Inno3D GTX 980Ti iChill Black Graphics Card Review

Introduction


Closed-loop liquid coolers have become extremely popular in the CPU market due to the cleaner build, and greater space around the CPU socket compared to traditional air cooling hardware. This means you can install an all in one liquid cooler without having to make concessions in terms of memory compatibility or worry too much about your motherboard’s PCI-E arrangement. As you might expect, all in one liquid coolers have progressively moved into the GPU sector to offer improved overclocking headroom and a lower noise output. There are some interesting parallels between CPU and GPU all in one liquid cooling though which needs to be addressed.

Firstly, many air coolers like the Noctua NH-D15 can outperform Asetek units, while being much quieter. It’s a similar picture with graphics cards because proficient air cooling setups including the Gigabyte Windforce X3 and Sapphire Tri-X provide a superb noise to performance ratio. Liquid cooled graphics cards have a price premium and involve a more complicated installation process. It’s important to remember that Maxwell is a very mature and efficient architecture which allows vendors to enable a 0dB idle fan mode. Despite my own qualms about closed-loop liquid cooling, it’s fantastic to see products which cater to a different target market. There’s clearly a demand for pre-assembled liquid cooled graphics cards, and their appeal is bound to grow in the next few years.

Today, we’re taking a look at the Inno3D GTX 980Ti iChill Black which utilizes a very powerful hybrid cooling solution. The GPU incorporates a traditional fan which only switches on during heavy load, in addition to a 120mm fan/radiator combination. The Arctic Cooling radiator fan is constantly on but has a very low RPM curve to maintain silent running. This impeccable hardware allows for an impressive core clock of 1203MHz and default boost reaching 1304MHz. The memory has also been increased to 7280MHz. As you can see from the chart below, this isn’t the greatest configuration we’ve encountered from the factory, but it’s exceedingly fast and should be a top performer. It will be fascinating to contrast this graphics card with the marvellous Inno3D GTX 980Ti X3 Ultra DHS which opts for a hefty air cooling design.

Specifications:

Packing and Accessories

The Inno3D GTX 980 Ti iChill Black comes in a huge box to properly house the closed loop cooler’s tubing and protect against leaks during shipping. Honestly, the picture doesn’t provide an accurate depiction of the packaging’s size. I have to commend Inno3D because they have taken the precautionary steps to reduce the possibility of damage occurring and utilized strong foam inserts as cushioning materials. The box itself features an attractive render of the GPU, and outlines its specification.

On the rear portion, there’s a brief synopsis of NVIDIA’s Maxwell architecture. I’m a bit surprised to see the back doesn’t contain any information about the liquid cooling solution and the acoustical benefits compared to NVIDIA’s reference cooler.

In terms of accessories, the graphics card is bundled with mounting screws, 6-pin PCI-E to molex adapter, case badge, DVI-D to VGA adapter and installation guide. There’s also a driver’s disk which you should disregard, a copy of 3DMark, and other documentation. This is a great selection of items and provides everything you need to get started! The mouse mat is surprisingly high-quality and relatively thick.

Corsair Hydro Series H5 SF AIO CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Picking the right cooler for your system can be tricky, but when it comes to sticking a high-performance CPU in a compact gaming system, your choices are often quite limited to a range of low-profile air coolers. Corsair is looking to solve this issue with the new Corsair H5 SF Hydro Series Low Profile Liquid CPU Cooler, an AIO unit that’s small enough to mount over the top of a mini-ITX motherboard! Unlike most AIO that must be mounted on a 120/140mm fan fitting, this cooler is a similar shape and size to a 5.25″ drive and comes with a special bracket that mounts it above the CPU like you would expect an air/tower cooler to install.

“The Hydro Series H5 SF is a low profile liquid CPU cooler that provides efficient cooling for small form factor Mini-ITX systems. Building a small form factor system shouldn’t have to mean compromising on processor speed, and with the H5 SF you can provide reliable cooling for your system’s high-performance CPU.” – Corsair

While I’m not expecting huge performance from the new cooler overall, when it comes down to cooling a compact gaming rig, it’s very likely that it’ll still be better than most low-profile air coolers that would fit the same system. Corsair has some impressive figures of their own, but how do they hold up in the real world? That’s what we hope to find out.

“It has a pump assembly with a copper coldplate and flexible, low permeability tubing, just like our larger Hydro Series models. They’re matched with a one-piece blower which cools the circulated liquid by drawing cool air from the inside of your PC and exhausting it outside the case. So, in addition to keeping your CPU cool, the H5 SF provides additional cooling for the motherboard and other components by constantly pulling cool air across them.” – Corsair

Equipped with copper and aluminium construction, high-quality tubing and support for all major sockets, the H5 SF is certainly promising. So let’s move on and take a closer look.

The packaging is typical Corsair, with the usual black and yellow theme at work, as well as a nice big image of the product, showing us the design of the pump and radiator.

Around the back, a nice technical breakdown of the specifications, design and a little image of how the radiator looks when mounted on a mini-ITX motherboard.

The packaging is nicely done on the interior too, with lots of protective cardboard around all major components, as well as protective plastic bags and stickers to prevent any minor marks or scratches.

In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get the cooler installed on major Intel and AMD mini-ITX platforms. All the screws are really good quality with a nice dark nickel finish and there’ sa durable L-shaped support bar for mounting it above the motherboard.

EKWB Predator AIO Now AMD Compatible with new Upgrade Kit

EK Water Blocks Predator AIO is probably one of the best AIO cooling solutions you can get at the moment despite the minor hiccup that resulted in full callback a few months ago. However, so far they have been limited to Intel users as that were the only CPU sockets supported by the mounting brackets. AMD users also want liquid cooling, especially those that run the high TDP processors and there is good news for them.

EK Water Blocks released a new EK-XLC Predator AMD Upgrade Kit that will fix this and allow pretty much any AMD CPU user to install the Predator AIO cooling solution in their system. The EK-XLC Predator AMD Upgrade Kit is a set of mounting plates with backplate and screws that will work with every EK-XLC Predator revision 1.1. After upgrading the Predator AIO with the new mounting brackets, it will be fully compatible with AMD Sockets 939, 754, 940, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, and FM2+, which covers pretty much any AMD CPU.

The new AMD upgrade kit is available now and early pre-orders should be on route and arrive very shortly. This isn’t a free upgrade, but won’t cost you a whole lot either, but the EK-XLC Predator Upgrade Kit will set you back €6.95.

Overall the Predator AIO is one of the most expensive AIO solutions, but it’s also one of the best as previously mentioned. With the quick disconnect feature you’re able to expand the loop with extra units such as pre-filled graphics card blocks and have a system that comes very close to a custom loop setup, but with a lot less hassle when upgrading, maintaining, or just fiddling with your system.

What’s your take on AIO cooling solutions and especially EKWB’s Predator? Do you love it or would you rather go for a custom loop despite the added workload? Let us know in the comments.

