Battle of the Water Cooling Kits

XSPC X2O Dual Xtreme

Packaging & Manual

Overclock3D have been very lucky to receive a pre-release water cooling kit from XSPC. XSPC are a UK company dedicated to high performance water cooling components, and have been in business since 2003.

As this water-cooling kit has not yet been officially released, please keep in mind the version we are reviewing will not be as polished as the retail version.


The kit arrived in a plain cardboard box, with everything inside protected by a combination of both bubble wrap and air cushions. In addition to this, the majority of components in the kit were also contained within their own boxes. It would take a pretty brutal courier to cause any damage to the components within this box. I would also like to add that when the X20 Dual Xtreme kit is officially released, it will be contained within a more aesthetically pleasing packaging.


I was thoroughly impressed with the components included in the Dual Xtreme kit. I certainly wasn't expecting XSPC to include their Aluminium Passive Reservoir (blue tube on right of picture), which should further improve the cooling performance of the kit. The total kit comprises of the following items:

- XSPC R120-D Crossflow Radiator
- XSPC X2O Xtreme CPU Water Block
- XSPC X2O Pump with built-in Reservoir + Blue LED
- XSPC 150mm Passive Aluminium Reservoir + Blue LED (Choice of Black, Blue or Silver)
- 2x XinRuiLian 1700RPM 120mm Fans *2400rpm
- PVC 10/8mm High Transparency Hose
- Generic Silver Paste
- Zerex Water Additive (Coolant)
- UV Water Dye (Choice of colours)
- 2x Silicone Gaskets Fan Shrouds
- Mounting hardware for Pump, Radiator & Passive Reservoir.
- Manual
- PCI Plate for external tubing routing
- 2x Radiator mounting bracket set (120mm to 80mm)

XSPC Manual XSPC Manual

XSPC have included a full colour manual in English language only. The manual covers all aspects of setting up your water cooling system and mounting the water block and other components.

The included manual was actually for the single radiator version of the X2O kit, so some of the instructions differed slightly. However XSPC are working on a manual exclusively for the Dual Xtreme, which will be shipped with the retail version of the kit.

Water Block & Accessories

A new addition to the XSPC family is the X20 Xtreme water block. Previously XSPC were making use of the highly acclaimed 'Zern' water block, which despite producing some great results, did not have a universal mounting plate, and was therefore not a great companion for a water-cooling kit.

XSPC Water Block XSPC Water Block

The block comes with pre-assembled mounting hardware that supports the following platforms:

- AMD Socket 939
- AMD Socket 754
- AMD Socket 940
- Intel Socket 775
- Intel Socket 478
- Intel Socket 603
- Intel Socket 604
* AMD AM2 mounting plate coming soon.

Also included is a "CPU Extension Ring", which can be used to raise the height of the mounting plate on the water block. This is useful for motherboards that have capacitors or other electronics close to the CPU socket which may hinder mounting of the water block.

The base of the block is similar in finish to that of Swiftech's. The surface is very flat and there are no visible marks or scratches. It would have been nice to see the bottom of this block polished to a mirror finish, however, whether this would have any noticeable effects on performance is debatable.

The block is designed to give maximum performance while keeping the flow resistance to a minimum. Inside the block, the copper base has a grid of 429 pins with a brass insert to direct the flow around the block.

XSPC Water Additives XSPC Accessories

XSPC have included both a Water Additive and UV dye in with the package. Judging by the colour, the Water Additive looks to be Zerex - regarded by many as one of the best coolants available.

Also included in the kit are two LED's. These can be inserted into the holes drilled in the perspex on the reservoir and pump to add a bit of 'bling' to your water-cooling system. One thing I would like to have seen is the use of UV LED's rather than coloured LED's. This would mean that the water would glow with whatever colour UV additive had been used.

The reservoir mounting brackets can be used to place the reservoir anywhere within your case (drilling may be required) and can even be fixed to an 80mm fan hole.

In a similar fashion, the radiator can be mounted at the back of your machine over a 120mm fan hole, or the included brackets can be used to fix the radiator to an 80mm fan hole.

Should you wish to mount radiator on the outside of the case, XSPC have included a PCI Bracket for routing your tubing outside.

Pump & Reservoir

The XSPC X20 Dual Xtreme kit is supplied with XSPC's very own X20 pump and passive reservoir. Interestingly, the XSPC X20 pump actually has an integrated reservoir, so should you not be able to find a place to install the passive reservoir, you can use the pump's reservoir instead.

XSPC Pump & Res

XSPC Reservoir XSPC Pump

The included XSPC Passive Reservoir is 150mm in height, which should prove easier to install inside a mid-tower case than XSPC's larger 250mm version - especially with the included brackets which allow for it to be installed over an 80mm fan hole. The reservoir has a plexiglass top and base which allows you to easily check water levels at a glance. As mentioned earlier, the base of the reservoir can be illuminated with one of the included blue LED's to add a cool effect to the water.

The reservoir shaft is constructed from anodised aluminium with fins to disperse heat more effectively. This should help to reduce the temperature of the water slightly.

XSPC have chosen to come up with their own solution for a pump rather than using a solution from another manufacturer. The pump is powered directly from a 3-pin fan header which is certainly the first pump I've ever seen powered this way. The pump is designed to run at 12v, and at this voltage XSPC state that it should be "near silent". An obvious advantage to having the pump powered in this way is motherboard rpm monitoring: - If the pump was to stop functioning, you could configure your motherboard's BIOS to alert you to this.

The pumps specifications are as follows:

- Pump performance: 450l/h
- Delivery head: 1.65m
- Power : 9.5W
- Voltage: 12V (3pin) with rpm readout
- Connection: 1/4" thread
- Dimensions: 88x56x88mm

Mounting of the pump is similar to most in this review, with XSPC opting for a sticky pad, which not only prevents the pump from sliding around your case, but also dampens any vibrations from the pump, thus reducing noise.

Radiator & Fans

Having owned some of XSPC's radiators in the past, the greatest thing I found them is that they can be mounted in the front of the Coolermaster Stacker (and some other models) without any modification. Click here for an idea of how this was done in one of my previous projects.

XSPC Radiator

XSPC Radiator XSPC Radiator

The XSPC R120-D Crossflow radiator is actually the largest in our round-up, measuring in at 139x316x45mm (WxLxD). The R120-D is the only radiator in our review that has barbs at opposite ends of the radiator. I'm not quite sure why XSPC opted for the Crossflow model, rather than their standard one (with both barbs at one end), as this could make tube routing a bit more of a pain - especially when the radiator is used outside of the case.

In my opinion the XSPC is by far the best looking radiator in this review, with chromed fan shrouds making a break from the plain black radiators we've all become accustomed to.

The included 120mm fans are manufactured by XinRuiLian (*checks spelling*), and boast 60cfm at 30dBA when running at 12v. Due to this fans being 4-pin molex powered, XSPC have not included any kind of fan controller or voltage reduction cables in the kit.
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Most Recent Comments

26-06-2006, 09:55:03

well done mate, time well spent! awesome review

(as you can tell by the time stamp im still in the middle of reading it)Quote

26-06-2006, 10:11:16

Nice review mate. I read it before posting Quote

26-06-2006, 10:17:56

lol, cheers guys.Quote

26-06-2006, 12:37:05

Awesome review man, I really enjoyed it. Some of those kit's really kicked butt!


26-06-2006, 13:47:12

must say the thermaltake didnt manage well.

45celsius at load is higher than i get on air :/Quote

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