Asetek Low Cost Liquid Cooling (LCLC) System

5 thumbs up

Performance Summary: The LCLC performed very well in all of our thermal tests. The LCLC outperformed the Intel stock cooler by a significant margin both while the CPU was idle and during the Everest stress test. With an 800 RPM Scythe S-FLEX installed on the heat exchanger, it was able to keep pace with the Silverstone NT-06 using a 2640 RPM screamer. This is an extremely impressive result that shows how efficient water cooling is.  Also note, that had we used a more powerful fan, the LCLC's performance would have been even better.

Graphics cooling performance was also good. In the case of both the GPU and graphics memory, the LCLC was able to significantly outperform the stock cooler while the graphics card was idle. While under load, the LCLC performed on-par with the stock cooler. However, this was largely because the stock cooler is thermally controlled by the graphics card and the fan significantly increases in speed while the graphics card was under load, therefore increasing in noise level as well as cooling capability. If the LCLC was equipped with a thermally controlled fan connected to the motherboard, which could increase its speed when the system is loaded, the LCLC would have performed better.
 

Overall, we are very pleased with the LCLC's performance. It easily outperformed all stock cooling solutions and kept pace with a high-end, heat-pipe equipped air cooler with an extremely powerful (and loud) fan. All with a very quiet 800 RPM fan that was barely audible.



In the recent past, watercooling had long been considered an enthusiast solution, superior to air cooling, for obtaining optimal cooling performance. Another popular reason to get watercooling, especially in earlier times when air coolers used loud 80mm high-RPM fans, was to build a quiet system that still maintained decent cooling performance. The situation today is quite different. With the introduction of fluid-filled heat-pipe technology to computer heatsinks, both of these reasons for getting watercooling have been eroded by newer, more efficient heatsink designs. The current crop of top-end super air coolers compete very well with many watercooling systems in terms of both performance and noise, although not necessarily at the same time and not with the same air cooling product. If the two primary advantages watercooling had over air cooling solutions are seemingly a thing of the past, why would anyone still get water cooling?

While the performance gap between high-end air coolers and water cooling has closed somewhat, water cooling remains significantly more flexible and scalable. Air coolers depends heavily on existing airflow within the case and a poorly cooled case can cripple even the best of air coolers. Air coolers are also sensitive to the size of the enclosure since cooling capacity is directly linked to the volume of air within the case and the flow rate of air through the case. Water cooling systems are generally oblivious to both of these issues since thermal capacity is linked directly to the volume of water in the system, and not the air. This means the performance of an air cooling system would suffer in a smaller mATX enclosures while water cooling would soldier on, oblivious to the size of the case.

Although top-end air coolers can now perform nearly as well as a quality water cooling setup, water cooling still remains more thermally efficient. While water cooling's remaining advantages of better thermal efficiency and flexibility is enough to drive interest and sales for performance enthusiasts, these reasons alone aren't enough for mainstream consumers and OEMs to consider water cooling as an option. Given the numerous disadvantages such as higher cost, more involved installation process and increased maintenance, it simply isn't worth the effort for some users to bother with a water cooling setup unless they planned to install it in an especially hot system.

Although Asetek isn't the first company to try to bring water cooling into the mainstream and to OEMs by challenging its traditional disadvantages, they are the first company to successfully attack water cooling's primary problem; high cost. For the first time, it is possible to purchase a performance water cooling system for the same price as a high-end air cooling setup. While we were unable to find a MSRP for retail available units, you can currently find a basic LCLC system with a single-fan heat exchanger and support for a single CPU for only $70. There are a few other water cooling kits available for around $100, but none of them can claim to be performance products. The fact that HP saw it fit to use the LCLC in their flagship Blackbird 002 gaming system speaks volumes about its performance.

Asetek has also mediated and eliminated other traditional issues with water cooling such as maintenance and difficulty of installation. The LCLC is an all-in-one, pre-built system. While you lose the ability to upgrade the system in the future, the LCLC offers a turn-key solution that is straight-forward to install. Since the system is filled and sealed at the factory, you don't need to worry about leaks and plastic tubing means there is virtually no need to refill the system, reducing maintenance.

Water cooling has always been a niche product. But Asetek hopes to change that with the Low-Cost Liquid Cooling system by addressing the core disadvantages of water cooling compared to air cooling and in our opinion they have succeeded. The LCLC is a quiet cooling solution that is more flexible and efficient than air cooling, but most important of all, Asetek has managed to achieve price parity with high-end air coolers. For the price of a high-end air cooling setup, you can now purchase a performance water cooling system. It is for these reasons that we are recommending the LCLC. The LCLC caters to many different types of users, from performance enthusiasts and overclockers to casual users who just want a quiet system.


 
 

  • Excellent Price/Performance Ratio
  • Cost On Par With High-end Air Cooler
  • Excellent Cooling Efficiency
  • Virtually No Maintenance
  • Works Well With Low-RPM Fans
  • Simple Installation Compared To Other Water Cooling Systems
  • Smaller Footprint Than Other Water Cooling Systems
  • Heat Exchanger Fan Not Included In Cost
  • Limited Retail Availability
  • Not Upgradeable

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It looks like a fairly useful and easy setup... However, i'm not too impressed with the benchmarks (in the review)... I would have thought CPU temps under load would have been significantly lower with this system. It still seems like a good and functional water kit.

