1A-Cooling SET-5Z280V1 Water Cooling Kit Review

Cooling/Water Cooling by DUR0N @ 2004-12-16

Aah, I remember it well. It was a cloudy Belgian Sunday, with nothing more to do then watching the good ?old electric tube and smoking the pipe. Little did I know there we?re forces in play who wanted me to do some reviewing. Seems like the OC gods were restless, so the best thing to do was to sacrifice them a review. Since my editor dropped off the A1 water cooling kit the other day, I could really please the gods this time. Maybe they would use their divine powers to give me that Mustang I always ask for Christmas!

  • prev
  • next

Installation and Tests


The installation of this kit is actually fairly easy and can be done by anyone with basic knowledge of pliers (or very strong hands).

All installed:

Madshrimps (c)

How it was done:

First take the fittings and attach them to the water block, the pump, the reservoir and the radiator. Now, install the components without any tubing. DONT boot your system yet, or you'll fry your CPU.

With the different components installed, you can easily measure the necessary amount of tubing needed for each connection. Try bending the tubing as you want it to be and cut them to length appropriately. Now, disconnect everything again and build your setup out of your case. By this I mean just connect everything to each other with the tubing, the place in line is not really important. (It's a loop you know...) Fill the reservoir with water and start the pump. The reservoir will be drained because just about all the water will be looping through the tubing, so fill the reservoir up again, and close it.

Let the water cooling kit running for at last a day and check from time to time for leaks (putting old newspaper under each component makes it easy to spot). Turn the radiator and the water block upside down a few times each time you check, to make sure there aren't any air bubbles in the system.

DON'T turn the pump or reservoir upside down, your pump will start to take air, which eventually could break your pump. Air in your loop isn't good anyway.

So if you're sure there aren't any leaks you can disconnect the power to the pump and install the kit, without disconnecting the tubing. Try to bend the tubing as little as possible, it might cause leaks. If it's installed like it should, turn on the pump again and check if again for leaks. This time it's safe after about 6h, but it you're confident enough, this could only take 5 minutes. Boot up your system and go in the bios to check the CPU temperature. If it's rising really (really!) quick, your water block isn't properly seated. So quickly turn off your PC (pull the plug!) and reseat it.

Now you're all set.

Madshrimps (c)
A tight fit!

This is how you use the dynamometer when installing the water block, the dynamometer allows you to put the exact amount of pressure on the CPU core / IHS:

Madshrimps (c)

25kg (2.5N) of pressure with one finger, neat!

Performance testing

First off, I installed this kit on 3 different main boards, because I was getting very low temperatures under load, turned out this kit's performance is truly impressive!

DUR0N's Athlon XP Test Setup
CPU AMD Athlon XP Tbred-B JIUCB 1700+ @ 1684mhz with 1,71v
Mainboard Abit KR7A-R (also: ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe and Chaintech 7VLJ)
Memory 512mb PC2700 Infineon
Video Card ATI Radeon 9600 (passive cooling)
Case A cheap generic metal one

The contestants:

  • 1A-Cooling SET-5Z280V1
  • asetek WaterChill Cooling KIT - KT03-L20 (reviewed here)
  • Alpha PAL 8045 + Enermax 80mm @ full speed
  • Swiftech MCX462-V + Enermax 80mm @ full speed

    SuperPi 2x32Mb calculations were used to create 100% CPU load during at least 2 hours. Room temperature was 19°C during all testing.

    The outcome:

    Madshrimps (c)

    There are a few things that have to be taken into account when viewing this graph. You will see there is a 5v/7v difference between the asetek and the 1A-Cooling Kit. This is because I didn't really know how much volt the fans were using when the switch on the 1A-Cooling kit, so I decided to give the fans 5v with my own rheobus while leaving the kit's switch in the 12v position. The asetek kit however clearly states 7v near the jumper so no doubts here.
    • prev
    • next