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 Post subject: Koolance 1000W vs. DIY
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 12:04 pm 
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Koolance KIT-1050SL displaces 1000w of heat, costs ~$420 plus tubing and blocks and coolant.
I assume that'd come out to around $550. Plus whatever case I decide.

My question is, is there an equal or more powerful solution that I could build?
I've read through some of the topics, and saw systems with ~200W and so. That's not suitable for me, since I'll be cooling a lot of hard drives and an 8800gts.

I've worked with a few custom kits in the past so I have some experience, but I'm definately no guru.

Any help would be great, thank you.


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 Post subject: Think carefully...
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 4:05 pm 
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I'm in the market for a WC system myself, and finally gave up on Koolance. You might want to think carefully before going that route yourself.

Firstly, the cost you quote: Koolance's site has a shopping list function, so perhaps you should add up the cost of all your blocks. Considering what the blocks cost each, I think you might find it comes to a lot more than $550. Incidentally, Koolance's warranty coverage starts to evaporate as soon as components/coolant from any other manufacturers become involved.

Secondly: Koolance's 1000W of heat dissipation is calculated with a 30 degree C temperature differential (rather high), and with the fans at full blast (According to their site: 93.8 CFM, 41.2 dB. Yikes!). Various reviews across the web suggest that the fans are fairly quiet at lower settings, but you might want to verify that those higher settings won't be needed. Considering the message board you're posting on, I mean.

Thirdly: Koolance uses an Aluminum radiator, which brings up the happy topic of galvanization. Koolance gold-plates the interiors of their water-blocks to avoid problems, but most other block manufacturers don't. The benefits of the Aluminum rad are quite dubious, and Hardware Labs recently took Koolance to task about their claims, as can be seen from the recent news postings on their site.

All that being said, they sure do make pretty systems, don't they? And all it'll cost you is a single 5 1/4" bay, plus the trouble of routing a little tubing. As long as you can accept that your future upgrade options will be more limited, and are certain that your system won't push the cooling too hard, you can't beat the simplicity of it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 7:47 pm 
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Cost: not more than $550 because I already have most of the blocks.
$420 for the kit + $50 (or less) for cpu cooler + $50 for hard drive cooler.
I don't think I will cool GPU because the thing costs $92 and I won't be doing enough gaming to justify that.

Noise: I have seen and heard their cases for myself. The full speed level is in no way silent, but the good news is that you almost never have to run it that high.

The Hardware Labs post: sounds like a pretentious prick wrote it; and clearly it goes beyond necessary measures to confront koolance. In any case, I really don't care. Aluminum or copper or whatever. I want to buy the best performing part, whether it be koolance or black ice, and I think these arguments are entirely unnecessary. Let the ONUS OF PROOF fall on both of them.
And I'm having a hard time finding any values for the black ice radiators. They look sexy but where's the numbers? Maybe I'm just bad at searching.

Effort: virtually none. Future upgrade options look good as well, being that koolance is the largest place I am aware of that sells these things.


My topic question still remains: is there a system I can build that will be better?
Yea koolance has served me relatively well, but in the end I always look for better or cheaper. This is why I'm hesitant to throw down the $500+ for the koolance -- I hope to find an alternative here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:55 pm
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
PA120.3 $140-ish
Swiftech Apogee GT $53
Swiftech MCP355 w/ Alphacool top ~$100
T-fitting and fillport $15
Misc. fittings, clamps, additive $20 (more if you use Tygon tubing)

Grand total of roughly $340


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 6:50 am 
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YugenM wrote:
PA120.3 $140-ish
Swiftech Apogee GT $53
Swiftech MCP355 w/ Alphacool top ~$100
T-fitting and fillport $15
Misc. fittings, clamps, additive $20 (more if you use Tygon tubing)

Grand total of roughly $340


I'll take a look at all that, thank you very much. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:22 am 
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Posts: 38
Location: New Zealand
OMG LOL

First off I would like to say that you don't need 1000W+ of heat dissipation.

Ok now onto the real stuff. Alittle more info on your Hardware choices would be helpful but from what you've posted im guessing that you know very little about Water Cooling.

Now lets see most builds with a single 8800GTS and with a C2D running at around 3.2Ghz will likely consume 350-400W. ( Thats just Mobo, Ram, CPU and the GTS ).

