Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 2, 2013 - 08:31 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Digital Storm, hydrolux, aventum II, water cooling
Last week, boutique OEM Digital Storm unleashed the HydroLux cooling system for its high end desktops. The HydroLux system is a high end, custom water cooling system for all of the major system components paired with custom software that allows users to monitor and manage the cooling system.
The Hydrolux loop is essentially a highly customized water loop with some interesting extra features. The water loop is designed to cool the CPU, VRMs, and GPUs with water. The various water blocks have chrome fittings and are connected using red tubing. A large cylindrical reservoir, high flow pump, and two 360mm radiators make up the rest of the water loop. The two radiators each have three LED-lit 120mm fans. Other features include quick disconnects to facilitate easy component upgrades and a high flow pumps rated at 300 gallons per hour.
Using the HydroLux software, users can monitor the temperatures of the components (CPU, GPU, HDD, ect) and the water temperature itself. The LEDS used in the chassis and on the fans can be set to certain user-selected colors or to automatic mode which will gradually change the color from blue to red as the system temperature increases from higher system load be it gaming, rendering, or other intensive activities.
Enthusiasts are also able to choose from three pre-set modes that will control the fan speeds to get the best balance of noise and cooling performance.
The HydroLux cooling system will be available on all of Digital Storm's desktops, including the new Aventum II. In short, while it is essentially just a custom water loop, the company has added some nice features to make it interesting and if you are going the OEM/boutique route it looks to be one of the better pre-built custom water options.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
The latest rage in CPU cooling seems to be the self-contained water cooler because of the cooling potential of these coolers without the noise of a comparable air-based cooling system. This is something that cooling enthusiasts have known for years with the custom water cooling solution heat dissipation capacity only rivaled by its varied composition. A typical custom water loop is comprised of a pump, CPU cooling block, and a radiator in its simplest form.
Today, we are looking at the impact of the radiator on the custom water cooling loop, specifically the affects of radiator thickness and fin density on the cooling efficiency of the cooling loop. For this testing, we are comparing a single Swiftech MCR 320-QP Radiator, dual Swiftech MCR 320-QP Radiators in series, and an XSPC RX360 radiator while keeping the pump, CPU cooling block, and coolant used constant between tests.
Courtesy of XSPC
MCR 320-QP Radiator
Courtesy of Swiftech
Both radiators used in this comparison are in a 3 x 120mm form factor, supporting up to six total 120mm fans in a push / pull configuration. The Swiftech MCR 320-QP radiator is approximately half the thickness of the XSPC RX360 radiator, but has 150% more surface fin density (measured in fpi (fins per inch)). A thicker radiator can handle more coolant as well as spreading the coolant over a larger surface volume for cooling capacity, while a higher fin density allow for more effective heat dissipation via the cooling fans. However, there are negatives of each. A thicker radiator can inhibit coolant flow speed because of its larger capacity and and surface volume. On the other hand, higher fin density requires a higher CFM rated fan to effectively pass air through the radiator effectively.
Technical Specifications (taken from the XSPC and Swiftech websites)
Swiftech MCR 320-QP
|124mm x 63mm x 400mm||128mm x 34mm x 402mm|
|8 fpi||12 fpi|
|Black Matt||Satin black|
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Hydro Series™ H110 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Courtesy of Corsair
Hydro Series™ H90 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Courtesy of Corsair
Corsair has upped their presence in the cooling field with the new 140mm fan-based additions to the Hydro Series™ CPU water cooler lineup. Corsair was kind enough to provide us with samples of their H90 and H110 series cooling units, both using 140mm fans. We put these coolers up against their H80i 120mm fan-based unit as well as our custom-built Swiftech Apogee HD cooling system to see how well these new Corsair units performed. Starting at a base price of $99.99 for the Corsair H90 cooler, you can't go wrong with either unit.
Hydro Series™ H110 Extreme Performance CPU Cooler without fans
Courtesy of Corsair
Hydro Series™ H90 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler without fans
Courtesy of Corsair
Corsair worked with Asetek to design their new 140mm-based line of coolers with the H90 and H110 introduced to enhance their current line of coolers. Both coolers are built using aluminum radiators capable of holding 140mm fans and copper cold plates. The rubber coated tubing used is low permeability 1/4 inch based tubing with multiple layers used to prevent liquid evaporation and to provide maximum tubing flexibility. Unlike their Corsair Link™ based coolers, the Corsair H90 and H110 units do not have integrated LEDs nor the Corsair Link™ based monitoring system.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Hydro Series™ H80i High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Courtesy of Corsair
The Corsair Hydro Series™ H80i High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler is the middle tier cooler in Corsair's latest revision of the series. We decided to take the cooler apart to see what makes it tick and share insight on the components used in designing this award winning cooler.
