Swiftech GTZ and the Core i7 965

Overall Score


Swiftech was kind enough to send us a 1366 mounting bracket for the GTZ, their highend watercooling block.  Today, we get to see how the mighty GTZ handles a Core i7 965 processor on an Asus P6T Deluxe motherboard.

The Swiftech GTZ has been out for a short time now, but long enough to make its presence heard.  There isn’t a better CPU waterblock on the market at the moment.  The EK Supreme and Dtek FuZion v2 come close to matching its performance, but are still just a hare behind.  You can check out our review of all three blocks on a Socket 775 system here.

The mounting bracket is very similar to the Socket 775 version, the only differences being the lenght of the arms and the backplate.  Both were obviously necessary changes to accomidate the different hole pattern for Socket1366.


The reason the backplate is a square instead of an ‘X’ is because of the backplate for the 1366 cpu hold down bracket.  You will see exactly what we mean when we get to installation and setup.



To test the performance of the Swiftech GTZ we put together a simple loop on our test bench.  It consists of the following:

  • DangerDen GT 240 radiator
  • Two Evercool Aluminum 120mm Case Fans at 84CFM each
  • Switech GTZ with 1366 mounting bracket
  • Swiftech MicroRes rev2
  • Swiftech MCP655 Pump
  • Asus P6T Deluxe w/ 3GB of OCZ DDR3 1333
  • Core i7 965 C0 stepping at stock 3.2GHz and at 4.0GHz


There is no comparison test setup at the moment.  We are working on a ThermalRight Ultra Extreme-120 with the Socket 1366 mounting kit and will include those numbers in this review when available.


We used prime95 to load test the cpu.  Prime95 is great because it automatically runs 8 threads to max out the CPU.  You can adjust the amount of threads you want to run from 1 to the number of logical and physical cores on your CPU. 


As you can see in the diagram above, there is a box to enter the number of threads.  For stress testing the CPU you want to select the small FFTs tab indicated by the top arrow.

Installing the 1366 mounting bracket is very simple.  The first step is to remove the bolts holding the waterblock together.


Once you have the block and Socket 775 mounting bracket apart, flip over the Socket 775 mounting bracket and push it down slightly.  This gives you better access to the retention ring that holds the lock down screw in place.


You can use a small flat head screwdriver or a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the washer.


Once that’s done all that’s left is mounting the new Socket 1366 mounting bracket and screwing the block back together.  When you are finished, you are left with a sweet looking waterblock!




What we like about the newer GTZ’s is that Swiftech changed the head of the lock down bolts.  You are now left with a smaller, and less prone to wearing out, phillips head.  The old one wore out after about 5 installation and removals on our Socket 775 system.


Just to be clear, the GTZ has plenty of real estate on the bottom to cover the monolithic Core i7 CPU.


Installing the GTZ on the Asus P6T is the same as any other motherboard.  You use the backplate and screw it in and done!




As mentioned in the beginning of this review, the backplate is square and as you can see below, the reason is quite clear.



There you go!  Very simple and except for the slightly larger mounting bracket, there is no difference in appearance between this and the Socket 775 version.


Prime95 was ran for 30 minutes on each load testing.  After the 30 minutes was up, we used Realtemp to measure the CPU temps on each core.



The idle results for the stock Core i7 965 are right in line with the stock readings on the QX9650 and the GTZ taken from our Top Gun Shootout review.  The load temps at 3.2GHz are again in line with the results of the GTZ on the QX9650.  You also have to remember that prime95 is testing all 8 threads which puts more stress and adds more heat to the Core i7 965 chip.  It is really amazing that the Swiftech GTZ can keep such a large chip that cool at full CPU utilization, especially given the fact that the 965 runs 200MHz faster, has HT and the test system we were using had a much smaller radiator.

At 4GHz, we see that idle temps are really low, again.  But when we start pumping 8 threads through the Core i7 965 we see it heat up all the way to 77C.  The Core i7 really heats up quickly when running 4GHz or more.  If that’s the case, what kind of impact does HT have on heating up the CPU?


Taking a look at the graph above shows you just what to expect from disabling HT.  Compared to the load temps on a QX9650 at 4GHz, the Core i7 still runs warmer.  Now, a majority of the heat is due to the smaller radiator used in testing the GTZ on the P6T Deluxe.  You can expect a 5-10C difference depending on the cooling solutions used.  A Feser Xchanger 360mm radiator would be able to keep the Core i7 under check at those higher speeds. 

Regardless of the cooling solution used, the GTZ shows a difference of 12-18C when HT is disabled.  You can expect significantly more heat and a larger temperature delta the higher you overclock the Core i7 965 with HT enabled.

Once again we are very impressed with the GTZ, so much so in fact that this block is going to be the featured CPU waterblock in XCPUS.com’s upcoming Ultimate Rig (Leviathan).  As more mounting brackets become available, we will be testing out more waterblocks on the brand new Core i7 system.

You can find out more about the GTZ and all the other great watercooling gear Swiftech has to offer here.

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