Performance and price are always seem important but when you considering a water cooling solution but the brand of cooler might suprise you. As was mentioned early in this review Asetek has a long history with custom cooling solutions and supplies OEMs and hardware makers with white box coolers to build into their product lines. Famous names like Corsair and Thermaltake take advantage of this along with system builders like CyberpowerPC use their coolers and with great success.
Baseline performance of any AIO cooler comes from a variety of factors from Pump and Waterblock to Radiator and even Hose Diameter and while these determine manufacturer differences in this review there are two. Radiator Size, and Fan Performance. The Radiator determines two things. Total Surface Area and Heat Capacity. For instance large 360mm style radiators can generally cool with very little fan noise but generally come with very little liquid and reduces overall heat capacity.
In this review the sweet spot for all of the systems was with Asetek 570LX (240mm x 38mm) cooler. This was directly related to there being more fluid in the system and just enough radiator to cool the loop. A close second was the Water 2.0 which came with a 120mm x 49mm radiator. It has less surface area but about the same amount of fluid so heat capacity was about the same. (and the push pull fan configuration helped too).
The fans in both situations only regulated the temperature. This is why when the fans were turns up to 100% the best performance delta (change) was seen on the 590LX (360mm) cooler.
I found installation to be extremely easy using the Asetek Premium Retention Kit mostly because I didn’t need to swap the mounting plate when switching systems. For this I could remove the four thumb nuts and swap the cooler rather quickly. Given that I did this over 20 times the easy of use added up.
The Standard Retention Kit features a less universal mounting solution with screws for each processor platform. While it might seem easier to use the downside is that more included components means more waste for the end user.
Overall I really had fun with this roundup review. Personally I would have liked to see better LGA2011 performance however the domed waterblocks really limited heat transfer on the larger processors. As I mentioned before the dome on a heatsinks isn’t done to limit performance but rather a safeguard against inexperienced system builders and RMA happy consumers. Given that Asetek builds the coolers they must cater to the needs of their clients and sadly RMAs cost even more when a perfectly good product is returned because it wasn’t installed properly.
Fortunately crafty hardware enthusiasts, like me, have a solution to this and consists of taking fine grit sand paper, some water and basically grind the surface down until it is flat. It’s call “Lapping” and can do wonders for overclocking performance.
In the case of the Asetek 590LX lapping lowered load temps by the missing three degrees and brought the C/W performance down to where it should have been. Of course I’ll save that process for another article and until then pick your Asetek coolers properly and stay cool.
Several Configurations Available
Large Rubber Hoses
Pump block dome limits performance
Not available direct from Asetek