The Hydro Series™ H80i cooling system consists of an aluminum-based 120mm x 120mm x 38mm radiator capable of supporting two 120mm x 120mm fans, attached to a CPU copper-based cooling assembly via 3/8 inch rubber hoses. The CPU cooler contains embedded magnets to better hold the CPU clip to the body of the cooling assembly. The CPU cooler also includes an integrated LED in the top of the assembly as well as Corsair Link™ connection ports and fan connection ports. The cooling hoses are attached to the CPU assembly by rotating nozzles, capable of an almost full 360 degrees of rotation.
CPU cooler assembly breakdown
Courtesy of CoolIT Systems
Corsair partnered with CoolIT Systems in the design and implementation of the H80i. While the CPU cooler assembly pictured is not exactly like the H80i, the CoolIT Systems designed ECO II is close enough to the H80i in design for comparison purposes. Notice how the top cap and cold plate sandwich the pump assembly in place with the pump and electronics sitting in an upper chamber and the barbs feeding into or fed from a lower chamber.
Technical Specifications (taken from the Corsair and CoolIT Systems websites)
Cold Plate Material
|Copper Micro Fin|
|120mm x 152mm x 38mm|
|120mm x 120mm x 25mm|
Maximum Fan Speed
Maximum Fan Airflow
Fan static pressure
|Large-diameter, low permeability, low evaporation rubber|
|AMD AM2, AMD AM3, AMD FM1, Intel LGA 1155, Intel LGA 1156, Intel LGA 1366, Intel LGA 2011|
|Low toxicity propylene glycol/water mixture with anti-corrosion/anti-fungal package|
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 17, 2013 - 11:11 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: water cooling, radiator, Hydro Series, H90, H110, corsair, 280mm, 140mm
Corsair is thinking big with their Hydro series of self contained watercoolers, the $130 H110 model sports a 280mm radiator while the $100 H90 is a smaller 140mm, both using Corsair's high static pressure 140mm fans for cooling. That should keep the noise down as well as your temperatures and as long as your case supports 140mm fans you should be able to mount the radiators with no problem.
FREMONT, California—January 17, 2013—Corsair, designer of high-performance PC hardware components, today announced the Hydro Series H110 and H90 liquid CPU coolers. With huge radiator cooling surfaces areas of 280mm and 140mm respectively and specially designed 140mm low-speed, high static pressure fans, the new coolers deliver superior CPU cooling and quieter operation than smaller 120mm designs.
The Hydro Series H110 is a low-noise, high-performance liquid CPU cooler with a double-length 280mm by 140mm radiator. The H110 radiator's large surface area provides more contact room for heat dissipation and for side-by-side mounting of dual fans. Each fan is a specially-designed low-speed 140mm static pressure fan, which moves much more air per decibel of noise than 120mm fans. Combined, the larger radiators and lower fan-speeds produce better performance with much lower noise levels than smaller 120mm dual-fan coolers. The H110 fits cases with dual 140mm top fan mounts and 20mm screw spacing.
The Hydro Series H90, like the H110, is a low-noise, high-performance liquid CPU cooler, but with a more compact square 140mm radiator and a single 140mm static pressure fan. The large radiator and spacious surface area combined with lower fan-speeds produce better performance than smaller 120mm single fan coolers with lower noise. The H90 is compatible with many cases with a rear or top 140mm fan mount.
The Hydro Series H110 and H90 liquid coolers feature an enhanced copper cold plate with soaks up heat more efficiently than previous generation designs. Both coolers are compatible with most modern CPU platforms including AMD AM2, AM3, AM3+, FM2 and FM1 and Intel LGA 1155, LGA 1156, LGA 1366, and LGA 2011.
"Many PC enthusiasts choose liquid cooling for its extreme cooling efficiency and quiet operation," said Thi La, Senior VP and GM of Memory and Enthusiast Component Products at Corsair. "To take liquid cooling the next level, we super-sized the Hydro Series H110 and H90, providing users our best cooling-to-noise ratio ever."
Pricing and Availability
The Corsair Hydro Series H110 and Hydro Series H90 liquid coolers are immediately available from Corsair’s worldwide network of resellers and distributors. Suggested retail prices in the United States are $129.99 for the H110 and $99.99 for the H90.
For more information on Corsair Hydro Series Liquid CPU Coolers, please visit: http://www.corsair.com/us/cpu-cooling-kits/hydro-series-water-cooling-cpu-cooler.html
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | November 5, 2012 - 05:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: water cooling, corsair
Corsair has expanded their lineup of water coolers with the addition of the H100i and H80i products. The hook of this new product line is its ability to be monitored and adjusted by Corsair’s free Link Dashboard software. You are able to program profiles for fan speed as well as adjust lighting levels. Corsair has been moving toward this power and cooling monitoring architecture and they seem to be betting on that as their key differentiation factor.
