Asetek Low Cost Liquid Cooling (LCLC) System

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Functionality & Installation

The LCLC works in a similar manner as most other water cooling systems and it should have similar thermal characteristics. In a standard water cooling system, the cold-plate in the CPU block makes direct contact with the CPU and absorbs heat, much like a heatsink. A pump pushes water through the CPU block. The water makes direct contact with the inside of the cold-plate and in the process, absorbs heat from it. The flowing water then carries the heat through the tubing into the next component, which may be a pump, heat exchanger or another CPU/GPU block. Eventually, the heated water will arrive at the heat exchanger (A.K.A. radiator), where it is cooled by the air before it leaves to start the cycle again.



The LCLC operates in exactly the way described above, except the pump is integrated into the CPU block, rather than being a separate unit in the chain. The GPU is cooled in the same manner as the CPU, but as previously noted, the graphics memory and power regulation components are cooled separately by a heatsink, fan and shroud contraption similar to a double-height reference cooler found on NVIDIA and ATI cards.

     
LCLC GeForce 8800 GTX Cooling Assembly (top, bottom, shroud removed)

The graphics card cooling assembly used by the GeForce 8800 GTX cools the card's memory and power regulation chips. It does this with a single, large heatsink that covers nearly the entire card. However, it only makes contact with the components it is meant to cool. The assembly has two copper heat-pipes, one for each row of RAM chips. The heat-pipes help bring heat up to a large fin array. A blower-style fan and shroud assembly is used to direct air through the cooling fins and out the rear of the system. Overall, it works largely in the same way as the GeForce 8800 GTX reference cooler, except there are less heat-pipes and a large hole where the GPU is supposed to be, to make room for the GPU block.

Asetek LCLC Installation
Single CPU & Single GPU Setup

We already discussed how the CPU block is installed on the previous page so we will not go through it again. The GPU block installation is a bit more involved. First, the stock cooler needs to be removed and the GPU surface cleaned of thermal paste residue. Then the cooling assembly needs to be prepped for installation.

     
GeForce 8800 GTX (cooling assembly, bare card, cooling assembly installed)

The shroud on the graphics card cooling assembly needs to be removed. This allows access to the GPU block retention ring which comes pre-installed on the cooling assembly. The retention ring is slid on the end of the GPU block and locked into place by a small key on the ring. Then the graphics cooling assembly is installed on the graphics card. Next, the GPU block is installed on the cooling assembly using the retention ring. At this point, the GPU block should be securely attached and making direct contact with the GPU (don't forget thermal paste!). Finally, the cooling shroud is re-installed. These steps need to be repeated for each graphics card.

It is best to install the cooling assembly and GPU block on the graphics card before the CPU block(s) is installed. This makes the process easier since the LCLC isn't yet attached to the motherboard. Once the graphics cooling assemblies are installed on all graphics cards, install both the graphics card(s) and the CPU block(s).



The last thing to do is install the heat-exchanger. This step will greatly depend on the configuration of your case. Most cases will have a rear exhaust fan mount that can be used. The heat exchanger is attached to the fan mount using the provided screws. Finally a fan needs to be mounted on the head exchanger with the included screws. Overall, installation is fairly straight forward. This is especially true if the LCLC system does not include graphics cooling, in which case it isn't much more involved than a standard heatsink installation. Proper installation may require a lot of bending and twisting but we never encountered any kinking in the tubing.



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