cooling

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Akuatek Extreme FS92

Though the Akuatek looks like a run-of-the-mill heatsink/fan setup, it’s actually a water-cooler in the same vein as Cooler Master’s Aquagate Mini. The heatsink comes prefilled with water, which circulates throughout the device, aiding in cooling.

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Swiftech H20-120 Premium

We reviewed the new Premium version of the H20-120, which is Swiftech’s standard high-performance water-cooling kit. Since we last reviewed the kit, Swiftech made several changes in order to simplify installation, improve performance, and promote silent operation. All in all, Swiftech has fixed almost every issue the previous kit had, with one exception—the instructions are still horrible.

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Thermaltake Bigwater 745

The previous version of Thermaltake’s Bigwater received a smackdown from us last year, and though this new kit is significantly improved, it still suffers a fatal flaw.

The biggest change to the kit is the addition of a second radiator. That’s right, the kit sports two radiators—one large, one small. You’ll bolt the small one to the rear of your case, and set up the second double-wide radiator on four little feet outside your case.

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Swiftech Apex Ultra

When Swiftech said it was sending us the most extreme kit it has ever built, the drooling commenced. The kit arrived, and sure enough, it’s extreme—and it performs extremely well, to boot. But while it’s the best-performing kit we’ve ever tested, it’s not perfect.

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Cooler Master Hyper L3

Typically, people swap out their heatsink/fan apparatus for one that is either quieter than the stock cooler or capable of better cooling performance. Cooler Master’s Intel-only Hyper L3 doesn’t grant enough improvement on either front to warrant a switch.

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Corsair Nautilus 500

Corsair claims its new Nautilus kit is both affordable and easy to install, while providing exceptional cooling performance. And we’re happy to report that the kit meets most of Corsair’s claims.

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Thermaltake Tide Water

Now that GPU temperatures are exceeding CPU temps, water-cooling has become a much more appealing way to deliver exceptional cooling to your videocard without a lot of noise. The problem is, no one has built stand-alone GPU water-cooling kits—until now. Thermaltake’s Tide Water is an innovative product that indeed succeeds at cooling your GPU in silence. Trouble is, the omission of RAM heatsinks means that while your GPU will be chillin’, the rest of your videocard will be suitable for grillin’.

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Cooler Master Susurro

Cooler Master says that the word Susurro means “silent” in Latin. And we believe it, based on this cooler’s sound profile (and the fact that we looked the word up). The Susurro specs list the noise output at 16dbA, and that sounds about right. Unfortunately, while this cooler is quiet and easy to mount, its cooling performance is lacking.

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Sytrin Nextherm ICS 8200 ML

The only thing missing from the refrigerated case from Nextherm is a chilled six-pack.