Water Cooling Kit Group-Test
Published: 8th July 2013 | Source: Special Tech | Price: £142 - £175 |
With Water cooling becoming ever more popular, and having whetted your appetites of late with a look at the current crop of AIOs we thought we'd turn our sights on self assembly systems from four of the biggest water cooling kit manufacturers. All of the systems on test here today have been supplied by Specialtech, well known purveyors of one of the best known water cooling candy shops you'll ever hope to find. They all contain pretty much everything you'll need to assemble your own loop, and with the added assurance that all the gear from each manufacturer will play nicely together so you're not going to have to worry about compatibility issues. Heck in some cases they've even included instructions!
Although reservoir, pump, contact plate, tubing and fittings may vary between the kits, they do all have something in common. All the kits on test come with a 240mm radiator as standard. Granted some of the kits are available with larger rads, but with the 240mm offering the greatest case compatibility it makes sense to use this size as the basis for comparison.
We'll be testing each of the systems at 4 levels of overclock with fans at both 12v and 7v. Not only that but for good measure we'll be testing each of the rads at the highest overclock with a set of 120mm Noctua fans again at 12v and 7v both to add an element of additional comparison but also help in determining whether the performance of a specific system comes from the fans supplied or the characteristics of the radiator. With our OCCT test taking 45mins per run that works out at 7.5 hours testing for each set up, and with 4 rigs to test that makes for a colossal 30 hours of testing alone. For those of you who tend to skip to the graphs and the conclusion, if you want more detail with regards to quality and ease of build etc then it's best you spend a bit more time perusing each of the individual sections as there's quite a deal of detail to be had.
The technical specifications of each of the systems will be covered over the next 4 pages as there's far too much information to fit here. Instead a little appetiser of what awaits.