In the world of CPUs, closed-loop liquid coolers (CLCs) seem to be standard-issue for enthusiasts these days. They give you higher overclocking headroom than even the most expensive and beefy air coolers, and they can operate more quietly. However, we haven’t seen many with radiators as large as 280mm—just the NZXT Kraken X60 and the Corsair H110 come to mind—so we were eager to run the Cooler Master Nepton 280L through its paces.
Note: This review was originally featured in the April 2014 issue of the magazine.
If you're not already familiar with Mnpctech, take a moment out of your day to familiarize yourself with the company. Founded 12 years ago by Bill Owen, a name you probably recognize if you've been reading Maximum PC for some time (check out our interview with him from earlier this year) or are into the modding scene, Mnpctech kicks out some of the most badass case mods you'll ever see. Interestingly enough, in a recent conversation with Owen, he told us he's been receiving requests for the past several years to make a video series covering the basics of water cooling with a DIY loop, so he finally went and put one together. Here's part 1.
Self-contained liquid coolers have become pretty popular these days as system builders look to adequately cool their processors with all-in-one designs that deliver some or most of the benefits of water cooling, minus most of the risk and maintenance. Adding to the growing category of AIO coolers is Cooler Master'snew Nepton Series consisting of the Nepton 140XL and Nepton 280L.
Successor to last year’s Elite 120 features a full mesh front panel
PC peripheral maker Cooler Master on Tuesday announced the launch of a new case that it says improves upon last year’s Elite 120 Advanced mini-ITX chassis with a bunch of value added features. It is clear from its spec sheet that the Elite 130, as the just launched mini ITX case is called, is definitely a little more compact and slightly lighter than the Elite 120.
Zalman's latest Reserator liquid cooling solution -- Reserator 3 Max -- is a self-contained CPU cooler unlike any other on the market. It uses a nanofluids refrigerant, which essentially means mixing nanoparticles with fluids to maximize cooling performance. According to Zalman, it's the world' first cooler to boast such a design, though it also wields a dual-radial radiator setup to help optimize airflow.
ANOTHER ALL-IN-ONE liquid-cooling loop! Hooray! Corsair’s H100 is its fifth liquid cooler; after two with Asetek, the company has put out three with CoolIT. The H60 is your standard 120mm radiator-with-single-fan, the H80 is the double-thick double-fan version, and the H100, the first Corsair liquid-cooler to support LGA2011, is its first cooler with a 240mm radiator.
The H100’s radiator is around an inch thick and 10.8 inches long and fits in any case that can accommodate a 240mm radiator, though some cases may not have the vertical clearance to mount the fans inside the case. The pump/heat exchange unit is square, and very slightly taller than Asetek’s. It contains four 4-pin PWM headers to control the radiator fans, as well as a connector for Corsair’s Link system control software/hardware combo (sold separately). There’s also a three-speed fan-control button on top of the pump. The pump unit itself has a 3-pin motherboard fan connector and a 2-pin Molex for power. The cooler unit mount is simple; four double-sided thumbscrews mount to the unified backplate, the brackets at the corners of the pump unit slide onto those, and more thumbscrews secure them in place.
Intel isn’t shipping stock heatsinks with Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, perhaps assuming that consumers of $600 and $1,000 CPUs are going to want performance a little better than Intel’s stock coolers have typically provided. Instead, Intel is offering a branded liquid-cooling loop as an optional accessory. The Asetek-built cooling loop features a glowing blue Intel logo and a bright blue LED on its single 12cm fan, but otherwise looks nearly identical to the Antec Kuhler 620, which was also built by Asetek (which also built AMD’s Bulldozer-branded liquid cooling loop).
GTX 680’s are still all but impossible to find, however that won’t stop EVGA from taunting the enthusiast community with something even more lust worthy. The EVGA 680 Classified will feature an optional water-cooling block, 14-phase power design, and voltage control inputs to give power users all the flexibility they need to catapult themselves to the top of the 3D Mark Vantage charts.
If your AMD-based build keeps getting all hot and bothered, your rampant "incognito mode" Chrome browsing isn't to blame -- you've probably got a problem with thermals. Pouring a bucket of ice cold water over your PC isn't recommended, but that's not to say that a little aqua can't help cool things down. PowerColor just announced what it claims is the first Radeon HD 7970 with a liquid cooling waterblock built right onto the card.
Did you read our write-up of the spiffy new AMD Radeon 7970 earlier this week and find yourself getting all hot and bothered at the thought of kick-ass custom rigs built around the beast? Well, one company can help you cool down. The new graphics cards aren’t even available in stores yet but that hasn’t stopped the Germany-based Aqua Computer from putting the AquagrATIx 7900 up for preorder. What’s that, you might ask? Only the first 7970 and 7950 water block available on the market.