Radical Make-Over: Water Cooling From Koolance

Summary: Comparing The Old And The New

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PositionKoolance Barebones System"old version"New Koolance Barebones System
1Heat exchanger positioned beneath the case, which increases the temperature of the components and the peripheryHeat exchanger positioned on top of the case, causing no temperature increase for components and the periphery
2CPU, graphics card and power supply are cooled simultaneously - insufficient cooling performanceCPU and power supply are cooled by their individual fans, resulting in high cooling performance
3Heat exchanger is equipped with fans that are much too small to be effective (mini fans)Heat exchanger equipped with 3 large fans, which disperse the heat upwards and outwards
4Aluminum heat sink of the heat exchanger not well-designed, resulting in ineffective heat dissipationHeat exchanger designed with fine fins and high efficiency - excellent heat dissipation
5Integrated pump with low capacity, volume transfer rate and circulationTwo integrated pumps - one for pressure and one for suction - good circulation
6Low quality power supply is too weak - insufficient voltage providedHigh quality power supply from Enermax with ATX 12 feature - high voltage supplied
7Poorly designed CPU elementTransparent CPU element with copper contact
8Temperature sensor randomly positioned in the case, almost completely ineffective during temperature changesTemperature sensor placed directly on the CPU element, resulting in very quick reaction time
9No fan regulatorHas a controller for fan regulation

Comparison of the previous Koolance system, which suffered from serious defects, with the new system, which is almost perfect.

Conclusion: Excellent Water-cooling System For Overclockers

It doesn't get any clearer than this - after the insufficient cooling performance in our last test, Koolance has taken all of our complaints into account and launched an entirely new barebones system. Its excellent cooling capacity makes it an ideal purchase for overclockers, particularly for those looking for a completely pre-assembled PC case, in which they only need to install their own components. The tube system comes filled with the coolant from the factory - the only thing you have to do is to attach the CPU element to the CPU socket. However, the Koolance system can only be used for AMD CPUs on Socket 462 platforms and all Intel Pentium IIIs compatible with Socket 370 platforms. Pentium 4 processors for Socket 423 or 478 platforms can't be used. When we tested the system with an overclocked AMD Athlon XP 1800+ (with a 1533 MHz CPU clock), we failed to uncover a single problem. The temperature on the die surface stayed at a constant 34 degrees Celsius. This performance puts the water-cooling system head and shoulders above top conventional coolers (e.g. Noise Control Silverado or Swiftech MC462). To read up on the performance of conventional coolers, look up "Can't Touch This: A Comparison of 46 CPU Coolers" .

However, there is one small qualification to be made when using the Koolance case: only motherboards with a maximum width of 253 mm can be used. Larger motherboards can't make it around the water tank placed at the foot of the system. For example, the MSI MS-6341 with the AMD 760 chipset couldn't be installed in the case. Nonetheless, most motherboards supporting AMD Athlon and Intel Pentium III (Socket 462 and Socket 370) can be installed.

The fans arranged on the top of the case are controlled by a separate electronic regulator. This ensures that the heat exchanger is supplied with enough cooling air. When all's said and done, this barebones water-cooling system, which might be a touch pricey at $250, is a very effective cooler and an ideal buy for overclockers. In particular, those who prefer to have a ready-to-use package instead of having to install everything themselves would be well-advised to invest in a Koolance barebones system. Users with more time to invest and who are interested in a reasonably-priced homemade solution ought to take a look at our article "A Home-Grown Water Cooler for 115 Dollars" .

This cooling system can be ordered directly from Koolance in the USA. In Europe, you might like to try Innovatek in Germany.