Asetek Low Cost Liquid Cooling (LCLC) System - HotHardware

Asetek Low Cost Liquid Cooling (LCLC) System

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Water cooling has traditionally been considered an extreme solution, pursued by enthusiasts looking for the best cooling performance to squeeze every last drop of performance from their systems. For a long time this wasn't far from the truth and you were unlikely to find a water cooling setup that wasn't hooked up to an overclocked rig. However, in recent years watercooling has become ever more mainstream as evidenced by the number of manufacturers producing entry-level kits. These kits often provide ease of installation and operation at the expense of performance and cost. They also eliminate much of the knowledge barrier to entry to water cooling.

Since the early DIY days, water cooling has come a long way in terms of accessibility and exposure, but there are still many issues which prevent it from ousting traditional air coolers in the mainstream chip cooling market. Compared to air cooling, water cooling requires more maintenance and it's harder to install since most water cooling systems have over twice as many parts as an air cooling system, which generally only consists of a heatsink and fan. Many retail water cooling system kits also come unassembled to some degree which further complicates installation and opens up more chances for incorrect installation and user error.

While pre-assembled and all-in-one kits have done a lot to alleviate these problems, the increased accessibility often comes at the sacrifice of performance and they don't really address the largest problem with water cooling; the high cost. A competent water cooling system will usually cost from $150-$300 while a top-end heatsink and fan with somewhat comparable performance can be bought for only $70. The combination of high cost, increased need for maintenance and the do-it-yourself nature of water cooling is often too much for non-enthusiasts who tend to avoid it in preference for turn-key solutions, and who can blame them? It is for many of these same reasons that OEMs have not caught on to the idea of water cooling. The additional costs involved as well as the prospect of potential maintenance issues have caused many users and OEMs alike to avoid watercooling despite the numerous advantages.

Asetek saw an opportunity to address some of these issues and help bring watercooling further into the mainstream. They hope to do this with their simply named Low-Cost Liquid Cooling system (LCLC).



3D model of an Asetek LCLC system configured for dual CPU and dual GPU coolers

The LCLC may resemble other water cooling setups but it provides many features that set it apart from the pack. Asetek has attempted to address nearly all of the traditional disadvantages of water cooling compared to air cooling. It is a completely sealed system, which means it comes completely pre-assembled. This eliminates issues of assembly error and makes installation simpler. A non-toxic, non-flammable liquid and plastic tubing is used in lieu of silicone to eliminate evaporation issues, which means the system will not require refilling, reducing maintenance. This also makes a reservoir unnecessary, which makes the system simpler. To further simplify the system, the pump and cold plate (a.k.a. water block) have been integrated together into a single unit.

This means a basic LCLC configuration only consists of a pump/block unit and radiator (with cooling fan) connected by plastic tubing. This makes the LCLC significantly simpler and smaller than traditional water cooling systems and it also means it is small enough to easily accommodate just about any mATX case that can mount a 80mm, 92mm or 120mm exterior-access fan.

Asetek Low Cost Liquid Cooling (LCLC) System
Specifications

  • Socket Types: Intel Socket 775, AMD Socket AM2
  • Pump: Asetek proprietary AC/DC hybrid technology with high-precision ceramic bearings
  • Materials: Low permeable plastics for housing and hoses
  • Liquid: Nontoxic, nonflammable liquid that does not expand with changes in temperature
  • Heat Exchangers (available sizes):
    • 80mm x 80mm
    • 80mm x 160mm
    • 92mm x 92mm
    • 92mm x 184mm
    • 120mm x 120mm
    • 120mm x 240mm
  • Supports select NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards (optional)
  • Supports multi-CPU and multi-GPU configurations
  • Lifetime: 50,000 [MTTF]
  • Noise Level: <28 dBA
  • System Performance: Rth 0.13 °C / W3
  • Cold plate performance: Rth 0.06 °C / W3
  • Compliance: UL, CE, RoHS. Shock and vibration according to IEC 60068
  • Application range: storage -40°C / 70°C, operation 5°C / 35°C
  • Rated voltage/power: 12VDC / 2.5W
  • Tests: 100% helium leakage testing

The LCLC is not a new product. We first caught wind of it way back at IDF 2006. The LCLC was originally designed for use by OEMs, which is likely why you haven't heard much about it since then. Another reason is that only recently in the last half year has it gained significant traction. The first big success came when HP integrated the LCLC into their superb
Blackbird 002 gaming system. HP currently offers the LCLC in two different configurations in the Blackbird 002 LC and LCi models. We also found the LCLC under the hood of the Maingear Ephex during our review although that option does not seem to be offered by Maingear anymore. Late last year, the LCLC also started showing up at computer hardware retail websites so we thought it was high time that we got one in the labs for a full review.

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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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