Arctic Liquid Freezer 240 AIO Cooler Review

Introduction


Arctic are well-known for their air cooling products, but today we’ll be taking a look at one of their first entries to the high-end AIO water cooling market; the Arctic Liquid Freezer 240. Designed for high-performance cooling for gaming systems, overclocking, workstations and more, you’ll find a fairly thick 240mm radiator, backed up by four high-quality 120mm fans, there’s little doubt that it’ll be able to shift some serious heat from your system. With a max TDP of 300 Watts, as well as support for all major Intel and AMD sockets, the Freezer 240 can easily handle some of today’s fastest CPUs.

Water cooling is becoming increasingly popular, especially with many consumers now running overclockable processors. Being able to push your systems limits to get the most value for money out of your hardware is no bad thing. When you’re gaming, editing video, rendering and more, the CPU get’s pretty toasty, which in turn causes fans to spin faster and can result in more noise. Having a more powerful cooler should help ensure that not only do your temps stay nice and low, but you’ll also be keeping the acoustics in check too; let’s hope the new cooler from Arctic can tick both of those boxes.

The packaging is pretty straight forward, with a good image of the cooler on the front and a bit of branding.

Around the back, things get a lot more technical, with some relative performance figures and specifications. Of course, we’ll be doing our own independent testing, so I won’t focus on their figures too much.

The packaging is pretty crammed, with components and hoses next to each other and minimal padding around anything in here. I would hope then when shipped, the item comes in another box with bubble wrap around this one, as it doesn’t seem sufficient.

In the box, you’ll find all the usual nuts and bolts, a universal backplate, AMD and Intel brackets, as well as a small sachet of Arctic MX-4 thermal paste.

There are four high-quality fans included with this cooler. Each measure 120mm and are Arctic’s own design, promising high airflow and low noise. Each fan comes with a built-in fan header splitter, making it super easy to daisy chain them on a single fan header. Each fan has extra long cables, with black sleeving and a PWM header.

LEPA Announces Exllusion 240 Liquid Cooler

All in one liquid coolers have become incredibly popular among hardware enthusiasts and made a large number switch from traditional air cooling. When it comes to performance, air coolers tend to offer similar heat dissipation at quieter noise levels. Although, this is usually the case with closed-looped-coolers from Asetek which use an aluminium radiator. While air coolers still exhibit great performance numbers, many people don’t care for the lack of space around the CPU socket. Furthermore, the large size can impact on memory compatibility and even stop you from inserting a graphics card into the first PCI-E x16 slot.

On the other hand, custom loops leverage extra performance and look absolutely stunning. However, they are an expensive proposition and quite daunting to anyone without water cooling expertise. Originally, closed loop coolers from Asetek and CoolIT adopted a very mundane, and uninspired design. Thankfully, this has changed in recent years and products like the Rajintek Triton include various dyes and clear tubing to create a striking finish. The latest liquid cooler to enter the market adopts a similar look to the Triton and includes a fill port. The Exllusion 240 by LEPA has a transparent block to monitor your cooler’s water levels. Here is a detailed run-down about the unit’s capabilities:

  • 400W+ TDP Cooling Capacity

    Performance-capable, refillable and customizable AIO CPU water cooler for most stable CPU operation even under extreme overclocking.

  • Rapid Heat Dissipation

    Nickel-plated copper base with patented Dual Central Diffusing Passage (CDP). The two channels within the micro-fin structure accelerate heat dissipation and eliminate CPU hot spots more efficiently.

  • Voluminous Transparent LED Water Block

    The water block has a higher coolant capacity to increases the coolant circulation. The transparent chassis and tubes allow for an easy monitoring of the coolant flow & volume status. Stylish LED lightning.

  • Colour Your Cooling!

    LEPA provides three RGB dyes (red, green, blue), so that you can colour the coolant individually. Mix your favourite colour!

  • Durable & Silent Pump

    The ceramic bearing prevents from corrosion and ensures a durable and silent operation.

  • Dual Convex Blade Fans

    The advanced aerodynamic design of the fan blades generates a high static pressure and increases the air flow rate. The Dual Convex Blades fans achieve a higher cooling performance at lower speed.

  • Refillable Water Block

    Add or modify the coolant composition. Additional 500ml LEPA coolant included for future refill processes.

  • Universal & Solid Mounting Kit

    Easy and user-friendly installation. EXllusion supports the latest Intel® and AMD© desktop sockets.

  • Large 240mm Radiator

    Higher heat exchange rate for maximum cooling performance.

The Exllusion 240 of LEPA is now available from participating retailers and has a suggested price of 109.99 Euro (+VAT). The LEPA CXcoolant kit will also be available from March with a suggested price of 14,90 Euro.

Do you prefer air cooling or liquid cooling?

Arctic Liquid Freezer 120 AIO CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Arctic are well-known for their air cooling products, having made many great products over the years, but now they’re moving into new territory with the release of their first water cooler. The Arctic Liquid Freezer 120 is an AIO water cooler, which means its going to be super easy to install and will need virtually no maintenance, making it an accessible option for those who don’t want to tackle custom loop cooling. It may only be a 120mm radiator, but Arctic are promising big performance, which will no doubt come from the thick radiator design, the two high-quality fans and their high-end pump and block design.

“We fully designed the F12 fan with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) software and optimized it for high airflow. From all fans tested in our air tunnel and anechoic chamber the F12 offers the highest airflow at a given noise level – by margin” said Arctic. “Dual low noise 120 mm fans mounted on opposite sides of the radiator provide a great airflow. First fan pushes air through the radiator, second fan pulls the air through it. Controllable with PST function to adjust the fan speed based on CPU temperature.” they added. “The Fluid Dynamic Bearing comes with an oil capsule that avoids lubricant leakage. Thus this bearing is as quiet as a sleeve bearing but comes with a significantly higher service life.”

120mm radiators are extremely compatible with a huge range of chassis products, but keep in mind that at 49mm thick, as well as two 15mm thick fans, you’re going to need good clearance to einsure a comfortable fit, although we suspect this will only be an issue for some SFF chassis types.

The cooler offers up support for all the latest socket types, and with an impressive max TDP of 300 watts, it’s going to be able to handy virtually anything you throw at it.

  • Intel Socket: 2011(-3), 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156
  • AMD Socket: AM2(+), AM3(+), FM1, FM2(+)
  • Max. Cooling Performance: 300 Watts
  • Recommended for TDP up to: 250 Watts

The packaging is nicely designed, with a nice clear image of the cooler on the front, as well as a good amount of technical data on the sides.

There are some performance figures here, but as is often the case, I’ll trust my own numbers in our benchmarks, which we’ll take a look at shortly.

In the box, you’ll find a backplate, Intel and AMD mounting brackets, the installation guide, and all the usual nuts and bolts for mounting the fans, radiator, and pump.

Both F12 series fans are Arctics own design, with FDB and PWM speed control. What’s interesting is that both fans have super long cables and each has a Y-splitter so that you don’t lose the use of a fan header.


