Danger Den TDX CPU Block Review


Welcome to my review of the Danger Den TDX CPU waterblock.  This is the Danger Den standard TDX model which is designed for single or dual core processors.  Danger Den's other model the MC-TDX is designed for dual or quad core processors.  They both utilize the same type of casting construction and tops, but they have different pin matrix designs, coverage areas, and nozzle components.  Let see more of this block and see how it does. 

Package Contents                    

Danger Den PackageLet's enjoy our typical "opening up a new present" moment and see what you get as part of the packaging.  First off my box of Danger Den goodies arrived via FedEx in a well packaged box, and the delivery person even range my doorbell to hand deliver the package, that was a nice pleasant surprise!  I received several products that were all boxed nicely in a standard box with packaging peanuts and it was professionally packaged box in a box style double protection.

Specifications & Features

  • Accelerator Plate #1
  • 100% copper 110 material
  • Acrylic and brass top options
  • Threaded fitting ports are G 1/4 BSPP for use with any similar spec fittings.
  • Complete Block with O-Ring
  • Pressure Tested to 50psi
  • High flow 1/4", 3/8", or 1/2" Chrome Plated Fittings
  • Machine lapped and flat mirror polished
  • Stainless steel hold down
  • Anti-Tarnish coating applied to prevent tarnis from finger prints or environmental changes.  This specialized formula also has no affect on cooling potential.
  • All Copper - No aluminum or coated aluminum that can have galvanic corrosion, all materials are copper, brass, stainless steel, or lucite.
  • Preassembled block and barbs  - No waste in plastic barbs you won't use and perfect barb installation.
  • LGA 775 Only Custom top - Provides a more custom look, rather than a univeral hold down with many leftover holes.

Photo Gallery

Here are several pictures I've taken at different angles and distances to give you a good viewing of the block for yourself.  I'm mixing a few others within the entire review as well, but here is a large majority of the pictures for your viewing pleasure.  (Click thumbnails to enlarge):


Integrated Accelerator Nozzle Seat and Nozzle Plate

The Danger Den TDX CPU block is designed specifically to run a nozzle.  Water cooling and water block design is a careful balance of restriction vs thermal performance.  While a completely open cavity block may have very little restriction, it's not going to perform very well.  You need an adequate amount of heat transfer surface contact area, and you need high turbulence.  

Let me try to explain what occurs in a water block nozzle.  A nozzle provides a reduced cross sectional area and increases velocities.  Because water and most fluids are considered incompressible, you have the same flow rate in all parts of the system in a close circuit like we have in water cooling.  Because flow rate is a constant, when the cross sectional area is reduced, the fluid must travel at a higher velocity.  Assuming your system flow rate is 1.5 gallons per minute the Danger Den TDX nozzle would increase velocity in the fluid something similar to this:

So as you can see the nozzle is producing a jet stream that is almost 3X the speed of the coolant in 1/2" tubing.  This increased velocity improves the scrubbing effect of the waterblock base and floor as the stream of water crashes through the channels and impacts the internal floor of the water block where it is needed most.  The nozzle plate also helps spread the flow more equally into each of the serpentine channels that are part of the TDX block.  Finally this increased velocity provides turbulence or a mixing of the water in this critical area, this ensures that colder water molecules in the center of the jet stream have a better chance at coming into contact with the channel walls and absorbing heat generated by the base.

Additional Accelerator Nozzles Available

Danger Den also has a TDX 5 nozzle kit available at thier site.  One big advantage of a nozzle setup for waterblocks is the ability for the user to utilize different nozzles depending on the user needs.  Depending on your particular pump, your particular CPU,  and what else you may or may not be cooling in this same cooling loop, you may find one of the other nozzles to provide better performance than the standard nozzle #1.  Danger Den provides 5 nozzles, 4 of which are premade, and 1 blank for you to design your own.

Construction, Materials, Quality, and Aesthetics

Overall construction of the block and attention to detail is superb.  

The base is very finely cast from C110 copper and having seen some casting problems in past on other blocks, I was pleasantly suprise that I could not find any.  The TDX utilizes a combination of chanels and drill hole dimples to create an array of serpentine channels so water will encounter changes in shape and cross section as it flows through these channels.  The serpentine shape will mean more water will change directions and mix and impact the walls.  To the right you can see a macro view of thes channel construction and note the nozzle holder wall on each side specifically designed to accomodate nozzles.  The base bottom is very adequate in finish, you can see by the photo above in the gallery how it is a nicely finished base nearly a mirror in reflection and a straightedge test proved flatness to be excellent.  It's fairly common knowledge that lapping a base much beyond 1000 grit no longer yields additional performance gains, so the specified 1200 grit is more than adequate.  

