It's been rumored that Intel plans to ship its upcoming Sandy Bridge-E processors without a cooler, leaving it up to enthusiasts to choose their own cooling solution, including ones designed by Intel. Serving as evidence that this will probably be the case, the chip maker is showing off its "Intel Thermal Solution RTS2011LC" cooler it designed in collaboration with Asetek.
Liquid cooling can be a scary proposition if you've only ever played with air. When it's your first time diving into the depths of liquid cooling, you can't help but envision a worst case scenario, one in which you end up accidentally soaking your motherboard and other pricey components with H20. Such horrific scenarios are becoming less of a concern as companies launch all-in-one liquid cooling setups, such as what you'll find on PNY's new XLR8 Liquid Cooled Graphics series.
Stock CPU coolers have their place, like in Aunt Mabel's machine or the spare parts bin. If you're planning to overclock the snot out of your system, a third party cooler should be high on your shopping list, lest you taunt the god of instability with high temps. There's another solution -- you could purchase a processor that's pre-packaged with a high-end cooler, only AMD and Intel haven't been real keen on going quite so far to encourage overclocking. That might change with Bulldozer.
Feeling wet behind the ears when it comes to liquid cooling? If so, Thermaltake's hoping to ease your trepidation with a new line of liquid cooling products that includes a special version of its Level 10 GT case and two additions to its Bigwater line. All three products are self-contained, all-in-one units that are purportedly easy to install.
PNY on Monday announced it was working with Asetek to "deliver liquid-cooled, high-end graphics cards that far outperform equivalent air cooled models," but stopped well short of providing any real details, like which cards would get the Asetek treatment and for how much. It looks like PNY was just waiting for the right moment, that moment being the E3 Expo that's now taking place, and has answered all the questions we had.
Rather than celebrate its 25th anniversary year with streamers, balloons, and cake, Antec opted instead to release a new self-contained liquid CPU cooling solution, the Kuhler H20 920. This is the successor to the 620 and was developed in conjunction with Asetek. Unlike a traditional liquid cooling loop, Antec promises high performance in a quick, easy-to-install package that doesn't require any maintenance.
How do you an overclock an Intel Core i7 980X processor to 4.6GHz with an idle temperature below zero degrees Celsius? Most people don't, but boutique system builder Digital Storm does with its new Sub-Zero Liquid Chilled System.
"The R&D conducted on this liquid chilled system has been the most labor intensive, but rewarding initiatives ever attempted by our engineers," said Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm's Director of Product Development. "With constant innovation happening in the hardware space, the demands on our engineers to design systems that optimize these components are unyielding. The Hailstorm gaming computer with the new Sub-Zero Liquid Chilled System fully maximizes the potential for each component like no other system we've ever built."
The Sub-Zero is made up of a series of TEC peltier coolers working in tandem with other liquid cooling components. Freezing liquid is delivered to the CPU, making ultra chilly temperatures (and high overclocks) possible.
As always, you have to pay to play, and a base configuration for rigs utilizing the new cooling solution start at $3,900.
As one of the few players in the all-in-one liquid-cooling market—which marks the midpoint between air-coolers and custom water-cooling loops—CoolIT’s coolers have to compete with Corsair’s Asetek collaborations as well as both other categories of coolers. CoolIT’s Eco A.L.C. cooler (reviewed June 2010) performed to within a few degrees Celsius of our champion air- and liquid-coolers, but its single fan was noisy and it didn’t significantly outpace our category leaders. The CoolIT Vantage A.L.C. has all the features of the Eco but adds an LED screen and a wireless receiver that will tie in with CoolIT’s upcoming Maestro control software. Can it match the performance of our category leader, the Corsair H70 (reviewed October 2010)?
The Vantage A.L.C. uses the same mounting system as the Eco—a three-position Intel Socket 775/1156/1366 bracket with backplates for each, plus an AMD bracket. The radiator is the same, though CoolIT uses a spacer to add a fan’s-width of space between the radiator and rear of the case, allowing for less turbulent airflow. The spacer is easily replaced with another 12cm fan if you want a two-fan configuration.
Kingston has zeroed in on water cooling enthusiasts with its latest memory line, the HyperX 'H2O' series. Available in dual- and triple-channel packages, these kits run up to 2133MHz and include water cooling barbs integrated onto the heatsinks.
"Water cooling is desirable for its quiet operation and long-term reliability. We are bringing HyperX H2O to market as a solution for PC enthusiasts who want to build water-cooled systems using high quality Kingston products," said Mark Tekunoff, senior technology manager, Kingston®. "HyperX H2O is a natural extension of Kingston’s offerings for performance users. Our goal is for users of all levels and interests to have a Kingston product that meets their needs."
Kicking off the line are three kits, including:
4GB DDR3-2000 (CL9-11-9-27 @ 1.65V), two sticks
4GB DDR3 2133 (CL9-11-9-27 @ 1.65V), two sticks
6GB DDR3 2000 (CL9-10-9-27 @ 1.65V), three sticks
All three kits are available now, with pricing set at $157 (4GB DDR3-2000), $205 (4GB DDR3-2133), and $235 (6GB DDR3-2000).
Boutique system builder iBuyPower is bringing its portable LAN Warrior back into battle, this time equipping the mATX rig with a liquid cooling setup.
"LAN party gamers push their systems to the limits, making liquid cooling a necessity," said Darren Su, Vice President of iBuyPower. "The liquid cooled LAN Warrior II provides gamers with a way to keep their system safely overclocked without forcing them to haul around a full sized rig or sacrifice power."
Pricing starts at $750 for an AMD-based setup, $800 for an Intel P55 configuration, and $1,000 if stepping up to Intel's X58 platform. If you have the jingle, you can stuff up to two videocards into each one, including a pair of ATI HD 5970 graphics cards for quad-CrossFireX fun.