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The Danger Den Maze Showdown

Techware Labs gratefully recognizes Directron and Danger Den's support in making this review possible!

Review by Konrad

June 6, 2002

Directron carries a wide variety of products for your overclocking needs. Find them here. Be sure to use the special  $10 of $100 Directron offer by entering coupon code "firsthardware10pub" when checking out for instant savings. Techware Labs appreciates your patronage.



        Since its founding Danger Den has quickly grown to make itself a well known name in water-cooling components. Danger Den had a great trademark of testing all water blocks at over 1000psi. Quality has always been important in the making of their water blocks. There have been many advancements in water block design.  The maze style block has been most popular and seemingly most effective to date. Danger Den took that idea and ran with it to create the Maze 1. Soon after  the Maze 2 followed. The block would be later revised and improved upon. Just as you thought it couldn't get much better they revealed the Maze3. All of their blocks are now peltier compatible and can be purchased with a matching cold plate.


Maze 2  

    The big brother to the Maze1, it is the first of the Danger Den series of blocks to utilize the motherboard mounting holes and be able to sustain 2 peltiers. The hold down mechanism is very well designed but sometimes difficult if you do not have access to the back of the motherboard. The spring loaded nylon bolts  provide a sufficient force to hold the block down and are easily mounted and adjusted by hand. By seeing the springs you also get a feeling of how much force is being applied to your CPU. The long nylon bolts allow for the future use of a cold plate without replacing the mounting hardware.

Maze 3

    The fact that the new Maze 3's are no longer rated at 1000psi because of the Lucite top was not really that much of a disappointment. They are still well within safe ratings for any "normal" water cooling setup. The Lucite top gives it a much more attractive look. It also allows for maintenance of the water block. Untreated or poorly treated water can cause growths and accumulation of debris inside the block which will later on degrade performance. The previous MAZE 2 water block was sealed permanently but the new MAZE3 can be opened with an Allen key by unscrewing the 4 screws. Another great revision is the placement of the fittings which come in both 1/2" and 3/8"ths size. They are now further away from the mounting holes for the nylon bolts and do not interfere with thick silicone tubing. The maze design of the Maze 3 improved upon the Maze 2 by removing of any angled turns in the canal which diminish water flow rates. Both are designed to have water enter over the CPU and circle around the center before exiting. This allows for the coldest water to flow directly over the CPU. Within the channel itself there is an inscribed mini channel along the bottom which I assume is to increase surface area and provide the water with slightly more turbulence so that the water is heated equally.


The revised maze design of the Maze 2.       The improved design of the Maze 3. You can see that all sharp turns have been removed in the maze allowing water to flow easily.

The maze 3 (left) has been made slightly wider measuring 3" x 2.125" x 7/8" , while the maze 2 (right) is longer (3.15" x 2" x 5/8").

Cutting a hole in the back of the motherboard tray provides easy access to mount the nylon bolts, and allows for mounting of the water block without removal of the motherboard. This is especially useful for those who constantly remove the water block or switch between different ones.

(Left Maze 3, Right Maze 2)

(Maze 2)

The new positioning of the fittings allows for plenty of clearance for thick silicon tubing and easier tightening of the nylon bolts.

Both blocks are well lapped. The maze 2 (left) is slightly scratched and has lost some of its original luster because I have used it for a few months before the Maze 3 was revealed but originally it was in a condition similar to that of the Maze3.

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