The top is fabricated of 3/8" (9.3mm) thickness acrylic sheet and is very precisely CNC machined and the edges are nicely finished.  Some folks may not prefer the use of Acrylic (Lucite) due to durability concerns. Fortunately for you all metal block-heads out there, Danger Den has produced the same top in a brass option for you to choose from and it's at a very reasonable price.  Go for a brass top if you want that added durability.

The barbs are nickel plated brass, (no flimsy cheap plastic barbs here!).  Using my digital calipers the inside diameter is a heavy 10.15mm, that's as bored out as it gets for G1/4 threading.  The barbs have all been installed and the block pressure tested at 85psi, so no worries about leaks, you shouldn't have to touch these barbs, they come preinstalled and pressure tested.  On some of my other blocks that came with plastic barbs, I had a hard time getting tubing back off of them and getting tubing onto them without the barbs turning on me, brass barbs don't have that problem.  Danger Den has also sent me some samples of their new barbs they plan on incorporating that are a fantastic compliment and significant improvement over the ones shown in the above photos. See the new barbs on my review page here.

The block screws as previously noted are a stainless round-head type screw that appears to be a nice 6-32 screw dimension and the head itself receive a standard 2mm allen head.  All of the remaining mounting hardware appears to be in good order, nice larger brass thumbscrews and the necessary studs, springs, nuts and washers and appear to be in the 4-40 threading form.

The block is very nice to look at with a high level attention to detal.  Perhaps it's due to the transparent top, or perhaps it's the design of the copper mini pin matrix base and all that surface area for heat conductivity.  I also appreciate the integrated hold down and top.  A personal preference of mine is to have a top that looks custom.  The block exceed my expectations in this area, but I encourage you to look more at the pictures and decide for yourself.

Hydraulics and Pressure Drop Testing

The most scientific way to determine a blocks hydraulic resistance is to test pressure drop. Pressure drop is a measurement of pressure loss across a block that varies with flow rate.  This is basically a measurement of energy loss, and directly influences how much flow rate you will have.

  • Dwyer Digital Manometer 475 Mark III - Accuracy .5% of Full Scale.  Range 0-200" W.C., Resolution .1" W.C.
  • King Instruments 7520 Series 0-5GPM, 250mm scale - Accuracy 2% of Full Scale.  Range 0-5GPM, Resolution .1GPM (can be interpolated to .02GPM)
  • Water Source - Household water pressure - 50PSI at >5GPM - Because flow rate readings are instantaneous, household tap water and water pressure are a good and powerful source for pressure drop testing.

The pressure drop testing results were very good, about the same as a D-Tek Fuzion WITHOUT a nozzle (with washer), and even better than most cross flow blocks like the Apogee GTX.  It's also substantially better than most nozzled type CPU blocks as you can see below:

Therefore overall pressure drop on Danger Den's TDX is VERY GOOD in general and EXCEPTIONAL for a nozzled block!  The TDX and nozzle #1 is not very restrictive at all and would do well in multiple block loops where too much CPU restriction could affect performance of other blocks.  You can see just how much lower the pressure drop is than a D-Tek Fuzion with a 4.4mm nozzle and washer.

The DD TDX with Nozzle #1 has 7X Less restriction than a D-Tek Fuzion with 4.4mm nozzle and washer

Very impressive pressure drop for a nozzled block!

Installation on an Evga 680i

The installation on the 680i was not a problem at all.  I actually preferred the larger 6-32 threading of the TDX kit over my previous 4-40 bolts from my D-Tek Fuzion kit.  Very basic and straightforward installation.

Thermal Testing

Testing In Progress....Coming Soon

Conclusion and Recommendation

To provide some sort of recommending criteria, I'm establishing the following with a 0-10 scale of excellence.
Criteria Rating Notes
Design 10 It's a good design, and unigue from other blocks
Quality 10 I'm very impressed by the flawlessness of all parts included
Compatibility 10 This is specified as a "Universal" block, so it was not specifically designed for the 680i
Materials 10 Multiple top options make this a 10.
Pressure Drop 10 The NEW KING of Nozzled CPU blocks!
Thermal Performance ? Testing in progress
Overall ? ?

So far so good, just need to do some thermal testing to wrap this up..

Where to buy

Danger Den's Website