XSPC X2O Water Cooling Kit Review

Cooling/Water Cooling by KeithSuppe @ 2006-02-12

XSPC is fairly new to the water cooling world. Their first water cooling kit has been knighted X20. The kit is both compact and compatible with most motherboard sockets. In this respect X20 may be the ideal entry level kit.

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AMD Installation & Testing

AMD Socket-939 installation

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As specifications indicate on the preceding page the X20 is compatible with Socket-939, 754, 940, Intel LGA-775, Socket-478, Socket-603 and Socket-604. While this may not be surprising, many water blocks are capable of multiple systems mounting, what's unique about the X20 is that all this is accomplished with a single mounting plate. Four spring-mounted bolts are supplied, two of which are unnecessary with AMD platforms. In this respect I must applaud XSPC in their goal to simplify multiple socket-mounting. Below we see the mounting plate and hardware.

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Installing the radiator section was simple; four risers create an approximate 3.81cm buffer between the case rear and radiator ample for unrestricted air flow. The radiator can be mounted internally as well per X20's instructions. I mounted the radiator at the rear of the case with fan and fittings facing out to eliminate sharp bends or possible kinks in the hoses; and to ensure ambient room air was being drawn in. The radiator is well constructed thin walled steel with ample copper internal tubing. The unit is finished in black with two pre-chromed plates which screw into the sides of the radiator, these wrap around the front and rear of the radiator providing mounting holes for fan and riser screws. Over time I've come to discover the radiator is an integral piece of hardware in any H20 system and from our test results XSPC is well aware of the radiator's role. They sell some high-quality units including a series known as the Crossflow.

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The system mounted easily onto the DFI Lanparty nF4 UT and into the Thermaltake Kandalf aluminum tower. What makes the unit a space saver is its incorporating the pump into the reservoir which has both its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is the elimination of a stand alone reservoir and of course the additional length of tubing. As hose lengths increase pump pressure and flow rate is affected. A disadvantage to a submersible pump would be the amount of heat that pump dissipates into the water itself, raising temps. The ramifications of a submersible insofar as raising water-temps are widely exaggerated; in fact even the largest submersible pumps have very little impact on overall water-temp.

AMD Tests

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AMD Test System
CPU Althlon-64 3500 Retail Socket-939
Mainboard DFI LAN party UT nF4 Ultra-D
Memory Corsair TwinX2048-4000PT (2x1024MB DC CL3-4-4-8)
Mushkin XP4400 (2X512MB DC CL2.5-4-4-8)
Graphics AOpen Aeolus 7800GTX-DVD256
Power Supply PCPower&CoolingTurboCool 850 SSI
Cooling XSPC X20
Alphacool CPU-waterblockNexXxos XP nickel plated. Alphacool pump AP1510 Centrifugal w/Voltage regulator. Alphacool CAPE Cora 642 passive radiators. 8/10mm Internal/external tubing
Operating System Windows XP

For our AMD test system the A64 3500 was run at default speed and Vcore 11x200FSB=2200MHz / Vcore=1.34V and then overclocked at 10x250FSB=2500MHz / Vcore=1.475V.

CPU temps were then measured at IDLE and LOAD in which the CPU was pushed to 100% LOAD using the CPU/Memory/VGA stress-test utility S&M. Measurements were taken with the Thermaltake Kandalf tower case bottomed up, the fan compliments = 120mm front intake, 90mm rear exhuast.

Tests were performed over a four hour period with a consistent ambient room temperature of 19°C/66°F. Thumbnails below enlarge CPU-Z, WCPUCLK, Smartguardian and S&M screenshots indicating system speed, voltages; temps and system status (IDLE or LOAD). CPU-Z was mis-reproting voltages which 9as stated above) ran deafult and then 1.475V overclocked.

2211MHz IDLE | 2211MHz LOAD | 2500MHz IDLE | 2500MHz LOAD

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