Antec Kuhler H20 H1200 & H600 Pro Water Cooler Review

Introduction


Antec is one of the biggest names in the PC component market, with many years of experience in creating chassis, cooler, power supplies and more.  With Antec having created so many products over the years, it’s more than likely you’ve owned a few of their components over the years, so it’s great to see them continue to push the limits. Antec has been a little behind in the cooling market recently, as their last range of Kuhler H20 products didn’t exactly capture the imaginations of the market, but their latest versions, the H1200 Pro and the H600 Pro look set to change that.

Maximum cooling thanks to large copper base plate and high-performance radiator

“To achieve the best results when used with overclocked processors, both Kühler H2O H600 PRO and H1200 PRO are equipped with a large copper base plate that efficiently transfers heat from any AMD or Intel processor to the radiator. For maximum performance, H600 PRO and H1200 PRO feature a precisely constructed radiator with a 0.2 mm fin interval. The dimensions of the radiator are 275 mm x 120 mm x 27 mm for the H1200 and 155 mm x 120 mm x 27 mm for the H600.” – Antec

The new range features a 120mm and a 240mm slim radiator design, with an AIO (all in one) water cooling setup that aims to deliver high-end performance, flawless designs and best of all, wallet-friendly prices. Spec for spec, the latest Antec products are often half the price of their next big competitor, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep up with some of the more established AIO coolers on the market, especially at such competitive prices. If they can, then Antec are about to win over a huge part of the PC system building market.

Extremely quiet operation meets tremendous power

“Despite their excellent cooling performance, H600 PRO and H1200 PRO operate extremely quiet. This is due to the high-quality blue LED 120 mm fans that can reach up to 2,400 revolutions per minute. In addition, the enclosed pump impeller is near completely silent while delivering a pressure of 2.3 meters of water. The pump achieves this exceptional pressure thanks to the higher rotational speed of the winding type three-phase motor, maximising cooling performance for any PC system. For clean cable management, the pump is powered by a SATA interface.” – Antec

High build quality for exceptional durability

All components used for the Kühler H2O H600 PRO and H1200 PRO systems impress with their outstanding build quality and durability. The oil-free lubrication graphite bearing has a service life of up to 150,000 hours. The service life of the carbon metal crystalline ceramic axis is also 50 times longer than that of common models.” – Antec

We’ve got both models in the eTeknix office today and will be putting them head to head with each other, as well as a wide range of aftermarket coolers from many other brands, so it’ll be exciting to see how they perform. As you can see, both coolers come in a stylishly designed box, with a nice image of the product on the front and the main specifications, although I don’t think that lightning effect on the H600 is a feature, obviously.

The H1200 comes bundled with two lovely 120mm blue LED fans, each fitted with a standard PWM connector, anti-vibration screw holes and clear fan blades. It also comes bundled with a Y-splitter, so you only need a single motherboard header to connect them. The H600 comes with just one of these fans, which also means it doesn’t include the Y-splitter.

The fans are certainly of a nice quality and they’re Antec’s own design; having personally used a lot of Antec fans in the past, I have high hopes for their performance.

Both the H600 and the H1200 come with the same set of components, with the exception of the extra fan and Y-splitter for the H1200. You’ll find a universal backplate, AMD and Intel mounting brackets, a small tube of thermal paste, and all black fittings for the screws and other mounting hardware.

Both coolers come nicely packaged in protective cardboard, with durable plastic bag coverings on all major hardware, as well as some thick air pockets to help prevent any of it moving around in transit.

Antec Introduces Kühler H2O H600 PRO and H1200 PRO

All-in-one liquid cooling solutions are a great way to improve the cooling abilities past that of purely air-based CPU coolers and Antec just released two new of such models. The two new Antec all-in-one CPU coolers are the Kühler H2O H600 PRO and Kühler H2O H1200 PRO. These new Antec Kühler models should provide you with the best possible cooling abilities thanks to the use of quality components such as an extra-large copper base plate, the high-performance radiator, and the silent yet powerful fans included.

 

The Antec Kühler H600 and H1200 are close to identical with only the radiator length and tubing length to differentiate them. The H600 is a 120mm sized model with a tube length of 315mm while the Kühler H1200 is a 240mm sized model with a tube length of 348mm. Both Kühler models have a radiator thickness of 27mm.

Both the Kühler H600 PRO and H1200 PRO are equipped with the same large copper base plate that should transfer heat effectively from any AMD or Intel processor as the coolers are compatible with pretty much any socket. You can mount it on Intel LGA 775, 115x, 1366, and 2011 as well as AMD AM2 and all newer up to the current ones.

The radiator on the Kühler H600 PRO measures 155 x 120 and the H1200 measures 275 x 120mm, which is the room you’ll need to mount these. The radiators are constructed with a 0.2mm fin interval and together with the large base plate lay the foundation for the cooling abilities.

While you can mount any standard 120mm fans on these radiators, there already are some good ones included. Antec bundled their blue LED fans with the Kühler H600 and Kühler H1200 which spin with a speed of 600 to 2400 RPM and create a noise level of 16 to 25 dBa.

 

The enclosed pump impeller is said to be near completely silent while delivering a pressure of 2.3 meters of water. The pump achieves this pressure thanks to the higher rotational speed of the winding type three-phase motor. A fan header can’t deliver enough power to these coolers, so that is delivered via an SATA power connector instead.

The Kühler H2O H600 PRO comes with an MSRP of £39.99 while the H1200 costs a little more with its MSRP set to £59.99. Those are still very reasonable prices and I think these units should sell well. Antec did not reveal when then the new units will be available at this time.

We have just received our review samples here at the eTeknix office, so we’ll have the full reviews ready for you in a couple of days. Stay tuned and see how great these new Antec Kühler H20 can perform.

EKWB Issues Full Recall of Predator 240 and 360 AIO Coolers

If you purchased one of EKWB’s Predator 240 or 360 all-in-one liquid coolers, then you should read this. EKWB has issued a full recall of all EK-XLC Predator 240 and 360 pre-filled and pre-assembled all-in-one (AIO) CPU liquid cooling units due to a potential risk of leakage of liquid from the unit. Affected are all Revision 1.0 models of both the 240mm and 360mm version with the EAN-codes 3831109863343 and 3831109863350.

At first it was estimated as a limited risk situation where only a single batch of units were affected and could develop leakage over time, it quickly turned out to be a more widespread problem and that is why EKWB issued a full recall. The good news in all of this is that a new and fixed version is ready, any revision 1.0 product will be replaced or refunded, and EKWB even covers damage to other parts that resulted from a leaking Predator AIO.

EKWB first identified the issue as a faulty O-ring in the EK-Supremacy MX CPU water block that was used in the unit. At first, it was thought that it only affected the November batch of O-rings, as pre-orders and early testers hadn’t reported any issues. That quickly changed and EKWB found the problem to affect all units. The leakage may occur between the copper cold plate and bracket on the water block after it is heated up and pressure rises. Current statistics show that 1 out of 10 units leaks.