The cooler also boasts compatibility with just about any major motherboard out there designed for modern processors from either AMD or Intel. The H100i is based on a 240 mm radiator compare to the “double-thick” 120 mm radiator of the H80i. Both will be available in November for 99.99 USD or 119.99 USD for the H80i or H100i respectively.
Subject: Systems | March 26, 2012 - 01:06 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, nvidia, Ivy Bridge, gtx 680, Digital Storm
Digital Storm, a custom PC Manufacturer founded in 2002 today revealed their latest system lineup. The new Aventum computers employ the company’s Cryo-TEC sub-zero cooling solution and the latest in PC hardware in a custom full tower chassis. The custom Aventum systems come in several tiers, including three systems with Intel Sandy Bridge-E processors, NVIDIA GTX 680 graphics cards, solid state drives, and at least 16 GB of RAM. Digital Storm further does not skimp on the power supplies. The Aventum computers are powered by either Corsair or Silverstone PSUs.
The hardware inside the chassis is impressive from a performance standpoint, and Digital Storm is including high end hardware as part of several tiers. The lowest tier is an Intel Sandy Bridge Core i7 2700K and a single EVGA NVIDIA GTX 680 graphics card on an Asus P8Z68-V Pro motherboard. On the other hand, the top tier system moves up to a dual socket EVGA SR-X motherboard, two Intel Xeon E5-2630 processors and three EVGA NVIDIA GTX 680 GPUs in a triple SLI configuration. The other hardware differences are less pronounced - like the upgrade to faster or more RAM and a bit more SSD capacity and PSU wattage. At launch, there will be four system configuration levels which you can see in the chart below.
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Processor||Intel Core i7 2700K||Intel Core i7 3930K||Intel Core i7 3960X||2x Dual Intel Xeon E5-2630 Six-Core|
|Memory||16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz||16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz||16 GB DDR3 2133 MHz Corsair GT||32 GB DDR3 ECC REG 1333 MHz|
|Graphics Card(s)||1x EVGA GTX 680||2x Dual SLI GTX 680||3x Triple SLI GTX 680||3x Triple SLI GTX 680|
|Storage||120 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD||120 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD||120 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD||180 GB SSD & 1 TB HDD|
IV Extreme X79
|Power Supply||Corsair 1050W Pro Silver||Corsair 1200W Pro Gold||Silverstone 1500W SST-ST1500||Silverstone 1500W SST-ST1500|
|Optical Drive||Slot Loading DVD Writer||Slot Loading DVD Writer||Slot Loading DVD Writer||Slot Loading DVD Writer|
|OS||Windows 7 HP x64||Windows 7 HP x64||Windows 7 HP x64||Windows 7 Pro x64|
The hardware is nice, but it is not the only interesting aspect of the new Aventum PCs. Rather, it is the custom chassis that holds the Digital Storm hardware. The metal full tower ATX case is divided up into sections and supports three 420mm (3x140mm) radiators, and 13 case fans to keep the Cryo-TEC thermo-electric cooler from overheating. The cooler is placed directly on the CPU and then is itself cooled by a water cooling loop. There are two 420mm radiators in the bottom of the chassis along with the computer’s power supply.
The Digital Storm Cryo-TEC cooler installed in a system.
Digital Storm has designed it such that three 140mm fans draw cool air in from outside of the case, through the radiator, and then channels the heated air out of the back of the case via vent under the power supply. The 13 case fans provide cooling for five cooling “zones” and are monitored and controlled by temperature probes using Aventum software in Windows. System and temperature information is also displayed on a built in LCD on the right side of the case.
Another interesting aspect of the Aventum chassis is that the hardware is installed “backwards” in the case such that it can be viewed through a window on the right side of the case (instead of the left in the majority of cases). It also features a removable drive cage with four 3.5” drive bays. There is also support for two internal 2.5” drives and a slot loading DVD writer optical drive accessed on the top of the case. Power and reset buttons are located just under the DVD drive while four USB ports and two audio jacks (1 mic, 1 headphone) are located on the right side of the case near the DVD drive.
The case also features plenty of mesh patterned ventilation holes and cut out Digital Storm logos. Also, there is a Digital Storm logo on the front of the case that is back-lit by a customizable LED color. Digital Storm’s Director of Product Development Rajeev Kuruppu noted that their research department has worked for months with thermal imaging cameras to ensure that the high end components are cooled as efficiently as possible. ”Every integral component and every zone is constantly being monitored so our customers can ensure their dream machine is always delivering optimal performance.”
