Asetek Waterchill XTernal External Water Cooling Kit

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Conclusion

Asetek's Waterchill Xternal has the same core feature set as their previously released Waterchill unit, which itself was well received by the enthusiast community. The Xternal variant simply takes these technologies and packages them up in a sleek aluminum alloy chassis, simplifying installation and allowing the product to be considered by a larger amount of potential buyers worldwide. It's not exactly an innovative concept, as several other companies have treaded these waters (no pun intended) as well. However, of the external water cooling kits we've seen, Asetek's Waterchill Xternal certainly is the sleekest and most professional implementation to date.

The Waterchill Xternal is by far the most attractive water cooling external unit we've seen yet, using anodized aluminum alloy with an integrated (customizable) LCD screen on top. The entire package is thought out very well, from the integrated reservoir window to the rubber feet to minimize vibrations. We're very much in favor of the vast majority of the features which Asetek has implemented, however, we would love to see quick release connectors in future revisions, as this would allow the unit to be moved separately from the chassis if need be. This would also greatly help moving the unit from one system to another, which is a painful process with the Xternal unit at this time.

The waterblocks are all very high quality and were fairly easy to install. We didn't encounter any leakage issues with the stock waterblocks, as all of the units and tubing were very high quality and a snap to install. While we found the installation to be quite simple, we've worked with water cooling gear before and know how the basic flow patterns are supposed to work. Asetek's bundled manuals are surprisingly small and not very thorough, as they are clearly designed for someone with knowledge of water cooling. Beginners, however, may have some trouble with installation. We were able to get our Asetek Waterchill Xternal Kit together in about two hours from start to finish.

We unfortunately had an issue where our unit was leaking internally during early testing. The leak stopped once a seal properly seated, but this could have turned into a major issue had the internal circuitry shorted and lead to an early unit death or possibly even worse. This issue kept the Waterchill Xternal from getting solid high-scores across the board. Beyond our leakage issue, the Xternal unit performed great, providing low temperatures and low noise levels, and also allowed us some extra overclocking headroom. It's an expensive unit at $350, but provides better performance than $150 or so of high-quality air-cooled heatsinks would provide, and also allows for lower noise levels. It's a tough call as to whether or not the extra investment is worth it, but Asetek does offer a compelling product here. 

 

  • Great Looking, High Quality External Unit
  • Low Temperatures, Enhanced Overclocking
  • Low Noise Levels, User Controlled Fans Speeds
  • Integrated Customizable LCD Screen
  • Leaking Base Unit
  • Lackluster Installation Instructions
  • Costly In Comparison To Air-Cooled Hardware

 

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