The Kobalt Daedalus unveiled
Every year we challenge the world's leading professional PC builders to craft the most technologically advanced, innovative, eye-catching PCs they can. We call this competition Dream PCs, and here is the fourth entry - the TEC water-cooled Kobalt Daedalus.
In Kobalt's own words 'As this was our very first invitation to join the elite PC manufacturers competition, we knew we had some established opposition to beat in what is a very sought-after title: Custom PC Dream PC winner.'
'Rather than just modding another SilverStone TJ07 or Lian-Li V-Series case, we set about designing a chassis that would free us from the limitations we encountered when trying to integrate extreme liquid-cooling.'
'We also wanted to push the level of cooling technology and chassis design way past that of any retail system ever seen.'
Kobalt continues 'Having the ability to design a chassis in-house with CAD software made realising the concept easy. However, the result turned out to be more complex than we expected. It consists of more than 300 separate parts, with six 12mm aluminium pins at its structural heart. We also wanted to use more modern materials and decided to use carbon fibre side panels to give a modernist contrast.'
'The blades were laser cut and pins/spacers CNC milled before everything was sent off to be anodised. The resulting design offers supreme airflow throughout the case to both the components and radiators and also makes it very easy to customise each build to our customers’ cooling and hardware requirements.'
'We opted to continue our experimentation with TECs for the competition entry, but it quickly became apparent that we could improve on the efficiency of the system. There was an obvious answer – why not liquid-cool the TECs too?'
'By using one cold loop for the CPU and Northbridge and a separate hot loop on a quad Feser radiator, we had a far more efficient and quieter solution. We opted to continue using the CooIIT MTEC modules to power the TECs, with customised control software so that the TECs draw power only when the CPU is under moderate to high load.'
'During the R&D process we also realised that re-wiring the TECs could give us a more powerful solution. This raised the total power of the cooling units from 216W (three CoolIT Elites) to 396W, a huge increase of 83 per cent.'
'This extra power meant that we had to use two PSUs – the Be Quiet! 1.2kW takes care of all the PC components, while a separate 450W PSU provides power to the TEC system.
The result is a very powerful, efficient, quiet and maintenance-free CPU cooling system.'
'The rest of the components are cooled by two dual Feser radiators, which have created a unique cooling tunnel in the bottom of the chassis.'
Kobalt continues 'The hardware performance speaks for itself. We settled on a 4.425GHz Prime stable overclock for the Core-i7 975, but there’s lots of thermal headroom for benchmarking overclocking.'
'We chose the other components for their real world performance rather than synthetic benchmarks, so the Asus P6T Deluxe, low-latency OCZ RAM, BFG 295 SLI and RAID 0 OCZ SSDs all combine to provide ultimate performance.'
'We could have gone with 3-way SLI and eight SSDs, but you have to draw the line somewhere.'
The full review of the Kobalt Daedalus, along with this year's four other Dream PCs, will be published in bit-tech
's sister magazine, Custom PC, on-sale 22 October. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts in the forums