If you currently use one of these units, then you are strongly recommended to stop doing so. EKWB has redesigned and released a new version of EK-XLC Predator (Revision 1.1) on the 4th of January 2016 that prevents any leakage under normal working modes. For the full details on refund or exchange, please visit EKWB’s official note about this issue. You’ll also find contact email addresses and phone numbers for both EU and US customers.

Errors in productions are something that can happen to anyone at any time, what is important is how you handle the aftermath. EKWB has shown a prime example of how it is done. They are taking full responsibility for it and giving their customers multiple fix options from a refund to replacement units. No secrets but full disclosure all the way through. Well done EKWB, it might cost you some money to fix the issue right now, but you’ll win some loyal customers with it.

Silverstone Tundra TD02-Slim AIO Cooler Review

Introduction


The design team at Silverstone are the masters of ergonomics, something we’ve seen time and time again with their revolutionary space-saving chassis designs. Not only have they created some masterful chassis, but they also have a great range of cooling products that are perfectly designed for tighter spaces, such as slim fans, low-profile air coolers and slim AIO radiators. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Tundra TD02-Slim, a 240mm AIO water cooler with a total thickness of just 37mm, with the fans installed! This is going to be a great cooler for mini-ITX and Micro-ATX chassis designs where space is at a premium.

“Due to limited room in smaller cases, small form factor users are often left out of liquid cooling option, so SilverStone has released the Tundra TD02-Slim. Designed for small form factor PCs, this cooler has a radiator and fan combo of only 37mm thick, making it possible to fit into slimmer profile cases or giving more space in tight confines. By retaining many of the high-end features from SilverStone’s other liquid cooling models, the TD02-Slim also has great performance for the money and is a top choice for high performance but small PC builds.”

The cooler is well equipped, with a copper base plate, a 22mm aluminium radiator, high-performance pump, and two 15mm thick PWM fans. Of course, the cooler also comes with support for a massive range of socket types, ensuring compatibility with any modern system.

The packaging shows off a nice image of the cooler, as well as a quick rundown of the main spec, such as the slim form factor and the extensive socket support.

Around the back, much of the same information, just broken down into various international languages.

Virtually everything you need is included, such as a universal backplate, as well as a Y-split fan cable and a Molex adaptor should you not have any available fan headers on your motherboard.

The included fans look really nice, with a contrasting black and white theme. They’re obviously super slim, but with a large number of fins, they’re still going to be able to shift some serious airflow. The only minor gripe is the colour of the fan cables, but it’s hardly a deal breaker.

MSI Bundles Limited Edition Heroes of the Storm with Select Systems

Blizzard had a very long and impressive success with World of Warcraft and while that is declining, they haven’t really found the next big thing to capture the users on the same level. Heroes of Storm has been off to a relatively good start, but nothing compared to World of Warcraft. That means that the marketing has to change and we see a lot of promotions lately with Heroes of the Storm packages bundled. The latest in this series is MSI that now bundles limited edition versions of Heroes of the Storm with select gaming systems.

While the game in itself is free, there are many items to get and these bundles include downloadable limited edition items for Heroes of the Storm. MSI’s bundle comes with their desktops and All-in-One PCs that are officially authorized and recommended by Blizzard Entertainment. While we have seen other bundles in the past, this is the first time that Blizzard teamed up for full systems.

Most people should know Heroes of the Storm by now, even if they haven’t played it themselves. It is a multiplayer online battle arena game that features heroes from Blizzard’s other games such as Diablo, Warcraft, and StarCraft. The game uses both free-to-play and freemium models and is supported by micropayments, which can be used to obtain heroes, visual alterations for the heroes in the game and mounts.

The limited edition MSI GAMING 24 and GAMING 27 all-in-one PCs have been engraved with Blizzard’s Heroes to make it remarkable. Users will find an exclusive voucher with the Hero character named Valla inside. The Nighblade MI2 system comes with an exclusive voucher with Hero character, Diablo with a Kaijo Skin while the MSI Nightblade X2B comes with a voucher for the Hero character Gazlowe and a Big Top skin.

These MSI systems might be compact and small, but they still pack great power that is backed by Intel i7’s and Nvidia 900 series graphics cards, among other things. If you just want something simple that works right out of the box, then solutions like these could be perfect. If you also play Heroes of the Storm or want to start it, then they might be perfect.

EVGA Releases AIO-Cooled GeForce GTX 970 HYBRID GAMING

Cooler is better and that isn’t a motto that’s just relevant to the top of the line graphics cards, it’s something that applies to all models throughout the ranks. Those who are in the market for a new GeForce GTX 970 powered graphics card and at the same time want something that runs as cool as possible, they should take a look at the just released EVGA GeForce GTX 970 HYBRID GAMING graphics card. The new graphics card comes with an all-in-one liquid cooler as well as a blower fan for optimal cooling and without the hassle of installing an aftermarket cooler yourself.

Without the trouble of mounting aftermarket solutions, tubing and filling, the EVGA GeForce GTX 970 HYBRID GAMING is pure plug and play like any other graphics card. The only difference is that you’ll also need to mount the 120mm radiator with the fan to the chassis.

The AIO solution is utilizing a pure Copper Base heatsink for optimal cooling and maximum heat transfer. You also get a card with a virtually silent operation as the fans won’t have to work as much as traditional cooling solutions and thanks to the variably controlled fans on both the graphics card itself and on the radiator.

The cooling solution is very effective and the card will hover around 40 degrees during maximum load usage, which is quite nice compared to the up to 90 degrees seen on reference cards.

The EVGA GeForce GTX 970 HYBRID GAMING graphics card has 1664 CUDA Cores, a base clock of 1140 MHz and a boost clock of 1279 MHz. It comes with 4GB GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit memory bus and clocked at 7010MHz. The card is also ready for up to 3-way SLI setups.

AMD Officially Responds to Fury X Cease-and-Desist

It has been a couple of months now since Asetek won over Cooler Master’s appeal in the long-time going legal battle in regards to patent infringement in the all-in-one liquid coolers. Shortly after this victory for Asetek we foresaw some issues for AMD’s liquid cooled Fury X graphics card that uses a Cooler Master system and we were right. A couple of days ago we brought you the news that Asetek had made a Cease & Desist orders to AMD in regards to the Radeon Fury X graphics card.

AMD is naturally not taking this lying down and have officially responded to the issue. They, AMD, argue that the jury in the Asetek versus Cooler Master case didn’t mention the specific cooling solution used in the Radeon R9 Fury X models as infringing on the Asetek held patents.

“We are aware that Asetek has sued Cooler Master. While we defer to Cooler Master regarding the details of the litigation, we understand that the jury in that case did not find that the Cooler Master heat sink currently used with the Radeon Fury X infringed any of Asetek’s patents.”

