Water Cooling Kit Group-Test
Published: 8th July 2013 | Source: Special Tech | Price: £142 - £175 |
Up Close: XSPC Raystorm 750 RS240 V4
XSPC kits based on the X20 750 bay/res pump combination have been around for a while now, indeed, it's a predecessor of the kit supplied for test by those grand chaps at SpecialTech that sits in the PC i'm writing this review on. Never one to rest on their laurels though XSPC have continually evolved the breed, offering new CPU blocks, rads and pump res combinations. The box housing the goodies appears to have taken a bit of a battering along the way, but once you have made your way through the two (yes two) internal brown boxes you find....yet more brown boxes. These certainly don't have the wow factor of EK's but then again, you're not left wondering just how much of the cost of the kit went on the packaging, as at £142.95 the XSPC kit is the cheapest on test here.
|XSPC||Raystorm RS 240V4|
|Intel Socket Compatibility||Socket 2011 Socket 1366 Socket 1156 Socket 1155|
|AMD Socket Compatibility||Socket FM2 Socket FM1 Socket AM3+ Socket AM3 Socket AM2+ Socket AM2|
|CPU Waterblock||XSPC Raystorm|
|Radiator Dimensions||277 x 121 x 35mm|
|Radiator Fan Specification||2 x Low Noise 1650rpm 120mm Fan|
|Pump||XSPC X20 750 12v|
|Pump Flow Rate||750 L/ph|
|Reservoir||Built In Pump|
|Tubing||7/16" ID - 5/8" OD Clear|
|Fittings||6 x 1/4" thread 1/2" Barbs|
|Suitability||Simple CPU Watercooling Mild Overclock CPU Cooling|
1 x XSPC Raystorm CPU Waterblock 1 x XSPC RS240 Radiator 2 x 120mm Fan 1 x XSPC X20 750 Pump & Reservoir combo 2 x 7/16" Clear Tubing 6 x 1/2" Barb Fittings 1 x 3mm Twin Blue LED with 4Pin Molex 1 x 5mm Blue LED with 4Pin Molex 1 x Intel and AMD RayStorm Brackets 1 x Socket 1366 and 1155/1154 Backplates 1 x Socket AM2 and AM3 mounting kit 6 x Hose Clips 1 x 80 - 120mm Radiator Mounting Kit 1 x Thermal Paste 2 x 120mm Fan Grill
The latest incarnation of the X20 750 reservoir (so named because the pump therein outputs 750 litres/minute) is the V4. This has been coupled with an RS 240 radiator and the Raystorm CPU water block. The Raystorm water block has a removeable face plate, enabling you, should you want to, to paint it to match the colour scheme of your build. The clear acrylic section of the Raystorm can also be illuminated using the supplied blue LEDs
From the front at least theX20 750 reservoir/pump looks exactly the same as the older units which is no bad thing. Gone though is the all acrylic box with interchangeable fronts, replaced instead with a black nylon reservoir with a single removable faceplate. Although a slightly bigger window wouldn't be unwelcomed the simple elegance of the twin 5.25" bay reservoir continues through to this evolution. XSPC have also kept the ability to illuminate the inside of the reservoir using the supplied blue LED. The Matte Black RS240 radiator in the kit is something of a water cooling staple, partly we think due to it's looks, and partly due to it's reputation for producing good results, although at 35mm thick the RS240 is the thinnest radiator on test here so it certainly has it's work cut out if it's to measure up. Like the EK rad though the RS240 only has connections on one side of it's end tanks which may limit your tubing routing options.
Assembly and Testing
The Raystorm Water block attaches in much the same way as the EK unit, with mounting pins locating the block and springs being compressed by thumb bolts over the top. The tubing provided is clear 7/16" ID 5/8" OD, which is secured to the supplied Gun metal effect 1/2" barbs by rather ugly black plastic double grip circumferential clips. The tubing is easier to attach to the barbs by dipping it in warm water and as the grip it has on the tubing once cooled is substantial you could probably do away with the clips. However as XSPC have supplied them we have used them and would suggest you do also. Positioning the rad so as to have the connections at the front of the case enables you to construct a compact loop without the need for runs of tubing to cross over the length of the motherboard.
The clear tubing may look a little bland by today's standards, but as the only thing not included in the kit is the coolant, this does leave you option of choosing from the myriad of colours available, picking a colour scheme to match the rest of your kit. In use the X20 750 pump is as near silent as we've heard from a water pump, in fact during leak testing when only the pump was powered there were several moments of panic when we thought the pump had failed only to find it was pumping happily and very quietly away. The propensity of the X20 750 to vibrate within the drive bays and resonate through the case has also been negated with the V4, leaving the user with a very quiet pump indeed. The 1650rpm fans supplied with the kit aren't however the quietest on test, and perhaps overly noticeable when compared to the pump.
It's worth remembering that if you have a smaller case the X20 750 is going to take up 2 of your 5.25" bays. As the filler for the res is on the top if you are able to mount the res in lower bays it will make filling a lot easier, removing the need for additional tubing in the loop which would otherwise be required to enable the res to be slid out. We mentioned earlier that unlike previous iterations of the res the V4 only comes with a black face plate. With the majority of cases being black these days we don't really see this as an issue, and as it is can be taken off easily you can always paint it up to match your case colour