The Aventum systems are available now and range in price from $3,859 to $7,856 depending on the particular configuration. More information will be posted on the Digital Storm website later today.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 6, 2012 - 11:49 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, triple radiator, origin pc, liquid cooling, hsf, cpu block
Origin PC has started offering a unique water cooling solution called the Frostbyte 360. The self contained water loop includes a CPU water black, pump, tubing, and a triple 120mm radiator. The company claims that the new cooler has allowed their overclocking teams to reach overclocked processor speeds of 5.2 GHz on their systems. Kevin Wasielewski, the Origin PC CEO and co-founder has stated that the Frostbyte 360 is "a maintenance free liquid cooling solution, Origin PC customers can enjoy top-end CPU performance at a fraction of the cost."
Although his claims that "traditional" watercooling systems for extreme overclocking required hundreds in not thousands of dollars of components is a bit extreme, it is a hobby that can get expensive.
Especially if you are only interested in cooling a CPU, the various "all in one" solutions like the Corsair Hydro series and the Antec Kuhler series can be a viable option. What is interesting about the Origin offering; however, is the inclusion of a triple 120mm radiator in the loop, which is more than the competition and should be plenty of radiator space to keep your processor nice and chilly even when overclocked.
According to Origin, features of the new Frostbyte 360 water cooling system include:
- Micro-channel copper CPU block
- 360mm (3x120mm) high efficiency copper radiator
- Embedded temperature sensor measures copper surface temperature accurate to within 1°C
- Factory sealed, maintenance free operation
- Silent pump
- Thermal resistance as low as 0.085 C/W
- 1 to 3 year warranty on PCs that include the new cooler.
Currently, the new Frostbyte 360 sealed loop water cooler is available in Origin PC's Genesis series computers, which start at $1,599 USD and can be added to the computer in the configurator. UPDATE: The Frostbyte 360 is not sold as a standalone product; however, current and previous Origin PC customers can purchase it as an upgrade.
It will be interesting to see if the the company will take on the Corsair and others more directly by selling the Frostbyte 360 cooler itself to customers. Although not expandable like a traditional water cooler, it is also less costly and should not require any maintenance for at least a few years. Would you be interested in using one of these 360 rad sealed loop coolers in your builds?
Introduction and Features
Courtesy of NZXT
NZXT added two mid-tower case offerings to its Tempest series today that feature custom solutions for dual-radiator watercooling systems and dual "touch-powered" 120mm front fans with removable filters. The Tempest 410 and Tempest 410 Elite are available for $79.99 and $89.99. Today, we are kicking the tires on the Tempest 410 Elite to ensure enthusiasts and overclockers get the most bang for their buck for their next mid-tower case upgrade.
Courtesy of NZXT
Both Tempest 410 and Tempest 410 Elite cases incorporate a honeycomb mesh design to the front, top, and back panels and advanced cable management systems for concealing loose wires and power cords. The Tempest 410 Elite ups the ante with an acrylic side panel to see all the hardware inside the chassis.
Subject: Cases and Cooling, Processors | August 12, 2011 - 11:53 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: amd, FX, octocore, water cooling, sealed loop, LCS, hsf
According to Xbit Labs, AMD is considering switching out the usual air cooler (HSF) for a sealed loop liquid cooling solution (LCS) for its high end FX Processors. Specifically, AMD wants to pair their highest end eight core processor (and possibly the next highest end eight core chip) with the sealed loop liquid cooling solution. This information, they believe, comes from a “source with knowledge of the company’s plans.”
If you are not familiar with the sealed loop water coolers, PC Perspective reviewed the Corsair H70 processor cooler last year and it is a good example. Sealed loop water coolers are similar to the large DIY water cooling loops comprised of a large radiator, copper CPU block, pump, and reservoir all connected in a loop by tubing; however, they usually have smaller radiators and pumps as well as coolant that cannot be refilled (and should not have to be). This coolant carries heat away from the processor to be dissipated through a radiator. Corsair in particular has heavily invested in this once very niche product with it’s H series of coolers.
Traditionally, both Intel and AMD have been content in pairing their chips with mid-range but cheap air coolers that did a decent job of keeping the processors within their thermal limits at stock speeds. Enthusiasts, and especially those interested in overclocking, have generally ditched the included cooler in favor of a more powerful and/or quieter aftermarket cooler. Needless to say, including a cooler, especially with high end chips that will likely go to enthusiasts, that’s never even used only serves to add additional unnecessary cost for both consumers and the manufacturer. Thus, this move to bundle a more powerful sealed loop water cooler with its high end chips may be an attempt by AMD to futher appeal to enthusiasts and keep with their traditional image of being friendly to overclockers and hardware enthusiasts. Having and using a water cooler that is supported by the chip maker certainly doesn’t hurt, especially if it ever came down to warranty and RMA situations. On the other hand, enthusiasts can be very picky about which cooler to use in their systems; therefore, bundling a cooler that is sure to add even more extra cost to the package may not be the right move for AMD. At best, consumers are likely to see an extra $50 or so added to the sure to be pricey highest end eight core chips.
Their idea, if true, surely has merit, but is it wise? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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