Water cooling for high-end PCs is, in theory, a terrific idea. Using water to cool vital system components like your CPU and GPU allow for cooler temperatures, lower noise levels, longer component life spans and / or enhanced overclockability. Water is simply a more efficient medium for transferring heat compared to traditional metal-based, airflow cooled heatsinks. With CPU and GPU power levels increasing, it seemingly appeared as if the industry was bracing for a transition to water cooling in late 2005 / early 2006, as if the technology would be necessary in order to keep up the clock speed increases of the past year. However, a new industry wide focus on performance-per-watt has given air driven HSF coolers some new life with this latest generation of processors.
Nevertheless, water cooling is still quite attractive for two critical markets, those who like absolutely silent PC's and those who like to overclock, both of which we can say that we belong to here at HotHardware.com. Water cooling has certainly become more refined over the past several years, migrating from dangerous D-I-Y self-assembly water cooling kits to all-in-one self-contained units which do not require the user to even touch any of the water being used in the kit. The enthusiast-class kits typically require more effort to assemble, but generally provide lower temperatures and more flexibility for those who choose to take the time to learn how the technology works.
An interesting side market has emerged in water cooling, though, which looks to combine the best of both water cooling worlds into a single product line -- external water cooling kits. Quite a few companies have jumped on this bandwagon, providing an external radiator solution which sits outside of the case, cooling the water which is pumped back into the chassis to cool components. External solutions are a bit simpler to set up, as they will work with any modern chassis and don't require drilling or lots of time to set up. The general rule of thumb is that external water cooling solutions can provide better performance compared to closed circuit all-in-one water cooling devices, but can't match the performance of a true internal custom designed water cooling solution.
Today we have one of the newest external water cooling solutions on the market, the Asetek Waterchill Xternal. Certainly one of the more refined external water cooling kits to date, Asetek claims that their new solution can provide performance levels on par with internal water cooling systems with the ease-of-use of an external solution. As Asetek is one of the most respected names in the enthusiast cooling market, this lends credence to their claims. Join us as we take this excellent looking new water cooling solution for a test drive.
The WaterChill Xternal cooling system is raw power in a compact solution which is easily connected to any PC using a standard rear PC card slot.
The powerful WaterChill Xternal contains the best WaterChill core components, such as:
- Black Ice Pro 120mm Dual Radiator.
- 4 pcs. of 120mm Low Noise Adda Fans.
- WaterChill Xtreme [12V] pump unit.
- 160 cm3 water reservoir with a large viewing glass.
- 20 characters LCD module.
Capable of removing up to 200W of heat and reduce the CPU core temperature by 40-70% the Antarctica CPU cooler is the most powerful cooler on the market. The Chipset and VGA cooler effectively eliminates fan noise and increases stability.
- WaterChill Antarctica CPU cooler CPU01/A supporting Intel S478, S775, AMD S754/S940/S939.
- WaterChill VGA cooler VGA01/P1 supporting Nvidia GeForce and ATI Radeon cards.
- WaterChill Chipset cooler NB01/P1 supporting Intel, AMD, SIS and VIA etc.
First ever integrated USB/Software based Control Panel including:
- CD-Rom with Software based control unit. Easy on-the-fly configurations.
- System and status information.
- Temperature monitoring.
- Adjustable and automatic fan regulation.
- Pump speed regulation
- Model: 03-L-7004
- Compatibility: ATX cases
- Materials: Aluminum Chassis
- Tubing (OD): 10mm (3/8')
- Power consumption: 7-12W Qmax: 1020 l/hm
- Hmax: 240 cm
- Width: 182mm (7.17")
- Length: 480mm (18.90")
- Height: 102mm (4.01")
- Weight (non filled): 4.27 kg (9.41 lbs)