smaller value is better



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    Price in Euro


    This roundup should have offered the right top for every user. You shouldn't just buy the top because of the best flow, but have a look at the product in general.
    When it comes to single tops, I was pleasantly surprised by the Zern P12 top, offering great value for money, while getting to number one on the noise-chart. This chart shouldn't be too important, as every person has a different impression of noise, but I'm sure that even a person with hearing disabilities will be able to hear a difference between the first and the last place.
    I couldn't see many differences in the midfield, even though the Watercool top did disappoint me a bit.
    I really like XSPC's idea to combine reservoirs and Laing tops, that can easily be mounted in unused drive cages.



    Thanks: I'd like to thank the following companies for the support of this roundup:

    www.a-c-shop.de , www.aquatuning.de , www.alphacool.de , www.ekwaterblocks.com , www.watercool.de , www.aqua-computer.de , www.xspc.biz , www.gelidsolutions.com , www.zern.at , www.koolance.com , www.highflow.nl , www.thermochill.com , www.mips-computer.de , www.laing.de
    Animalpak says thanks.

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