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I too was hoping to see lower CPU temperatures under load. I wonder how much of a difference the dual fan model with the larger radiator would make? It might be more effective if you were only using it to cool the CPU and it didn't have the additional heat from the GPU. I love the fact that it is a sealed system, and it would appear to be well priced.

Will the CPU block be compatible with the new Nehalem socket motherboards if they offer a new mounting ring for them?

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I am not surprised at all.

 

Watercooling + push pins = very poor results.

 

Add a single 120mm rad for CPU and GPU is nothing but fail. 

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trueg50:

I am not surprised at all.

 

Watercooling + push pins = very poor results.

 

Add a single 120mm rad for CPU and GPU is nothing but fail. 

yea gonna have to argee with that. this seem like it gonna be a major problem with sli. it might match the stock cooling for the gpu in sli lol.

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where you can buy this product ( asetek lclc- low cost liquid cooling system

 

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higgamo:

trueg50:

I am not surprised at all.

 

Watercooling + push pins = very poor results.

 

Add a single 120mm rad for CPU and GPU is nothing but fail. 

yea gonna have to argee with that. this seem like it gonna be a major problem with sli. it might match the stock cooling for the gpu in sli lol.

I agree with that sentiment. A 120mm rad isn't nearly enough for both a high-end CPU and GPU. But the LCLC does come with other rads, including dual-120mm if you're so inclined. The version used in the Blackbird has the dual-120mm rad. From what I can surmise from the original marketing material, the LCLC was originally designed with mATX applications in mind so all-out performance wasn't really what they were trying to do.

Besides, which self-respecting water cooling enthusiast would even consider a kit? Most people probably aren't too concerned with all-out performance at the sacrifice of everything else.

mr.gallo18:

where you can buy this product ( asetek lclc- low cost liquid cooling system

 

A bunch of online stores have it, although a lot of the really big ones don't. I do know that NCIX current has it on both their US and Canadian website. I've shopped at their Canadian site a lot and can vouch that it's a pretty good store. I think Newegg had it at some point but it doesn't seem to be in there system anymore.

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LovelyCrap:


Besides, which self-respecting water cooling enthusiast would even consider a kit? Most people probably aren't too concerned with all-out performance at the sacrifice of everything else.

well 99% ill agreed with that but i was planing on sff mod build and was hoping to see it would do alittle better then it did. Wanted to use a kit so to lower the chance of damage from movement and less maintance. =)

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higgamo:

LovelyCrap:


Besides, which self-respecting water cooling enthusiast would even consider a kit? Most people probably aren't too concerned with all-out performance at the sacrifice of everything else.

well 99% ill agreed with that but i was planing on sff mod build and was hoping to see it would do alittle better then it did. Wanted to use a kit so to lower the chance of damage from movement and less maintance. =)

Isn't the LCLC still basically the one of the best solutions? Especially for under $100. With most SFF cases, you have serious vertical clearance issues and unless you mod the case you won't be able to fit in a 120mm wonder-tower heatsink like the Thermalright Ultra-120. Even if you did fit a mega-tower in there, you'd be cripped by the crappy air-flow most of the time (again, unless you mod). The Silverstone NT-06 we used for comparison in the review is actually really popular with the SFF crowd exactly because it happens to be low enough to fit into most SFF cases. On all Silverstone SFF cases, it is probably the best air cooler to use because they are all designed with the PSU positioned right over the CPU socket, so you can throw a NT-06 on your processor and it should meet up nicely with the PSU fan, which would do double-duty as the CPU fan. From what I've seen, it's actually a pretty effective way to do it, although it sort of stresses the PSU, since all that hot air from the CPU is going through it but it shouldn't be an issue if you get a high quality unit. So if you were using a Silverstone SUGO (v1, v2 or v3) or an X-QPack, the LCLC looks like a winner to me. "Desktop" style cases are a different story, but I don't really consider those SFF, since they are often about the size of the standard mid-tower, except on its side.

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Dont get me wrong i think LCLC is a great solution. i was planing on moding a Swiftech H20-120 in to a sff case which has been proven possible with the case i had chosen. I seen people posting numbers for there H20-120 that are below LCLC, not sure if they install a better fan or not. i was just hoping that the lclc would do better then H20-120. Sorry if i upset you, wasnt saying the LCLC is a bad product. 

P.s. (not sure if the cpu temp with the LCLC was test with or without the gpu) 

 

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higgamo:

Dont get me wrong i think LCLC is a great solution. i was planing on moding a Swiftech H20-120 in to a sff case which has been proven possible with the case i had chosen. I seen people posting numbers for there H20-120 that are below LCLC, not sure if they install a better fan or not. i was just hoping that the lclc would do better then H20-120. Sorry if i upset you, wasnt saying the LCLC is a bad product. 

P.s. (not sure if the cpu temp with the LCLC was test with or without the gpu) 

 

Hey higgamo, what gave you the idea that I was upset? Just stating my opinion and responding to your comments. No harm, no foul.

CPU test was with GPU connected. Probably would have performed a bunch better if the GPU wasn't connected too. With only a single 120mm fan, you can't really expect killer performance for both CPU and a 8800 at the same time, but if you're going SFF, you don't really have a choice for a bigger heat exchanger. The H20-120 is CPU only, correct? If I remember correctly, the H20-120 looks pretty much the exact same as a CPU-only LCLC config. I think the LCLC still comes in cheaper, unless you can get the H20-120 on sale. But the H20-120 is definitely a lot easier to find in retail. I didn't test the CPU-only LCLC so I can't comment on the performance.

Edit: I changed my signature for you.

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