Swiftech has created a new, easier and cheaper way of motherboard-cooling in cooperation with ASUS. Usually, the problem with watercooling a motherboard is the difficult installation on the one hand and the fact that every component needs its own waterblock on the other hand. To remove one stock heatsink means removing all the others as well since everything is connected by heatpipes. With the NBMAX, most of the stock cooling solution remains in place and only one easily accessible centerpiece is replaced with a waterblock.
On a more personal note let me say that we fell in love with the GTZ block when we reviewed it and we’ve now fell in love with the MCW-NBMAX all this time around. It’s so darn sexy that we can’t stop looking at it (yes, we know how foolish that sounds, oh well). The MCW-NBMAX not only has the look but also the performance to simply outclass the vaunted ASUS heatpipes. Overall, the Northbridge load temperature dropped by 13°C and the Southbridge benefits from the NBMAX as well, seeing a temperature drop of 10°C. With the MCW-NBMAX installed, the northbridge temperature never passed the 42°C mark, with our test rig remained very consistent and stable during all of our test runs.
Unfortunately, a stock Fusion waterblock from ASUS wasn’t available for this test so we couldn’t test whether the NBMAX has an advantage over ASUS’ own watercooling solution. One advantage the Swiftech block clearly has, though, is many different options for fittings offered by the two G ¼ threads. Yes, no more ugly 3/8 to ½” adaptors that are ASUS’ solution for attaching larger tubing to the fixed barbs of their Fusion Block. Another advantage, as we’ve just found out, is that the NBMAX is indeed compatible with the Asus Rampage II Extreme (X58) motherboard, so this is a great news to Rampage II Extreme owners.
We eagerly recommend the Swfitech MCW-NBMAX block for your next water cooling upgrade, it will definitely make your Northbridge happier, allowing you to push your overclocking even further thanks to the lower temperatures.
Our thanks go to Swiftech for providing the NBMAX for this review.