Lowbudget water cooling kits roundup

Cooling/Water Cooling by DUR0N @ 2003-04-16

Thanks to Colorcase.be we were able to put head 2 head 3 different out-of-the-box and ready-to-go water cooling kits. We threw a highend aircooling solution in the mix to present you with this lowbudget water chilled roundup!

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Intro + Thermaltake Aquarius 2

Introduction :

As processor speeds tends to go up we also notice the heat dissipation of these power beasts sour high! It's not uncommon for a recent CPU to put out more then 100W of heat. Air-cooling a processor is doable if your room temperature is low enough and you don't mind to have a (noisy) fan running in the background while your work/game.

There was been an upcoming trend from manufactures to offer the PC enthusiast a way to keep their cpu cool with water cooling kits. More experienced users have already jumped into the idea with both feet, some came out rather disappointed while others had remarkably good results. To successfully build your own water cooling you have to select the right parts to begin with and then hope that it all works as intended.
So here we see these complete kits on the shelves which offer the less experienced PC user a chance to water cool their CPU and have a quieter/better performing system than before.

Of course not all of these kits are created equally and that's why we decided to test 3 of those today. Which one of these low-cost water cooling kits is top of the hill and how does it compare to a high end air-cooling solution? (Presented here by use of a Thermalright SLK800, which proved to be the best in our recent air-cooling roundup found here)

So let's start of by showing you the first kit:

Thermaltake Aquarius 2

What's in the box?

Madshrimps (c)
This box!

We have here nine things in this rather small cardboard box.

1. Waterblock.

Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)

This water block has a copper base with an aluminium cover. It looks neat and weighs heavy enough to severely wound a male person with one hit. We had a movie of me trying this out on my brother, but it went lost somewhere in the endless bytes on my HD.
The block is better designed then most water blocks. But more on this later.

2. Pump with reservoir.

Madshrimps (c)

Yeah! No messing with pumps or extra hoses, the pump is mounted in the main reservoir and takes its power from a 12v source. The connector is initially one for a fan on your main board (you can measure the rpm of the pump instead of the rpm of a fan, because it has 3 wires) but a converter for molex’s comes with the kit.
The reservoir itself is quite tidy and can be placed anywhere in your case as it comes with a set of magnets.

3. Extra water reservoir.

Madshrimps (c)

You might run low on water on hot days of folding or other CPU intensive tasks, and if the water in the main tanks starts to evaporate, you'll quickly have a water shortage problem. That's why Thermaltake made an extra reservoir which can be fit outside your case. It's also the only way to refill your watercooling setup, so again no messing with water in your case!

4. Tubing.

Madshrimps (c)

Even the tubing was been thoroughly thought about. They have put a giant spring in it so it's almost impossible to bend-close your hose.

5. Clips.

Madshrimps (c)

Some clips to seal of the tubing.

6. Bolts' joints for P4.

Madshrimps (c)

Short guide:
To mount the kit on a P4, you'll have to squeeze the water block between two brackets which are connected with bolts.
Take off the motherboard, attach one bracket and push the bolts trough the main board. Reattach your motherboard and mount your CPU. Place the water block and put the second bracket on top of it. Tighten the bolts so the bracket makes pressure on the block and you're done. Now wasn't that simple? ;-)

7. Clips for AMD.

Madshrimps (c)

Shorter guide:
attach it to the socket.

8. Radiator.

Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)

A full copper radiator, that's something you don't see everyday in most budget water-cooling kits and this one even looks like winner. Off course it's a little small to cool your CPU, graphics card, northbridge, HD's, soundcard and networkcard, but it's enough to keep your CPU at bay.

9. Thermaltake fan.

A shiny orange fan, with a nice airflow, but you'll have to take the noise with it. No compromises here.

Part 2: The installation

Lots of people who are thinking about buying a water-cooling kit are frightened by the fact that they have to install it themselves. Actually, it's not very difficult and you can even understand the german/chinese manual because of the pictures. But I bet you want more? Ok, we're mad enough to make crazy movies about CD-rom drives, so why not a simple movie about the installation of this kit?

Download/Full Screen - click here

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