- AMD Opteron 170 (2.0 GHz) Socket-939 Dual-Core Processor
- MSI K9A Platinum, ATI Radeon XPress 3200 Crossfire Chipset
- 2 GB Samsung DDR-400 Memory
- 1 x nVidia GeForce 7800 GTX 256 MB (91.31 Forceware Driver)
- 2 x Western Digital Raptor 74 GB
- 1 x Sony DVD+/-RW Drive
- 1 x Antec 550W Power Supply
Our first set of tests were with a closed loop (CPU only) configuration testing the Waterchill Xternal versus other air-cooled units on our stock clocked Opteron 170 processor at varying fan speed levels. The numbers show very little difference in CPU temperatures when the system is idling, however, the Waterchill Xternal is much more effective compared to air coolers when CPU load levels are high. Even passively, the Waterchill was able to provide temperatures on par with the Zalman CNPS9500, one of the top air coolers on the market today.
Our GeForce 7800 GTX GPU actually ran slightly warmer compared to stock air coolers when idle, likely as the GPU receives warm water after it's passed from the CPU and chipset previously. However, when the GPU is stressed to the breaking point, the Xternal can provide better temperatures compared to air-cooled methods. The big point here is that the Xternal is far, far less annoying when it comes to noise levels compared to most GPU coolers on the market.