Larkooler Universal High Performance Complete CPU / VGA / Chipset / Mosfet Liquid Cooling Kit Review

Cooling/Water Cooling by leeghoofd @ 2009-12-28

Today we take a closer look at a complete water cooling kit from Larkooler, provided to us by the guys at The BA2-244 Larkooler kit includes CPU, VGA, Northbridge and Mosfet water blocks. We compare its performance with the different components hooked up to an overclocked Intel Core i7 setup.

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Test Methodology and results

Testing Methodology

Like in the our previous I7 roundup we tested in the same way. This time however we put the complete kit into a case, not my usual home made cube case. First the test setup :

Leeghoofd's I7 950 Test Setup
CPUIntel I7 950 @ 3.8Ghz 1.20 vcore HT ON
Cooling Stock cooler, TRUE 120, & Larkooler kit
MainboardAsus Rampage Gene II 0809 bios
Memory6Gb Corsair Dominator PC16000 C8-8-8-24 1T
PSU Enermax Galaxy 1kw

  • All test were started at 22°C ambient temp. The rig was allowed to heat up the fluid during half an hour at idle speed 3.8ghz at 1.2Vcore (no EIST enabled). Small note : under load the Asus Rampage Gene II, tends to slightly overvolt. So during testing the Vcore was fluctuating between 1.21-1.22Vcore.

  • As CPU testing program I used Prime95 Custom 20K run for 1 hour stressing all 8 cores ( HT enabled ) For the GPU tests I will run a 30 minute ATI tool scan for artifacts.

  • The CPU/GPU temp are monitored by Everest Home, GPU-Z and the CPU core temperatures by Realtemp. All are nice programs as they log the temps measured (making my life easier). IOH temps are readout via Asus Probe II in windows (comparison with stock heatsink and added NB cooling block)

  • Setup 1: I test the Larkooler kit with CPU block only (kit BA2-241)
  • Setup 2: I add the NB block.
  • Setup 3: The GPU block mounted onto an 8800GTS 512 card is added.

    I was unable to mount the MOSFET block as my motherboard was not compatible with its design.

  • Madshrimps (c)
    NB Block added to the Rampage Gene II's IOH

    We compare the results with a stock air cooled rig (boxed coolers), then the CPU cooled by a Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme (TRUE 120). Now let's see what this kit can do :

    Madshrimps (c)

    The Intel boxed cooler can just keep the CPU from throttling at 3.8Ghz... a very non healthy situation if I must say so. The Larcooler kit in its 3 different setups cools almost as good as my washer modded TRUE 120. Taking into account the small heat dissipation area and very thin tubing, this result really surprised me. I honestly suspected far worse results. CPU core temps remained well in the green zone, even when the loop was equipped with the NB and GPU block the cooling performance was quite close to the TRUE.

    The stock IOH heatsink on the Gene II is the board's main flaw. Being underdimensioned when the board is being overclocked. With the Intel boxed cooler running flat-out, the IOH get's loads of hot CPU air over its tiny fins. When the CPU is being cooled by the Thermalright cooler the IOH temps drop to a more comfortable 63°C. Shocking result for some might be setup 1 of the Larkooler kit. Yet it is understandable when you take away the airflow in that region, that surrounding parts will heat up big time. Even surpassing the scary temps of the Intel boxed cooler. But when we add the NB block things improve drastically. Adding the GPU block to the loop doesn't affect the IOH nor CPU cooling performance much.

    Last but not least we added the VGA block into the loop (Setup 3). Usually in any WC setup, this has got a big influence on the GPU temps. The Larkooler unit didn't disappoint here. Dropping idle temps with 8°C. But more spectacular are the load temps. The Larkooler unit reduces temps by almost 25°C, while the stock cooler was already spinning at 65% to keep temps in the 70°C region. These GPU tests were executed with the CPU in idle mode.
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