water cooling

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August 2007 - Power Users Guide

The complete PDF archive of the August 2007 edition of Maximum PC, every article included, every page posted! Download it now!

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SilverStone Tundra TD01

If Maximum PC’s tests worked like a beauty pageant, SilverStone’s Tundra TD01 might win the swimsuit competition. Talentwise, however, this water-cooling rig would be akin to your average 18-year-old girl trying to belt out “Since You’ve Been Gone.” It isn’t horrific, but it’s no Kelly Clarkson.

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Rigor-ous Modding

The Manta changes some of his personal rules when he sees a water cooling system built into a SFF custom case.

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Swiftech H20-80 Micro

Swiftech’s dual-radiator Apex Ultra water-cooling kit is the current cooling record-holder (in our Lab, at least), so when the company told us it had a Micro kit that was designed to fit in tight, cramped cases, we were intrigued. Like most hardcore PC users, we assumed a small radiator couldn’t get the job done—at least without making a ton of noise. Boy, were we ever wrong.

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Zalman Reserator 2

Zalman’s Reserator is a silent, fanless cooler that needs no introduction. Though we’ve praised the previous versions of this water cooler, Zalman has seen fit to completely redesign the newest Reserator model. And in doing so, it addresses the few issues people had with earlier versions, while unceremoniously introducing a few new issues.

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Sapphire Toxic Radeon X1900 XTX

Afraid of killing your machine in one water-related mishap? Fret no more! Sapphire has heeded your call.

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Koolance EXOS-LT

Koolance’s new Exos-LT is a cross between the too-expensive Exos 2 and the previous-gen Exos system. At just $200 (plus an extra $40 for a Koolance CPU block, which isn’t included), it’s the budget contender of this roundup. Of course, it’s the sole CPU-only kit in the group—if it were spec’d with extra blocks, we’d expect it to be priced like the others.

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Asetek Waterchill Xternal

The WaterChill Xternal is Asetek’s external version of its WaterChill cooling system. Overall the kit works extremely well, but it has a few minor flaws.

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Coolit Freezone

We all know that water-cooling delivers more cooling power to the CPU than air-cooling does, but even water-cooling has an Achilles’ heel. It can’t achieve temperatures below the ambient room temperature. The Coolit Freezone gets around this limitation by using six thermoelectric coolers (TEC), aka Peltier coolers, to chill the water to below room temps. It’s a fantastic idea, and it seems like the best CPU cooler ever made, on paper. In practice, however, it’s not quite as awesome as we expected.

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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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