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.
Live fast and play hard. That's the sort of motto you'll find exemplified in old school water cooling circles, the ones where wielding a pre-built kit or self-contained liquid cooler might earn you a wedgie. There's a certain satisfaction that comes from building your own water cooling setup, just as there is with building your own PC, and it's a market still being served by folks like Danger Den, which just announced the release of its highest performing CPU waterblock to date, the DD-M6 CPU Block.
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.
PNY builds videocards. Asetek develops all-in-one liquid cooling solutions. Together, the two hope to "deliver liquid-cooled, high-end graphics cards that far outperform equivalent air cooled models," not just in cooling performance, but also in noise control. PNY graphics cards powered by Asetek's sealed water cooler already attached will make up the videocard maker's extreme performance line, and give consumers a maintenance free liquid cooled solution that's just as easy to instal as an air cooled graphics card.
I’m taking a standard midrange computer with a Core-i7 930 CPU (stock speed: 2.8GHz) and clocking it up to 4GHz. That’ll up my CPU’s heat output, and I’ll need better cooling. Water-cooling can be quieter and more effective than air, but isn’t necessarily cheap or easy to install.
How much time and money do you need to spend to get good cooling? To answer this question, I’m testing three build options: a basic off-the-shelf liquid-cooling loop (Corsair’s H70), an all-inclusive Swiftech DIY kit, and finally, a custom-built water-cooling setup of my own configuration. How can I get the best performance for the least money, time, and aggravation?
If you subscribe the motto that air is for breathing, not for cooling, then MSI's new N580GTX HydroGen is exactly the type of videocard that should float your water cooling boat. MSI ditched the reference air cooling solution and replaced it with its own proprietary HydroGen all-copper waterblock. The rest is up to you. Stick it in your water cooled rig, pop the tubes on the in/outlets, turn on the pump, and enjoy seeing those temps drop by as much as 24C over that of Billy's reference card.
Antec has made its first leap into the world of liquid cooling with the all new KÜHLER H20 620 CPU cooler, the end result of what appears to have been a very productive partnership with Asetek. According to Antec’s Dennis Pang, the KÜHLER H20 offers not just an easy installation, but zero maintenance over the life of the unit. "Forget about having to purchase coolant and filling/refilling," he said. "Ironically, the beauty of this liquid cooling solution is never having to see the fluid."
Pang claims users should expect a 20 percent boost over a stock Intel heat syncs, and the company will over mounting kits for Intel’s LGA 775, 1155, 1156, and 1366. On the AMD side they will support the AM2, AM3, AM2+ and AM3+. "The performance advantage doesn’t just apply to the CPU," he said. "Routing all the CPU heat directly out of your chassis means lower overall ambient temperature, which helps out your other components. And the low profile of the pump (just 27 mm) drastically reduces the footprint of your CPU cooler, which greatly increases overall airflow in your chassis."
The KÜHLER H20 620 has an estimated street price of $69.95, and is backed by Antec’s 3-year standard warranty program. Anyone takers?
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.
Corsair's Hydro Series H50 closed-loop CPU cooler impressed us enough to score a 9/Kick Ass verdict last year and made it onto our Best of the Best list, and according to Corsair, its new H70 model blows it out of the water, so to speak.
"Thanks to the H70, you no longer need a fin array the size of a small shoebox to cool aggressively overclocked CPUs," stated John Beekley, VP of Technical marketing at Corsair. "The H70 stands toe-to-toe with any CPU cooler on the market, and does it with less noise, easier installation, and support for nearly every ATX-compatible case."
Corsair said the new H70 includes several upgrades over the H50, such as a double-thickness (50mm) radiator with higher heat-exchanging capacity, a more capable pump/cold plate unit, and a pair of 120mm speed-switchable fans.
The H70 is available now, though not a ton of online retailers have the item listed yet. Street price looks to be around $110.