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Date: October 20th 2002
Article by: Peer van Empelen (Webmaster & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by : Next-Cool
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Test setup



The system used :


- Chaintech 7VJL
- AMD XP2000+
- Samsung PC2700
- 4 x Quantum Atlas V 9,1 GB 7200 rpm
- Geforce 2 GTS 64 MB DDR
- Antec Performance Plus 1080 AMG


That is about all the things that matter concerning heat.



In the picture : water reservoir, radiator and the watercube GT3 plus the included hoses (flexible hoses and easy to use).



I used a popcorn bucket as water reservoir and inserted a Eheim 1046 waterpump which does around 600 L/H.

 

Product performance


I will begin this section with a small note on setting up your rig with water-cooling. The ideal setup is much debated about. Some people will swear on using a closed setup which will always include a radiator to dispense the heat. The radiator should then be cooled with a fan to release that heat. Others however will use an open circuit with a large baisin to hold the pump. This large baisin will then dispense the heat but how that process works is still a little bit unclear to me. To get back to the review : the radiator didn't fit , and thus leaving me with the second option as only option. This will affect performance most certainly and is the greatest setback I had when doing the review.


Now I will present you with simple numbers to see the difference between air-cooling and water-cooling and how it affects the complete setup.


Boxed Cooling CPU Motherboard
Idle
49 C
28 C
Stressed
52 C
30 C


Next-Cool GT3 Watercube CPU Motherboard

Idle

52 C
27 C
Stressed
52 C
29 C


Next-Cool GT3 Watercube with Radiator CPU Motherboard

Idle

40 C
27 C
Stressed
52 C
29 C


I do have a note on the water-cooling. The stress-test was running half an hour of SETI and doing some surfing. And the heat of the water in the reservoir kept rising after that half an hour. In the end I shut down the computer because the watertemperature was at 60 C and was still going up. This is where the radiator was needed. The Idle test was starting up the machine and killing every unnecessary application and then letting it sit for a few hours.


After I did the tests again with the radiator the results came up being a little bit better. The Radiator has been butchered with a "Dremel" and a drill before the pipes fitted , but it was worth the pain. Two 80 mm fans blowing the air through the fins of the radiator cool the water actively. I advise everybody to use a radiator with watercooling as it makes a hughe difference.


I don't blame Next-Cool for sending me the only the unit and the hoses and not any other materials, but it did slow me down considerably. I noticed them adding some new products to their productline : a radiator, a GPU watercube and a pump. Should I have had all those in one go the review would have been done in 1 month (including the replacement of the processor) instead of 3 months. Oh well .... the review is done and the unit does perform within boundaries.

 

Conclusions


The unit looks good and is watertight. The clamp has a good design and should certainly be looked at by other waterblock manufacturers. The included manual couldn't have warned me for the misalignment of the unit. With the noisereduction in mind water-cooling isn't half bad if you can stand the stress. "Is my pump still on ? Did I fasten the hoses correctly ?" Making sure you have all the parts is about 75% of your entire project. I would like to thank Next-Cool for sending me the unit and wish them luck with the more complete productline as it will meet somebody's demands somehow. I do encourage them to dive into a English dictionary more often as it will improve their communication with potential customers and resellers.


Pro's


- Looks
- Easy install
- Good hose-connections.


Con's


- Availability (only in Europe)
- Performance was not really disappointing but it could be improved. Maybe with balanced complete setups including "all you need in one go"


 

 

 


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