What do you really want to attain by cooling the hard drives? Cooling the drive dosen't help in silencing the drive or making its preformance any better. It adds heat and alot of flow restriction to your loop. Hard Drives only use roughly 13W and only need over the top cooling if they are being used constantly ( even though millions of servers use standard drives that have no active cooling and rarely suffer problems )

Seagate Barracuda Hard Drives are rated to work in 5-55C operating temperature. Operating temperature is defined as the temperature of the environment immediately surrounding the drive. Actual drive case temperature should not exceed 69C. Seagate Drives give a warning at 60C and shutdown at 65C.

Ideally you don't want your drive to operate in these conditions. What I really need to know to help you is what will the drives be used for?

If you are going to be using for General Home use when they don't ramp up to full speeds for long peroids of time ( 1 hour+ several times a day ) then a 120mm fan blowing over them will be more than sufficent.

If you are going to be putting alot of use on the drives then I would suggest a more ruggard commercial drive that is designed around constant use ( like http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products ... anguage=en) these drives use less power and can operate for longer peroids in higher operating temperature. Again a 120mm fan is more than enough to keep these drives cool.

I personally use 2 of these on my 2 150GB raptors (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835118215) and they keep the drives below 40C with a 120mm fan blowing across them.

Ok so now I guess you know my thoughts on water cooling hard drives onto the rest.



For a all around kit I always recommend to friends "Petra'sTech CoolKit GPU Basic - Rev.2" (http://www.petrastechshop.com/pecogpuba.html) for $260 its only let down is 120.2 Swiftech Radiator. For cooling just your CPU and GPU this would be a 1 stop everything you need deal which is great for beginners.

Basically this kit gives you -
Pump - Laing MCP655 (D5)
The D5 offers higher flow than the previously mentioned MCP355 w/ Aphacool top but it also has less head pressure but if you are only using 2 water blocks then this pump is superior.
CPU Block - Swiftech Apogee GT
Not the best waterblock anymore but is still up there with the best only preforming 1-3C worse than the best block so still good.
GPU Block - Danger Den Maze 5
Again not the best but preforms within a couple of degree of the best.
Radiator - Swiftech MCR220-QP 120.2
I prefer the Thermochill PA120 radiators but again the Swiftech rad is still a great choice and comes with 2 Yate Loon fans which are quiet and push alot of air.

and it comes with everything else you need, tubing, clamps etc. For the fan option I would say get the medium or fast ones you can always undervolt them later. As for coolent I have never tried any and just recommend Distalled Water with some anti crossive additive.

Again for just the CPU and GPU cooled that is the best kit around.



And if you want to continue to water cool the drives I would recommend again from Petra's Tech this kit (http://www.petrastechshop.com/pecoel.html) you get a few more options with this kit so for the CPU block pick the "Apogee GTX" ( the GT's big brother ) and for the rad "MCR320-QP & 1 fan". This kit dosen't come with a GPU block so that is another purchess.

This kit comes with the more powerful MCP355( Laing DDC-2 Pump w/Petra'sTech DDCT-01s Delrin Top ), it has more head pressure than the D5 but less flow. This is the pump to have with a multiblock setup (4+ low restrictive blocks or 3+ high restrictive blocks).

the apogee gt/gtx and maze 5 blocks are both low restrictive blocks




Break it down alittle ..

For cooling only the CPU and GPU and possibly a 2nd gpu. I would recommend

http://www.petrastechshop.com/pecogpuba.html

Swiftech Apogee GT will most likely be able to upgrade it to the GTX
Swiftech MCR220-QP 120.2
Liang D5 (MCP655)
DangerDen Maze5 GPU Waterblock
all the other goodies that come with the kit are perfect


For cooling the CPU, GPU and Hard Drives

http://www.petrastechshop.com/pecoel.html

Swiftech Apogee GTX
Swiftech MCR320-QP 120.3
Laing DDC-2 Pump w/Petra'sTech DDCT-01s Delrin Top (MCP355)
all the other goodies that come with the kit are perfect

Also need to buy a GPU waterblock (recommend the DD Maze 5 :!: )



You also said you wanted best preforming at any price for that I would say ...

Thermochill PA120.3
Swiftech Apogee GTX ( with the larger O-ring to bow the base )
Danger Den 8800 GTS
Liang D5 (MCP655) with no hard drive water blocks / (MCP355) with hard drive coolers
For fan I personally use Scythe Minebea NMB Silent IC Series


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:11 pm 
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Location: UK
What Khrono Devil said...although I'd go with the EK full cover GPU block over the DD GPU block.

