Well as you all know I'm no spring chicken and while I am also an IT guy I never put much thought into cooling my gaming computer. I'm one of those if its blowing smoke there has to be something wrong kind of people who see cooling as something of an afterthought. So naturally I am terrified of watercooling with the solid belief that if it attempted to watercool on my own there is a fair chance I'm going to blow my PC up in a cloud of steam with my badly installed water pipes. CoolerMaster sent over a watercooling kit, the Seidon 120m and immediately I grimaced thinking oh god this is going to be an expensive review but as things progressed I discovered you don't need to be fit for mythbusters to enjoy the cool and quiet benefits of a watercooled computer. So I strapped on my tool belt (I don't actually have one I thought that just sounded impressive) and after doing a couple of benchmarks I decided to kit myself up with my new watercooler and see what happened.
Naturally first up I better give the low down on my computer, it's nothing special just an i7 2600K with an AMD Radeon HD6870, it quite happily plays CS:GO for me which is all I need so first up I loaded into speedfan and took a stock operating temp screenshot. Then I loaded into CS:GO, loaded up on bots, jumped into spec mode and I left my pc for 30 minutes to get a general heat up reading for how my stock Intel cooler was faring under 30 minutes of in game load. The screenies are below, the first is the baseline, this is just the computer on idle, then followed by a screenshot of my CPU temperature after 30 minutes in game on CS:GO.
After 30 minutes of CS:GO
Last but not least here is my installed water cooling system, I was pretty impressed with how easy it was, I'm happy with the kit because it's a peace of mind install you can't really get wrong. Everything was installed with ease and the pre set fittings on the hoses meant I didn't have to worry about anything it's all pre-prepared for me and ready for install.
Okay so we have our cooler installed now here are the speedfan temp readings for the idle system:
Relaunching into CS:GO and after 30 minutes game time here is the speedfan temp reading:
As you can see there was an immediate cooling benefit to be had with a general 10% drop overall and of course my computer now runs a lot quieter as I basically have 1 less fan running with the CPU coolers fan out of the picture! Naturally the radiator has its own fan, but as it is rear case mounted it has taken the place of the fan that was already installed there and at 1383 RPM its running at almost a 3rd of the speed of the old CPU fan.
Okay so now we have done our temp readings I'll show a few photos of the installation, there is one missing and it's the bracket, if you're not doing a new system build you do need to remove your motherboard to install the base bracket on the bottom that the unit bolts on to!
Here is the kit:
The only real building involved is screwing down the pump mounting plates to the pump which I have demonstrated below. Just a note, the pump system has got thermal paste on it so of course I managed to get it all over myself connecting the mounting brackets. A good idea here would be to get some more so if you are as clumsy as I am you have some extra to keep a nice even spread of thermal paste on the copper plate before you place it down on the CPU:
And here it is, all installed and ready to go:
It was a pretty quick install which took around 10 minutes and is completed in 7 steps:
1: remove motherboard and install the mounting bracket underneath, secure with double sided nuts
2: reinstall motherboard into the case
3: attach the brackets that suit your socket type to the water pump
4: apply thermal paste to the copper plate of the pump and secure with spring loaded screws
5: attach the radiator to the rear fan mounting with screws provided
6: attach the fan to the radiator (have the flow coming into the case so your drawing air from outside the case through the radiator).
7: connect the pump and fan power cables to power sockets on the motherboard
Overall it was pretty fun really, you don't have to worry about soaking your computer as the pipe fittings are factory done and with the few steps above you have it installed and running. Naturally you also get the cooling and noise benefits and it looks pretty damn cool as well.
Where to buy? No idea! this one is pretty new so I couldn't find a local stockist but I would say stay tuned
Posted on Tuesday, 16th October 2012