AMD and Asetek have without a doubt entered some sort of discussion in this matter and it is also clear that AMD will battle this outcome in order to keep their flagship GPU on the market. While it all looks a bit grim right now, it isn’t as bad as it could be. First of all, AMD shouldn’t be hit by with any financial burdens even if they should be found using a patent infringing cooling system. If it’s the case, it should be Cooler Master’s problem again. It could however still be removed from the market as it is, but the way the legal system is built, that could take a long time. And with such a long time to work it out, AMD has plenty of time to find another cooling solution and make a revision of their cards before any legal proceedings can be entered.

It will still be interesting to see how this plays out, whether an agreement will be reached or AMD will revise the Radeon R9 Fury X’s cooling solution.

ID-Cooling Frostflow 240L AIO Water Cooler Review

Introduction


ID-Cooling is quickly becoming a common name in western markets, having launched several very interesting products this year, many of which you can expect to see reviews of here at eTeknix, and some we’ve already covered, such as the Frostflow 120L, T60-SFX Chassis, IS Series Coolers and the SE 204K Cooler. ID-Cooling has won a few awards from us here at eTeknix and I’m certainly eager to see how their 240L stacks up against their own smaller 120L model and, of course, their competitors products.

Equipped support for every popular socket type you can think of, a TDP rating of up to 200W, a 240mm aluminium radiator, two high-quality fans and a ceramic bearing pump, the Frostflow 240L is certainly seems like a capable piece of hardware, so let’s jump right in and take a closer look at what it has to offer.

The packaging is typical of what we’ve seen on other ID-Cooling products, keeping the same black and red theme that they often use, a nice image of the cooler, as well as some of the specifications on the front of the box.

Around the back, a little statement from ID-Cooling about the product.

In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get it installed, including mounting kits for both AMD and Intel, as well as a universal backplate.

There are two high-quality PWM fans included, which are ID-Coolings own design. We tested this fan model on the 120L review and they really are great fans, lots of airflow, very little noise. There’s also a Y-split fan cable in the box to help you save on motherboard fan headers.

The radiator is a slim-style 240mm design. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s not exactly unattractive either. Most radiators look the same these days and the 240L is no exception, although that’s not a bad thing.

The hoses are covered with a durable weave, this adds a little flair to the design, keeps the pipes flexible, but also increases their durability.

This is an AIO unit, so naturally the pump is pre-fixed to the radiator. The hoses are of a good length, making it ideal for those who have a larger chassis.

The hoses are mounted to the side of the pump with a pivot mount, giving them great manoeuvrability, something that should greatly improve the installation process. The top of the pump has LED lighting around the edge, giving your spinning red light effect that’s reminiscent of the Knight Rider Kit lighting.

There’s a large copper contact plate on the base of the cooler, which should provide excellent coverage over your CPU.

Fractal Design Kelvin T12 Expandable Pre-Filled CPU Water Cooler Review

Introduction


Fractal Design has won virtually countless awards over the years, many of them from us here at eTeknix. Their chassis products are some of the best made, best looking and best performing in the industry, and they continued that success with their power supplies, and more recently, their coolers. Their latest cooler, the Kelvin T12 looks set to take the AIO market by storm, not only is it perfectly suitable for AIO plug-and-play deployment, but it’s also expandable, much like a custom loop cooler.

The Kelvin T12 is certainly well equipped, with a thick-style 120mm radiator, high-quality Fractal Design branded fans, extensive socket support, a high-quality pump and much more.

General Specifications

  • Block/pump assembly measurements: 69*69*40 mm
  • Tubing Measurements: 320mm long, 11mm outer and 8mm inner diameter
  • Fitted with anti-kink coils for worry-free installation
  • Kelvin T12 Radiator Measurements: 46*132*163 mm
  • Thread class for fill port and all tube fittings: G 1/4″
  • Supported sockets: Intel: 775,1150,1155,1156,1366,2011,2011-v3; AMD: AM2,AM2+,AM3,AM3+,FM1,FM2,FM2+
  • Fans included: 2 pcs
  • Fractal Design Zero Thermal Paste ; 1 g syringe, sufficient for multiple mountings
  • Colors Available: Black
  • Net weight – Base unit only, not including mounting or fans: 1.1 kg
  • Net weight – Dynamic GP-12 PWM fan, per fan: 159 g
  • Net weight – Total excluding packaging and manual. Includes fans, mounting kit for all platforms, cooling paste (including packaging for the cooling paste) and adapter cable: 1.7 kg
  • Package dimensions – W x H x D: 350*250*151 mm
  • Package weight: 2.4 kg

Fan Specification

  • Fractal Design Dynamic GP-12 PWM fan
  • 500 – 2000 RPM
  • PWM control
  • Max air flow: 87.6 CFM
  • Max pressure: 2.30 mm H2O
  • Acoustical noise: 32.2 dB(A)
  • DC 12V, 0.20A

Pump Specification

  • Ceramic bearing
  • 2400 RPM
  • Voltage control
  • Maximum water flow: 72 l/h
  • Maximum pressure: 1.0 m H2O
  • Acoustical noise: 25.0 dB(A)
  • DC 12V, 0.27A

The packaging is the usual theme for Fractal and has a nice image of the cooler on the front of the box.

Around the back and the sides of the box, there are plenty of details on the main specifications and features, which we’ll take a closer look at in a moment.

In the box, you’ll find the user guide, a fan adaptor cable and Y-splitter, some high-quality thermal paste, as well as the Intel and AMD mounting brackets.

The fans are both Fractal Design’s own Dynamic GP-12 PWM fans; a very high-quality set of fans that should provide us with great airflow and low noise.

This may be an expandable unit, but it comes pre-built and pre-filled as an AIO unit. I wouldn’t normally look at a solution like this if I wanted a custom loop, but it’s certainly nice to have the option to expand it should you feel the need. The thick radiator looks great and its chunky design looks and feels durable. There’s a large copper base to the pump, which will provide excellent coverage to your CPU of choice.

The radiator is nice and thick, which will help it handle higher cooling loads. Along the base of the built-in reservoir, there’s a small stopper cap that can be removed to top up the coolant levels.

On the other end, we’ve got two G 1/4″ fittings, which are widely compatible with other cooling products, pipes, radiators, etc. The pipes themselves are very flexible and come with a coil that looks great, but also helps with overall durability and prevents kinks.

The pump is nice and compact and quite minimalist in terms of design; the gloss finish on the top is going to look great in any system.

The pump also features the same G 1/4″ fittings, meaning you’ve got more points you can expand the loop from and to.

You don’t have to look hard here to see that the build quality and finish on this cooler are exceptional, it looks stunning and everything looks premium-grade for every angle.

