XSPC Raystorm 750 EX240 Watercooling Kit Review
This is the second XSPC kit we've looked at here at OC3D, and it has to be said we continue to be impressed. with the exception of coolant XSPC have included absolutely everything you need to assemble not just a basic water cooling set up, but one with style, substance, and a little bit of bling. Each of the components used is strong in it's own right, from the classic X20 750 twin bay reservoir with integral pump and interchangeable face plates, through the new EX240 low profile radiator from which the kit gets it name, all the way to the stunning Raystorm CPU water-block. But XSPC don't stop at just providing you with these components, they also provide LEDs to light up your work and all the fittings and attachments you could possibly want to get your rig "under water".
So XSPC on paper at least appear to have a winner on their hands. But that's not where the story ends though is it? Not at all. This kit has to perform, and perform well to justify the outlay.
So does it? Well look at those performance figures and tell me this kit isn't worth the money. Ok, you're dropping nearly £150 on it, but each of the items is a quality piece of kit in it's own right, and as your experience and confidence grows you're most likely going to be able to re use elements in future builds and perhaps sell on the items you no longer require. Unlike PC hardware, this stuff won't be redundant and old had in 2-3 years. Yes there are a few WC kits in the rankings that beat it, but they don't beat it by much and have much larger radiators which are much less likely to fit into your rig, or at the very least take up valuable space or cause you to have to get the dremel out.
Lets take a step back and look at this again. We have here a slimline 240mm Radiator that is able to pretty much match two other 360mm Radiators. It gets to within 0.5 of a degree of the Swiftech H20 X20 (which is a pretty noisy bit of kit for the money), and even manages to get within 5 degrees of it's bigger older brother, the XSPC RS360. That's no mean feat by any-ones standards. And it manages all this with only 2 very quiet 1200rpm "stock" fans.
Whilst we're talking about noise, lets mention the X20 reservoir/pump combination. This unit has received criticism in the past for being quite a noisy affair. We have to say we experienced no such problems. This may in some part be due to taking a little bit of time to make sure the reservoir is properly mounted and isolated with all the screws done up tightly rather than using the cases "tool-less" design to secure the unit in place. It's also fair to say that although the supplied fans do a fantastic job at very low noise levels, We think the unit could be capable of even better performance figs should you choose to upgrade the fans.
Upgrade is also a key word when talking about this kit. Ok so you've bought your kit, but a few months down the line you want to water-cool your GPU. No problem, just buy your block of choice, a few fittings and add it into the loop. An extra rad to help with the cooling? Again no problem, just buy it and add it in. Try doing that with a sealed system.
Lengthy conclusions are easier to write when the kit reviewed is bad, or at the very least in some way flawed. Problem is, this XSPC kit is good, very good, which leaves me very little to write about in the way of criticism, and boy do I like to be critical when the need calls for it. Ok so the price is a bit steep, but then if you're going to buy cheap water-cooling kit then you might as well not bother at all, stick to air and live the easy life. So XSPC could have included instructions on how to assemble the whole kit down to the minutest detail, but researching how to do this and making your own decisions is something of a right of passage into the world of Water-cooling. This might be water cooling, but there is no wet nurse.
We'd actually finished with this review and conclusion at this point but then thought we might go a little bit further asnd see how the XSPC kit compares to a custom loop. So under exactly the same testing conditions the XSPC kit was put up against the following: Watercool Heatkiller rev 3 Copper, Phobya G-changer v1.2 360 (3.120 double thickness radiator fitted with 3 of the mighty Scythe gentle typhoon 1850 fans), and the Laing DDC-1 + 18W pump with EK X res 140 Pump top. So how did the XSPC kit perform. Well i'm glad in some ways to say it was beaten, as I would have thrown the rest of my kit out of the window if it hadn't been, but it wasn't beaten by much, not much at all. At the all important 4.4GHz at 1.45V test the custom loop returned a Delta T of 48.75, just 5.25 degrees cooler than the XSPC kit. I think those figures speak for themselves, and leave me feeling nothing if not a little depressed.
In reviewing the equipment and components that come through our hands here at OC3D there are but a few items that stick out as genuinely great. We're pleased to say the XSPC EX 240 watercooling kit is one of these items. The kit is currently on pre-order from Specialtech with stock dates expected around the end of July.