Asetek Antarctica WaterChill Water Cooling Kit

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Introduction

 

Water cooling is becoming increasingly more popular amongst hardcore overclockers.  Not only does water cooling provide the utmost in cooling potential, short of refrigeration, but it can also quiet things down significantly.  With today's processors producing upwards of 100 Watts of heat energy, cooling them down has becomes a difficult task.  Demand for high-performance cooling solutions has increased greatly, and certain so-called "extreme" cooling solutions are now becoming more mainstream.  Even your "average Joe" in the computer world is looking into water cooling as a effective method of cooling down their processors.  With the already large group of water cooling enthusiasts growing, a number of manufactures are making an effort to produce high quality all-in-one water cooling solutions.  Some have succeeded and some have failed horribly. 

Today on HotHardware, we'll be looking at the WaterChill Antarctica Water Cooling Kit from Asetek. We'll take an in depth look at what it's made of and how it stacks up versus standard active heat sink cooling.

Contents & Features of The Asetek WaterChill Antarctica Water Cooling Kit
Custom water cooling straight from the factory

WaterChill Water Block:

  • Copper base with acrylic top.

  • Supports Intel S478, AMD Socket A (S462), AMD Athlon FX (S939/S940) & AMD64 (S754)

  • Capable of removing at least 200W of CPU-heat

  • 1/2OD quick disconnect fittings

WaterChill Pump:

  • Rated at 1200 l/hr

  • Attached relay on the power cord for to stay in sync with the start up and shut down of the PC

  • 1/2OD quick disconnect fittings

WaterChill Reservoir:

  • Plexiglas/Aluminum construction

  • Easy fill procedure

  • 1/2OD quick disconnect fittings

 

WaterChill Radiator and Fans:

  • Capable of dissipating 837W of total heat

  • Copper tubing

  • 1/2OD quick disconnect fittings

  • Two 120mm Papst Fans

  • Rated for 80,000 hours of operation

WaterChill Tube and Accessories:

  • Polyether non-kinking tubes

  • Anti-algae fluid to reduce bacteria and algae growth

  • All necessary hardware for mounting CPU block, radiator, and pump

  • Waterchill stickers/case badges

  • Instruction booklet


 

Upon opening the WaterChill's packaging we noticed that the contents were packed quite loosely.  Asetek uses two foam "egg crates" that are pushed down on the components by the pressure from the box.   This allowed the smaller items to be moved around with a gentle shake of the box.  With some of the parts moving around freely, we weren't surprised to see that the radiator unit had a few nicks in the paint right out of the box.  After a thorough inspection of all of the included items, however, we did not find any other damage.

 

Looking deeper into the individual components
Everything necessary and more

    
  

This is Asetek's new Antarctica water block.  It supports Intel S478, AMD Socket A (S462), AMD Athlon FX (S939/S940) and AMD64 (S754), making it truly universal with most modern processor configurations.  It utilizes a single inlet and dual outlet design with 1/2" OD quick disconnect fittings.  The base is machined flat with a semi-gloss polishing.  Upon close inspection, you will notice swirl marks on the base, but we dragged a fingernail across them and found it to have a very smooth finish.  Removing the top reveals the heart and soul of the water block.  There are eight copper channels located right under the inlet.  This is to improve surface area which in turn also improves heat transfer.  To direct coolant into these channels, a groove has been added to the inlet on the acrylic top.  It's placed perpendicular to the channels on the base.  This is done to distribute the coolant evenly over the entire eight channels.  And as we mentioned earlier, this water block uses two outlets.  This helps out with the turbulence created by the narrow channels located at the inlet.  It also helps to relive any hot spots created in the water block.  At the two outlets there is another channel that surrounds the inlet.  We surmise that this channel is used to relieve excess pressure.  Looking at the water block as a whole everything seemed to be manufactured perfectly.  There were no splinters and all surfaces were smooth and flat.

 


  

Asetek's pump of choice is the Hydor L30 II.  The L30 II has proven to be an excellent performer at relatively low noise levels.  Measuring in at 13cm x 7cm x 10cm, it can be placed in most tower cases with little or no trouble.  1/2" OD quick disconnect fittings are used to ease the installation.  Like other competing products, this pump produces a maximum of 1200 l/hr and is capable of a delivery head of 1.95m.  Asetek has pre-modified this pump to include a relay on the power cable, using a power cable that connects to the power supply through a hermaphrodite power connector.  The cable is run into the case through a PCI slot adapter connected to the relay.  The relay runs the power to the pump in sync with the computer.  When the system is on, the pump automatically turns on.  The relay also includes a 7V or 12V 3 pin fan header.  This is used to run the fans at either their full speed for maximum performance or at a lower speed for near silent operation.  Another nice feature of the relay is that it includes an LED light header.  One can connect an LED to it to indicate whether the pump is operating or not.

The reservoir consists of a single cylindrical piece of plastic that has two metal ends.  One end has two 1/2" OD quick disconnect fittings.  The other end has a removable lid for easy filling.  Both ends use rubber gaskets to prevent any leakage.  Asetek has also left the option to the end user to mount the reservoir either directly on the pump or have it located elsewhere.  Using a metal bracket that connects to the pump, the reservoir sits on top of it, connected through a small piece of tubing.  We found this configuration to be a bit unstable however, because the reservoir is only resting on top of the metal bracket.  To help alleviate the situation somewhat, we used a bit of double sided tape to firmly attach the reservoir to the metal bracket.


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