Asetek Antarctica WaterChill Water Cooling Kit

Article Index

The Radiator, Installation, and Test Setup



To dissipate all of the heat produced by the processor, Asetek opted for the HWLab's Black Ice Pro II radiator.  Using a 4-pass all copper tubing design and high density louvered copper fins, it can dissipate up to 837W of heat per hour.  This will not only cover your basic cooling needs, but it will also cover extreme heat produced by overclocking the processor.  Measuring in at 15cm x 25cm x 3cm, only a few computer cases will be able to handle this radiator without modification to the case.  Once again 1/2" OD quick disconnect fittings are used to ease installation.

Two 120mm Papst fans are used to pull the heat away from the radiator.  Rated at 67CFM at 12V, these two fans will not only be able to pull the heat away from the radiator, they will also do it quietly at only 32db.  Under less extreme heat situations, the fans can be run at 7V for even quieter operation.  Again, the relay in the kit has these settings available.  Under this operation the fans are barely audible, but they also push far less air.  The fans connect to the radiator via self tapping screws.  It should be noted that caution needs to be taken when tightening down the screws, because over tightening them will easily strip the holes on the radiator.



Everything you will need to properly install the WaterChill is included in the kit.  A small tube of thermal compound is included to help the heat transfer between the processor and water block.  In addition, the instruction manual is one the best we have ever seen.  It is spiral bound and has a clear protective front cover, it has easy to follow instructions and very illustrative pictures.  It covers all aspects of the installation in a detailed manner.  Asetek also includes a fair amount of high quality 1/2" OD tubing.  There is enough tubing to cover a installation in a full tower case.  Anti-algae fluid is also included to prevent the growth of algae in the water-based cooling solution.


Time to pull out the tools.


Installation of the water block is very simple.  The hardware consists of screws, metal guides, plastic washers, springs, and thumbscrews.  The Installation process does require the motherboard to be out of a case, however.  With the guides installed, all you have to do is slide the water block and springs into place.  Then the thumbscrews need to be tightened to finish the installation.  The springs are used to make sure that proper pressure is applied to the processor, and that the water block remains level.  When tightening the thumbscrews make sure you watch for warping of the motherboard.  Over tightening of the thumbscrews may cause un-needed strain on the motherboard that may lead to other types of damage.

Installing the tubing is a snap with the quick disconnect fittings.  Cut your tubing to the appropriate length and insert the tubing into the fittings.  Just push hard enough to fully insert the tubing all the way through the fitting.  Then slightly pull on the tubing to make sure it is secure.  For this water cooling setup, we will be running the coolant through a pump, radiator, water block and a reservoir loop.  A 24 hour leak test was conducted prior it installation with the computer hardware.

Unfortunately, we ran into problems with the first run.  Initially, we had some trouble getting the included Hydor pump to remain functional for extended periods of time.  When we had the pump running for more than a few hours, and then powered it down, it would not always restart.  We ultimately remedied the situation by widening the sleeve of the impeller.  We spoke to Asetek about this problem, and they said that they have not experienced this in their internal testing labs.  We're hopeful that Asetek will look into this further and try to replicate the issue on their end, so they can plan corrective actions for future pump shipments.  Regardless, this issue wasn't a show-stopper for us in the grand scheme of things.

HotHardware's Test Setup
The heat factory.


Processor - Intel Pentium 4c 3.0GHz

Mainboard - ABIT IC7-MAX3 v1.0

Video Card - ATI 9800Pro

Memory - 1024MB Mushkin PC3500 Level 2, CAS2

Audio - Creative Soundblaster Audigy 2

Hard Drive - Western Digital Raptor 37GB

Optical Drive - Samsung DVD/CDRW Combo Drive

Power Supply - Enermax EG465AX-VE(W)


Operating System - Windows XP Professional SP1

Temperature Monitoring Software - ABIT EQ v1.1.1.2

Our test system is a fairly standard issue high end Canterwood based P4 setup, that is just itching for the type of overclocking potential water cooling can deliver.  Cooling and overclocking results are next!

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