ID-Cooling Frostflow 120L AIO CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


I’m sure a lot of our readers haven’t heard of ID-Cooling before, as they’ve been a dominant brand in eastern markets for a while, even doing a lot of OEM work for other brands. However, all that is quickly changing and they’re new products have been pinging our radar for a while now and gaining interest in the PC building community, so we couldn’t wait to put them to the test. Their latest AIO water cooler is the Frostflow 120L, perfect for those who want to take an adventure into water cooling, without the headaches or the high-cost and maintenance of custom loop cooling.

The 120L is reasonably well equipped, with a 120mm radiator and fan design, which ensures compatibility with a huge amount of chassis products, a nice quality aluminium construction radiator, copper cold plate and a ceramic bearing pump.

The packaging is pretty straight forward, with a clear image of the cooler and the LED lighting on the front, as well as a quick run-down of the main specifications.

Around the back, a nice quote from ID-Cooling that gives a little more information about the product.

In the box, you’ll find all the things you need to get things installed. This includes high-quality mounting screws, a universal backplate, AMD and Intel brackets, as well as a small tube of thermal paste.

The included fan is one of ID-Cooling’s own designs, and that’s no bad thing as this is one great looking fan! The fins have ridges to help better direct the airflow and there are rubber anti-vibration pads on each of the mounting corners.

The fan comes fitted with a 4-pin PWM connector.

The radiator is a slim design, which means it’s likely not as well suited to high-end overclocking, but it does mean it’ll be more compatible with compact chassis designs while only requiring a single fan to dissipate heat.

The radiator isn’t ugly, but it is a fairly standard all-black design and that means it should blend in with your build with ease.

The tubing is really nice, with a tight weave coating that leaves it flexible, but very durable.

The pump is nice and compact, with a stylish red LED array on the top and a small ID logo in the middle.

The copper base plate is very nicely finished, with a large and flat contact surface that should fit nicely over your CPU of choice. The pipes are mounted using pivot fittings, allowing you more maneuverability and this should ease the installation process.

EKWB Launch Pre-Filled Graphics Blocks for Predator AIO

The mighty impressed EKWB Predator AIO is a revolution in terms of water cooling, offering you all the ease of an AIO, with all the thrills of custom loop cooling. Aside from looking gorgeous, the cooler can be quickly modified to add additional cooling components to the loop, such as a GPU block.

EKWB have now launched their Predator ready GPU blocks, which come pre-filled, making them ready to plug and play. You just fit it to your graphics card, hook up the quick-disconnect couplings and you’re good to go.

The Predator-enabled GPU block comes bundled with an EK-AF Angled 90° G1/4″ fittings, two EK-ACF Fitting 10/16mm – Nickel fittings, one quick-disconnect coupling, EK-Tube ZMT Matte Black tubing, and clear coolant, which comes fully assembled, making this seriously high-end pro cooling hardware as beginner friendly as possible.

The new AIO coolers and the GPU blocks are certainly (no pun intended) cool, but they’re obviously not going to be cheap. The pre-filled EK-FC980 for example, is $149.99 and another $29.99 for the interconnect tubing. This is on top of the $199 for the EK-Predator 240 or the $239 for the larger 360mm model. Even then, it’s Intel only until early 2016 when we expect to see an AMD version being launched.

Gigabyte Launch Geforce GTX 980 WaterForce

Gigabyte has just announced their new GeForce GTX 980 WaterForce graphics card, known as the GV-N980WAOC-4GD, if you want to get technical. Gigabyte are known for their premium cooling solutions when it comes to graphics cards and this one is no exception. It features an all-in-one liquid cooler that is going to let the card run harder, longer and cooler, which is always a great thing for a gaming system.

The card boards high-quality components and has gone through “GPU Gauntlet Sorting” so that only the best GPU cores are picked for this lineup, giving you the best chips for overclocking and performance. The AIO cooler and its top cover don’t just sit on the GPU either, and will bring benefits to the VRAM and MOSFET, helping further enhance the performance of the card.

The 120mm silent fan, as well as a low-noise pump mean that the WaterForce will perform up to 38.8% cooler than the reference cooling solution.

Super Overclock – GPU Gauntlet Sorting
The GTX 980 WATERFORCE is fitted with only the top-performing GPU core through the very own GPU Gauntlet Sorting technology that guarantees superior overclocking capabilities in terms of excellent power switching and thermal efficiency. Only the strongest processors survived can be qualified for the GTX 980 WATERFORCE, which can fulfill both gaming enthusiasts’ and overclockers’ expectations with greater overclocking headroom, and higher, stable boost clocks under heavy load.

More Experience-Optimizing Features
GIGABYTE takes multi-display further by utilizing its patented technology to provide dual DVI support in addition to the 3 DisplayPort and 1 HDMI. Compared to the reference, the GTX 980 WATERFORCE offers more flexible output connectivity options. Gamers could optimize their gaming experience at ultra high resolutions with extended flexibility in arranging multiple-monitor configurations and making future system upgrade extremely easy.

You’ll also find an LED Gigabyte logo on the card, a microfiber gaming mouse pad included and support for OC GURU II. No specific details on price right now, but we expect they’ll crop up very shortly.

SilverStone Releases Super Slim AIO Liquid Coolers

Pre-filled and closed loop all-in-one liquid coolers bring along a lot of advantages, but they also come with some downsides. One of the problems that can occur is due to the radiator and their mounted fans, the overall thickness can simply be too much to make them fit into your compact setup. SilverStone have now released two new AIO CPU coolers that combat just this problem, the new and super slim TD02-SLIM 240mm and the TD03-SLIM 120mm CPU coolers.

These two new CPU coolers are specially designed for small form factor PCs and users of those that still want to have a liquid cooling setup. The two new CPU coolers only measure 37mm thickness in total, counting both the fans and radiator. The radiators themselves are only 22mm thin and SilverStone added 15mm thin fans to them.

The pump unit has a motor speed of 2500 RPM and the fan speed is RPM based between 800 and 2200 RPM. The result is a noise production between 16.5 and 27.4 dBa. The baseplate is made from copper and the radiator uses aluminium fins. Both new SilverStone SLIM coolers are compatible with Intel LGA775, 115x, 1366, 2011(v3) as well as all current AMD sockets.

The recommended End User price (excl. VAT) is 95,88 USD for the TD02-SLIM and 73,08 USD for the TD03-SLIM. Availability is set for September 22nd.

Special Features:

  • Super slim 37mm total thickness for radiator and fan
  • Maintenance free, no refill required
  • Dual auto adjustable 120mm slim PWM fans included
  • Thick, leak-proof tubing improve reliability
  • 0.2mm micro-channel water block design for improved
  • Large 100% copper base plate for fast heat transfer
  • Integrated blue LED indicator
  • Compatible with socket LGA775/115X/1366/2011/2011-v3/AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2

Corsair & MSI Launch Water-Cooled GTX 980 Ti SEA HAWK Graphics Card

MSI is already known for their high-performance graphics card and the 980Ti has certainly proven to be a popular choice for the enthusiast gamer. Custom coolers are certainly nothing new to the GPU market, a great cooler is what separates the men from the boys in terms of hardware, as high-end cooling can make a huge difference in terms of how hard you can push the graphics cards in terms of overclocks. Of course, custom cooling also has other benefits, lower temperatures, less noise and even longer life expectancy.