Also, avoid the manufacturers sites for advice. Instead look on the net for the watercooling enthusiast sites and see what they have and you'll probably see a patern (hint: very few have Koolance).


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 Post subject: Enthusiasts vs Koolance
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 42
Location: Austin
I have been reading a lot on water cooling - both over the years and most recently because I would like to build a top end system with quiet water cooling.

I am wary of Koolance because, as was mentioned, most enthusiasts do not care for it.

Having been an enthusiast of many, many things, I think I understand why.

I personally am not that interested in hand picking every part of my water cooling system. It is interesting, but I would rather hand pick my computer components and then find the best way to cool them.

My problem with WC enthusiasts is:

1. Most are absolutely neurotic about temps. I understand it is probably a matter of pride for them - keeping your temps in a certain range - partially for over clocking, partially for bragging rights.

This happens in any enthusiast hobby - people tune cars to get the best quarter mile, people tune their comp to get the best 3D Mark scores, etc.

I am not that temp sensitive - as long as temps are within spec, stable and the system is quiet, I don't care if it only performs as well as air (as long as it is quiet)

I know a fair amount of cars and have had my share of sports cars - even when I had the money and the inclination, I never saw the need to increase performance on anything beyond stock. It just was not compelling enough to get the money out of my wallet.

2. Most WC enthusiasts are very price sensitive. Price/Performance sensitive is more like it. Obviously there is a cost to WC beyond most air cooling - but one of the things that seems to set the enthusiasts off is that the price/performance ratio for a Koolance is (as was just shown above), way off a custom system.

Now I would never consider buying a name brand PC - never have, never will (my last name brand computer said "Commodore" on it). To me, buying a Dell or HP (unless it is for my wife or kids) is just not interesting. The ratios are broken and I would never be happy with it.

I suspect the same emotional pattern is occurring among the WC enthusiasts. The difference is - I recognize the pattern in myself and I am ok with other people buying Dells or HPs - I would buy one for anyone else just because they would not appreciate the benefits of a home built PC - it is casting pearls before swine.

For me, I don't mind paying a few hundred extra dollars to have someone else engineer and match the system and make it look pretty and easy to install - that is money well spent.

3. Water cooling is one of those hard core hobbies that most people find mysterious, technical and risky. Saying you build your own system says something totally different about a person than saying "isn't it cool, I just ordered it from koolance.com! it was super easy, I don't know that much about it..."


That is understandable, but really, I just want to play games in peace and quiet. I don't care if it costs more, or if it is not that "upgradeable" or if it looks too corporate or if the performance is merely acceptable.

All I care about is running a top end gaming system as quietly as possible.

That said, if anyone has some objective criticism of Koolance and a reason why I should not put it on my next system, please, speak up. Otherwise, I am probably going to pick up one of their 1000W systems in a month or two.

My idea was to buy the Gigabyte case and mount the external 1000W radiator on top and mod/swap the fans to maximum quiet.

I plan to cool an AMD 6000 and a pair of 8800 cards (leaning towards GTX) and let a couple slow 120 fans on the back of the case cool the chipset/hard drives/RAM/etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:10 am 
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A custom system will always - by definition - provide more options for meeting a particular user's needs.

Looking at Koolance's 1050 kit, I don't see anything special. It includes a 3-fan radiator, an 18W pump in a low-profile enclosure and a BIG price tag. That pump couldn't be a standard DDC2, could it? If so, it's noisy for an SPCR-level WC system. And swapping the fans would require opening the radiator assembly. For $400+?!? No, but thanks for playing, Koolance.

If you want to buy a kit for the sake of convenience, you'll be able to match or exceed the 1050's performance with a variety of options. Petra's kit mentioned above looks good to me. Jab-tech has a similar Swiftech kit for $220. A triple-120 rad would be better, but then you're adding another fan's worth of noise.

OTOH, choosing custom components isn't too hard. Near-silent WCing is all about airflow and pump noise. The first means you want open intakes & exhausts, and a BIG radiator. The second tells you to choose a 10W DDC with some kind of speed controller or to simplify with a D5.

More questions? The WC scene hasn't changed much in the last few years, and there's plenty to read if you look around.


