Alphacool Watercooling Starter Kit

Written by Fred Hunt

March 29, 2006 | 12:58

Tags: #cnps #cnps9500 #cpu #fan #kit #pump #radiator #reserator #review #silent #starter #water #waterblock

Companies: #alphacool #zalman

Components

The premise of a basic watercooling kit is to use a radiator, a fan, a reservoir, a pump and a heatsink to efficiently and silently cool components of your PC. The reservoir contains a coolant; usually water with an additive and a pump circulates the coolant through the loop. On leaving the reservoir, the liquid transfers heat from the CPU to the radiator, where the fan removes heat by passing cool air through the vanes. The liquid is then passed back to the reservoir where the whole thing starts again. In more complicated loops you may find blocks (heatsinks) for GPUs, hard drives, chipsets, MOSFETS and even PSU components (yes, all those volts and all that water).

This kit is based around 10/8mm size tubing (10mm outer Diameter, 8mm Internal) and is supplied with 2 metres of it, more than enough to see you through a standard single heatsink installation.

Alphacool Watercooling Starter Kit Components Alphacool Watercooling Starter Kit Components
Included in the kit you will find a 120mm radiator with a silent (26dB) fan to match, complete with fanguard to prevent anything for coming in contact with the blades.


Alphacool Watercooling Starter Kit Components Alphacool Watercooling Starter Kit Components
In the case of this kit the pump and reservoir are integrated (pump station) - for a beginner this is ideal as it removes four connections and less tubing for there to be any potential leaks from. It is also easier to integrate into the case of your choice. With the length of power cable attached to it there should be no issues wherever you decide to locate it. You will also notice that there are four predrilled 5mm holes on the top, so if you wish to illuminate the station you can wire up four LEDs and poke them directly in the holes.


Alphacool Watercooling Starter Kit Components Alphacool Watercooling Starter Kit Components
The pump included is an Eheim Compact 1001, essentially a submersible 12V aquarium pump. It is capable of a liquid throughput of 600 litres per hour, is low power and runs practically silently. The liquid in the supplied bottle isn't Pink Flamingo cocktail mix, but 500ml of a proprietary cooling mixture. Alphacool claim that it prevents corrosion, aids with heat transfer around the system and is ideal for multi-metal cooling loops. My first thought was that 500ml would never be enough to fill the system, we shall see at the build stage.


Alphacool Watercooling Starter Kit Components Alphacool Watercooling Starter Kit Components
To complete the kit there is an ATX bridging adaptor for the pump. This takes up a slot on your backplate so bear that in mind if expansion card space is at a premium in your case. The left hand picture shows a four-way Molex to 3-pin fan connector, a large adhesive hook and loop set to fix your pump station, some rubber beading to finish the vent hole if you cut one and a 24-pin connector to power up your PSU to test the loop before powering up the rest of your PC components.

One of the most important parts of the cooling loop is the CPU cooler, let's take a look...
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