Corsair is well known for their high-end range of AIO water coolers, so it makes sense that they would team up with MSI to create a Corsair AIO water-cooled GTX 980Ti. The two companies have created the 980Ti SEA HAWK, it features a hybrid cooling design that uses a 120mm Corsair H55 AIO cooler to boost the cooling performance of the card.

Huge overclocks right out of the box, high-end components for stable voltages and much more are to be found, the only thing we don’t know right now is the price, but you can expect it to be one of the more expensive 980Ti’s on the market; of course, you get what you pay for.

What do you think, will the SEA HAWK be your next graphics card?

Thank you LegitReviews for providing us with this information.

ID-Cooling FrostFlow 240L AIO CPU Cooler Announced

The latest cooler from ID-Cooling has just been revealed! Their new FrostFlow 240L all-in-one liquid CPU cooler is designed to handle high thermal loads of up to 200W, so it should be more than powerful enough to cool virtually any high-end and overclocked CPU. The cooler will support all major sockets, including LGA2011v3, LGA115x, AM and FM sockets.

The FrostFlow comes with a 27mm thick 240mm radiator, with 120mm fan support. There are two fans pre-installed, which can operate from 800 to 2000RPM, although it’s unlikely you’ll ever need to push the fans that high, it certainly couldn’t hurt if you’re using the cooler to run some benchmarks and need that extra headroom. The 27mm thick radiator design should mean that the cooler is compatible with a wide range of chassis. The pump is set to run at a constant 2500RPM and has a rated noise output of 25dB and an MTBF rating of 50,000 hours.

The pump comes built into the CPU block and features a “comet-tail” LED fitting, which should add some cool pattern effects for those who like that sort of thing.

No word on pricing or release date just yet, but we’ll update you as soon as we have more information.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Arctic Release Accelero Hybrid III-140 AIO GPU Liquid Cooler

Many people like the idea of liquid cooling their system components, but daren’t venture into the full do it yourself market. Those people have had great joys out of all-in-one liquid cooling solutions for their CPU and in limited versions also for the GPU. Arctic already had their Accelero Hybrid II-120 on the market and now it is time for a bigger brother, the Accelero Hybrid III-140.

The Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 combines a liquid cooling solution with a 300W cooling ability, a 140mm radiator, an 80mm fan, and a heatsink to generate a pretty good graphics card cooler.

Arctic paid special attention to the voltage regulator modules and created individually made VRM heatsinks for NVIDIA and AMD graphic boards as well as generic ones to fit anything out of the norm. The downside to this cooler is that it takes up an expansion slot above your graphics card too and that is due to the memory and PCB heatsink that will be mounted to the rear of the card. There is no need for any gluing of heatsinks on the graphic card either, allowing you to go back to the stock setup if you wish to later on.

 

 

The released performance figures speak for themselves and it can cut half of the temperature when mounted on an AMD Radeon R9 290 graphics card. The stock cooler goes up to 94 degrees on the GPU and 76 on the VRM. With an Accelero Hybrid III-140 from Arctic, those are cut down to 46 and 42 degrees respectively. The noise production is also down with an impressive 60% reduction. The Arctic solution produces 0.3 Sone while the AMD cooler goes all the way up to 1 Sone.

Features:

  • Back-side cooler for lower RAM temperatures
  • Optimal VRM cooling through dedicated VRM heatsinks and an 80 mm fan for all NVIDIA and AMD graphic boards
  • Unparalleled performance with liquid cooling unit
  • Virtually silent thanks to low noise fan
  • Improved fan controller for NVIDIA graphics cards
  • No thermal glue necessary

The Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 is now available for a price of £84,99 at ARCTIC, Amazon, and Ebay.

EK Water Blocks Enter the AIO Market like a Predator

EK Water Blocks is mostly known for their do-it-yourself parts for liquid cooling enthusiasts, but that isn’t enough for the company. They have set out “to shake up the liquid cooling market” with their newly presented Predator AIO CPU coolers.

EK has taken their top performing and market proven components from the existing enthusiast product line and assembled them together into one compact pre-filled solution. The result is the EK Predator 240 and 360 coolers that promise performance without compromise in a compact form factor, yet expandable, out-of-the-box liquid cooling solution. Being a AIO solution, the EK Predator is pre-filled and pre-assembled and comes with the EK-Vardar high static pressure fans with PWM controls to provide a minimal noise footprint, and noise is a common issue for existing AIO users.

The EK Predator uses the industry standard G1/4 threaded ports and 10/16 mm Zero Maintenance rubber tubing (EK-ZMT) and it is therefore fully expandable with all custom loop gear available on the market. The Predator 360 also features an integrated Quick Disconnects (QDC), a special connector that allows quick and tool-less expansion of the system without the need to drain the unit. This could for example allow you to add a prefilled QDC-enabled GPU water block, something that EK Water Blocks will release too.

The dimensions of the main radiator unit on the Predator 240, with integrated pump and reservoir, are: 295mm x 133mm x 68mm. This should be small enough to fit into most modern computer cases. The Predator 360 is a bigger beast as it measures 415mm x 133mm x 68mm. EKWB will provide a list of compatible cases before launch.

Speaking of launch, the EK-Predator 240 will launch on September 23rd and will come with a $199 USD/€199 EUR MSRP. The EK-Predator 360 will follow and be released on October 19th and cost you $239 USD/€239 EUR. Both units will only be available for Intel CPU sockets, but AMD versions are planned for a release in sometime during 2016.

Technical Highlights

  • Hovercore is a revolutionary design of radiator dampeners that prevents a transfer of pump vibrations further down the unit and into the chassis, thus resulting in vibration free and silent operation.
  • Supremacy MX CPU water block, a top performer in the Enthusiast segment, is specifically designed for Intel CPUs and offers great hydraulic and thermal performance. Carefully machined copper base is made from purest copper available and is further polished to absolute mirror finish. This alone greatly improves the cooling performance of the block.
  • CoolStream PE radiator – 240mm or 360mm, has full Copper core being superior to aluminum alternatives in terms of heat dissipation. In conjunction with EK-Vardar fans, the result is increased performance across entire fan operational range thus delivering results both at low and high airflow operation.
  • Vardar fans – two on Predator 240 and three on Predator 360 – are high static pressure fans developed in-house specifically for liquid cooling systems. With low noise profile and PWM technology built in, you can always control the RPM and keep the fans silent while maintaining excellent cooling performance.
  • DDC pump is a powerful 6W liquid cooling pump providing 2-3x higher flow rate compared to other AIOs on the market. It’s also PWM controlled allowing for automatic pump speed regulation depending on your CPU temperature. Full performance on demand or whisper quiet operation in idle mode!
  • Integrated Fan splitter hub reduces cable clutter and keeps the unit aesthetically clean. Predator pump and fans plug into the unit itself with only one PWM cable going into CPU Fan socket while a single SATA Molex cable powers the complete unit.