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 Post subject: Re: Enthusiasts vs Koolance
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:37 pm 
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Posts: 161
Location: UK
davidrees wrote:
....
My problem with WC enthusiasts is:

1. Most are absolutely neurotic about temps. I understand it is probably a matter of pride for them - keeping your temps in a certain range - partially for over clocking, partially for bragging rights.

I am not that temp sensitive - as long as temps are within spec, stable and the system is quiet, I don't care if it only performs as well as air (as long as it is quiet)

2. Most WC enthusiasts are very price sensitive. Price/Performance sensitive is more like it. Obviously there is a cost to WC beyond most air cooling - but one of the things that seems to set the enthusiasts off is that the price/performance ratio for a Koolance is (as was just shown above), way off a custom system.
...

I suspect the same emotional pattern is occurring among the WC enthusiasts. The difference is - I recognize the pattern in myself and I am ok with other people buying Dells or HPs - I would buy one for anyone else just because they would not appreciate the benefits of a home built PC - it is casting pearls before swine.

For me, I don't mind paying a few hundred extra dollars to have someone else engineer and match the system and make it look pretty and easy to install - that is money well spent.

All I care about is running a top end gaming system as quietly as possible.

That said, if anyone has some objective criticism of Koolance and a reason why I should not put it on my next system, please, speak up. Otherwise, I am probably going to pick up one of their 1000W systems in a month or two.


Looks like you got some stereotypes ingrained there. Some mistaken assumptions though. Many WC enthusiasts are not price sensitive. They get the best kit, regardless of price. As for temps, if one were obsessed about temps, you'd skip watercooling and go phase cooling or TEC.

Personally, I care about silence, quality and performance. I want it all but am willing to compromise slightly on performance. I suppose if you don't care about quality or performance, then it doesn't matter, but some people do. And such people will try to make purchasing decisions rationally and not for emotional reasons, and the reason people don't go for Koolance is because it's not that good. Plain and simple.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 12:55 am 
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Location: Austin
echn111,

I said "2. Most WC enthusiasts are very price sensitive. Price/Performance sensitive is more like it. "

That is very different from being just price sensitive. The Koolance solutions are by far, the most aesthetically pleasing WC solutions. I don't know how quiet they really are or if they have quality control issues or maintenance issues or what - I am trying to find out.

What I will say is that a large percentage of WC systems I see posted on the galleries look like total crap to me. Yes, there are some people who not only setup a functional WC system, but they make it look good too.

I really have no idea what your background is, but people always make emotional decisions - our entire consumer culture is a monument to that fact. What I mean is that when people select a solution, it does not matter if it is a condo, a pair of pants, a vacation or a WC setup, the decision is always made on the basis of a hierarchy of criteria. That hierarchy is totally based on emotion.

In designing a WC system, some of the most likely criteria are going to be the following:

1. raw performance
2. cost (expressed as an absolute and as a ratio of watts per dollar)
3. looks/aesthetics
4. complexity
5. ease of installation
6. noise
7. social factors (will those in my social circle approve of my decision?)

The manner in which a person arranges those criteria is going to be emotional - what "feels" best. Once the importance of each of those factors is established, the process of finding a solution is highly rational.

The point I was making on my previous post was that I do not think most people in the WC enthusiast sector value those criteria in the same way I do.

This is probably how I would arrange them:

3. looks/aesthetics (the system must have visual balance, parts must look integrated, no open cases, visible cuts to the case, etc)
6. noise (must be very very quiet to the point of not being noticable from 3 feet)
5. ease of installation (I prefer not to mount pumps internally, but my biggest concern is having a large enough rad without it looking unacceptable - I like the way Koolance approaches their solutions)
4. complexity (I would like a system that runs at a constant speed and does not require me to tweak fan settings, etc)
1. raw performance (having the lowest temps is not the most important thing, but my perception is that a larger rad will allow for minimal fan noise)
2. cost (expressed as an absolute and as a ratio of watts per dollar) (I am willing to pay up into the 1000+ range if I have to
7. social factors (will those in my social circle approve of my decision?) I care more about whether the solution meets my values than if other people think my solution is "right" (which usually means "right for them")


So there it is - you obviously don't care for Koolance, but I have not heard anything objective from you or anyone else. The closest thing might be that their pump may be too loud.

Do you have anything objective, or do you just not like them?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 3:25 am 
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Good luck with researching your decision to buy Koolance. There is nothing "terrible" about Koolance and it does look nice. But as this is an emotional purchasing decision, little chance of objective facts from anyone changing it.

