A big thanks goes out to Scott of HighSpeedPC for not only supplying this kit, but giving me the extra equipment needed to test it to the best of my ability. It an honor to work with such a courteous man. Here’s to you.
Watercooling despite the anxiety and fear of mixing water and electronics has become more and more mainstream. What started with homebuilt systems consisting of an eclectic collection of odds and ends have been transformed to an industry where the products are professionally manufactured. Companies have started pushing out kits that not only provide all the necessary pieces to assemble a quality watercooled setup but have made it easy to implement, allowing even the inexperienced to tackle what has once been the realm of the experienced. Innovatek, although quite new to the field, has made an exceptionally crafted kit that is not only easy to assemble, but performs well to boot.
An Introduction to Watercooling
When compared to regular air cooling, watercooling seems downright dangerous mainly because of the water and the numerous parts that are needed in a proper setup. In a typical air cooling setup there are two main variables: fan operation and heatsink mounting. A typical watercooling setup has many more variables ranging from fittings to the pump. The more complicated something is, the greater chance that something is likely to go wrong. That said an improperly installed watercooling setup can destroy your computer. Knowing the risks beforehand can help lower the probability of catastrophic disasters from occurring, but will not prevent them.
Knowing that watercooling is more of a risk, why? There are two main reasons: cooling capacity and noise. Water has a much higher thermal capacity then air and can more efficiently remove heat, meaning that your processor and any other chip in the cooling loop will run cooler. Whether this leads to a higher overclock, or just greater stability, it is just the luck of the draw. Watercooling promises nothing but lower temperatures in a well designed setup. An air cooled setup depends on a fan to help force air to pickup heat, the greater the flow, the greater then performance; unfortunately comes a greater noise level. Because of this higher thermal capacity, coupled with the use of larger fans, watercooling is characteristically quieter as well while offering lower temperatures.
There are three main parts that makeup a typical setup: the waterblock, pump and radiator. The waterblock is the heart of the system; it is the piece that attaches to the processor. There are many variations that try to increase turbulent flow and surface area to better cool the processor. Water flows into the block via one or more inlets and out one or more outlets picking up heat as the water rushes by. This water is than directed into a radiator or heatercore to be cooled, a coil of tubes with fins bonded together to maximize surface area, which is often assisted by a fan analogous to the fins in a heatsink. The pump is rather self explanatory, keeping the circulation of water going through the system. Of course, there are more elements, but these are just the basics.
What You Get
The entire kit arrives in a stylish box adorned with the Innovatek logo on all sides. Inside, all the pieces were well packed into molded foam, ensuring everything will arrive in perfect condition to your door step. My Innovatek kit includes:
1 x InnovaCool Rev 3 Waterblock
1 x Ehiem 1048 Pump (including 2 x ½ Fittings, 1 x Thread Adapter)
1 x Maxxxpert Mono Radiator
1 x Innovatek Inline Reservoir
1 x YSTech 120mm Fan
1 x 120mm Fan Guard
1 x 3 Pin to Molex Fan Adapter (7V)
1 x Artic Silver III Syringe
1 x Spare 8mm Compression Fitting
4 x 8mm Elbows
8 x Zip Ties
8 x Black Fan Screws
6 Feet Stock Vinyl Tubing + 6 Feet 5/16 Tygon
Although there are no instructions included with the kit, there is an excellent one at HighSpeedPC’s website that details installation step by step.
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