Upgrade Your System With Silverstone Competition Winner!

We love hosting competitions here at eTeknix, but more so, we love giving out prizes! We’ve teamed up with the good people at SilverStone to give away three awesome prizes to one lucky winner.
Prizes

That’s right a brand new chassis, AIO water cooler and a new PSU is going to one lucky winner, making the perfect set of components to overhaul their PC or even provide the base to build a new one!

Without further delay, let’s find out the answer to the big question…

Did I Win?

Enermax Liqmax II 240mm AIO CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Enermax are one of my all time favourite brands, as they’ve created some really unique chassis designs over the years, some stunning power supplies and most importantly to myself, their AIO water coolers still dominate the top of our charts, giving us some truly incredible cooling performance that would make you think twice about needing a custom loop. Their latest cooler, the LiqMax II 240mm All-in-One Liquid CPU Cooler is certainly something I’ve been looking forward to testing, especially so given the performance of their LiqTech coolers and I’m eager to see how this one compares.

As you can see, the ELC-LMR240-BS as it is technically known, comes well equipped with a ceramic bearing pump, an aluminium radiator and a pair of high quality 120mm fans, which can operate right up to 2000RPM.

The packaging is really nicely designed, keeping in theme with many other Enermax products and features a nice image of the cooler, as well as a quick rundown of the major features and socket compatibility; you’ll also notice that this cooler is rated to handle up to 350W+ TDP, which is way more than you’ll likely ever use.

In the box, you’ll find two very high-quality fans, something I suspect will give the LiqMax II an edge over the competition. They come with very funky shaped blades, as well as rubber anti-vibration mounts on each side of all four corners.

Each fan comes with a slim black cable and a 4-pin PWM connector.

There’s a universal mounting plate included, as well as an arrangement of high-quality and rather nice looking screws and fittings. What’s also nice to see is that we’ve got a tube of thermal grease, rather than a sachet, which is handy for multiple applications, as well as a Y-split fan cable to help connect the two 120mm fans to your motherboard, as you’ll still need another header for the pumps 3-pin connector.

The radiator is pretty straight forward, with a standard 240mm design and a slim form factor.

The cooler is equipped with 300mm hoses, which should make it compatible with most large cases. The pipes are quite thick, so they’re not as flexible as some other coolers and that could make it tricky, although not impossible, to mount it in small chassis.

The radiator is nicely finished with a plate on the edge, as well as a small Enermax logo, so it should blend in with most system builds easily enough.

The pump is very nicely styled with a cool design on the top and a small Enermax logo in the middle.

The hoses are mounted on a swivel joint to allow easier fitting into your system.

There’s an Intel mounting kit pre-fitted here, but with just a few small screws you can remove it and fit the included (in the box) AMD mounting kit. There’s a huge copper contact plate on the bottom which is nicely polished; this should provide a good fit over your CPU of choice.

SilverStone Tundra TD03-Lite AIO CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


We first reviewed the Silverstone TD03 just over a year ago, and I was thoroughly impressed with its build quality, performance and overall design. The TD03 is one of the best coolers in its class, but the only downside that I can see is that it was a little expensive; although you get what you pay for. Today, I’ll be taking a look at the TD03-Lite, a cooler that takes what we knew about the original, but for a much lower price and to reflect that, a few of the design features have been cut back to keep the cost down, offering the product to a much wider market, but has this had an effect on the performance? Let’s find out!

The specifications from the TD03-Lite are promising and the cooler comes equipped with a high-quality 120mm PWM fan, an aluminium 120mm radiator and copper contact block.

The packaging reflects SilverStones budget intentions, a brown box with printed decals, nothing fancy, but a box is just a box after all.

Everything comes neatly packaged in a custom shape carton, with separate compartments for all the major compartments and protective plastic over all sensitive hardware.

The included fan is a 120mm x 25mm design, with a black flat 4-pin PWM cable.

The fan features a 9-blade design and shaped edges to help better direct airflow, reduce noise and improve overall performance.

The included mounting kit supports Intel and AMD, comes with a universal backplate, Molex adaptor, all the required screws and a syringe of thermal paste.

The cooler is nothing too fancy, but it’s certainly presentable. It’s appearance isn’t much different from most 120mm AIO water coolers, with a black radiator, two thick hoses and of course, the CPU block/pump.

The radiator is a slim design, so it should be compatible with a wide range of system builds.The aluminium radiator is pretty straightforward in terms of design and the all-black design means it should easily blend into your system with ease.

The pump is the biggest changes here, the TD03 had a metal housing, while the Lite has plastic. It’s nicely finished and features a nice logo on the top with some small blue LED indicators just behind the logo for some added flair.

The Intel brackets are pre-fitted for a quick and easy installation, but a few screws are all that need to be tweaked to remove it and install the AMD brackets which were included in the box. The pump comes with a 3-pin header, so you’ll need two fan headers on your motherboard; one for the pump, one for the fan.

The copper contact plate is huge, so it should offer lots of coverage on a wide range of CPU types. It’s also well polished and this should help you get a nice uniform fit.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme S CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Thermaltake have created some fantastic coolers in recent years, with a range that covers everything from air, to water, budget to premium, including their new and rather stunning custom loop water cooling gear. The model we’re looking at today covers several categories, it’s an AIO water cooler, which promises the high-end cooling thrills of their other water coolers, with a more affordable price tag, making it very attractive to those investing in their first water-cooled setup.

Check out the quick overview video below to find out why Thermaltake stripped down some of the features on this cooler and why that’s a good thing for (most) consumers.

The packaging is colourful and has all the major specification information on there that you will need.

The interior is pretty much what we see with all AIO coolers, a carton with protective bags overall smaller hardware components to keep them safe.

A pair of double curved fans, which can operate between 1200 and 2000 RPM, each fitted with a standard PWM connector and a black braided cable.

There’s no shortage of mounting options on offer, with separate rings and backplates for both Intel and AMD, 2011 screws, fan and chassis screws and even a Y-split PWM cable for the fans.

The radiator and pump are nicely designed, but also pretty standard. Those looking for something unique may want to look elsewhere, but it’s certainly presentable.

The radiator is a slim design, maximizing compatibility with most systems, while the 240mm length provides a good amount of surface area to dissipate heat from your CPU.

Two slim and long hoses mean that it’ll be easy to fit the pump inside your system, whether you have a small chassis, or a large one. The back of the pump has a Thermaltake logo on it, which looks pretty cool.

Pre-applied thermal paste is great for a quick and easy install, but there is no extra paste included, so you’ll need more if you plan to re-install in the future.

We won’t be using the stock paste of course, so I’ve cleaned it off. As you can see, we’ve got a good size copper contact plate and lots of screws providing a snug fit for the pump housing.