You've already made your decision and simply want the research to back up your decision and that's fine. But for others, I suggest doing (unbiased & neutral) research "first" then make the decision based on this and your values. Product quality is related to performance and reliability and can be seen in a product's general reputation - and you can get a reasonable and objective idea of this by searching the web.

But I suggest you make your own decision based on your own values: constantly speculating about other peoples' sterotypes and what their purchasing criteria and motivations are, so you can do the opposite isn't especially logical. As an emotional decision, that's fine, but to try to reason it out is plain silly.

Incidently, with the exception of "quality" which I look for in ALL purchasing decisions, my criteria are very similar to yours (1) looks - meaning fully integrated kit, no external pumps etc. (2) noise (3) maintence/simplicity (4) performance. Cost and social factors are not considered. And here's my (non-Koolance) current system:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=41300[/url]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 3:28 pm 
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Location: Austin
I actually have not decided to go with Koolance. I like their design and I have been trying to find some kind of flaw in what they do, so far, all everyone has been able to tell me is "most people who WC dont like them" and "they just aren't good" and similar comments.

As for emotional decisions - those are the only decisions humans make. Every decision humans make is made on a rational basis, but the criteria is "how will this decision meet my needs". The hierarchy of needs is 100% emotional. To pretend otherwise is not rational.

As it stands, they meet my initial criteria for aesthetics, cost is not an issue and they do look simple to setup, I am trying to get some objective information that shows me that they are too noisy or that there is some other flaw in their design.

I have seen the debates and the flame wars between Koolance and HW Labs about copper vs Aluminum - that debate is about as interesting as "which is better, Ford or Chevy?". The choice of metal seems far less important than system design.

What I would like to see is someone say "The Koolance pumps are 35db which is way too loud" or "Koolance systems tend to get too much galvanic corrosion after 1 year of operation"

Give me something beyond an appeal to authority or social approval.

And by the way, your system looks excellent. You obviously know how to put a system together - you use quality components and took the time to make it look right - no rats nets of wires, no bailing wire and chewing gum holding it together - very nice. I am not completely clear on how your radiator is setup.

My current was extremely quiet until I replaced my passively cooled 5900 Ultra with a 6600GT with a noisy little fan - I would take the muffle bat to it, but its just not worth it at this point. Still, I put sleeving on the power supply, customized all the fan wires - virtually all cabled were routed under the mobo, the IDE cables were "cable gami-ed" and ran flat against the drive cage and the case - it is hours of work, but it is worth it (I dont even have a case window - I just do it for personal satisfaction.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:35 am 
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davidrees wrote:
Give me something beyond an appeal to authority or social approval.
You might check out this Procooling thread, especially Cathar's new post.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:35 pm 
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@davidrees
In your case maybe koolance will suite you better. I've assembled and maintained about half a dozen of their systems and I have to say it isn't perfectly easy but it isn't exactly horrible. This may be why people are reluctant to give you a straight answer, because most either have no direct experience or regard it as a "so-so" product that can really go both ways depending on - you guessed it - human emotions.

Like any water cooling setup, be sure to check up on the tubing and the temperatures. I was just like you and sort of accepted temp rises in my system, but once I eventually opened it I noticed a lot of mold growing and when I went to replace the tubing one of them just fell off and it looked like it was eaten away - not a good sign. After that I've refilled and checked the water every 6 months and probably changed it every 2 years. I think ideal is every year but the new koolance liquid they say does 3-4.

It's expensive, yea, but it's easy to install and comforting to know you have a system that comes with directions and a preassembled plan. It's also quite quiet on the low setting, being hardly noticeable unless your room is dead silent and you enjoy staring at your computer waiting for a noise to emanate. At the high setting the fans are annoying but I dont think the pump is that loud. If I set it to high I was probably playing a game though, where I wouldn't notice a small increase in noise.

Personally, if I was to go for another w/c setup I would definately do custom. After this thread I read up a LOT on all the various forums and I really liked what I saw. Yes, tons of kids want watercooling and really have no design idea besides just making it work, but once you find those that do it well you become aware of how inferior prebuilt systems are. Plus I love the feeling of building things myself, so when at all possible I'll look for a way to custom build or tweak my system myself. I'm just a modder at heart.

So basically I think the koolance could work great for you. I hope you're not trying to overclock to the sky or go for the quietest system possible. But for a decent watercooling kit that is easy to install and pretty quiet, it serves well.


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