Besides their famed VapoChill system, asetek also dabbles in water cooling solutions and their WaterChill family is no less the talk of the town. Unlike VapoChill though, which is based on asetek's own proprietary technology, water cooling isn't exactly the new kid on the block. As exotic PC cooling moves into the mainstream with pre-packaged, all-in-one units like Cooler Master's Aquagate Mini and Thermaltake's Silent Water, what is all the fuss about another water cooling solution? Well, the WaterChill system is basically designed for the power-user and enthusiast, fully customizable down to fittings and accessories.
Since parts can be added or changed at your whim, the WaterChill system is one of the more future-proof and feature-packed water cooling systems today. However, choosing individual components can get a little hairy as all the part numbers look quite the same. The good news is that asetek provides complete WaterChill kits with over 40 different configurations for every need. The bad, it is just as daunting to look for what you may need. In any case, once you have chosen your ideal WaterChill kit, getting down to business is quite straightforward. It just so happens that we have one of those around for a www.hardwarezone.com®-style analysis, so let's see what the KT12A-12VX has to offer.
The WaterChill system basically consists of three major components, the copper cooler units, the radiator and a pump/reservoir. While our kit came with CPU, VGA and chipset coolers, asetek also has HDD coolers for the WaterChill system. The Antartica copper blocks feature asetek's STREAM CHANNELS design and have the capability to remove up to 200W of heat. In order to facilitate the various PC form factors, the cooler units itself come in two parts, an interchangeable cooler lid-cum-retention unit and its copper base.
The main attraction of the kit though, has to be the new WaterChill Xtreme 12V pump/reservoir. Make no mistake, this innovative little baby is the current pride and joy of the WaterChill family. This integrated pump and water reservoir also features a PCB with temperature sensors, headers for fans, an optional LCD monitor plus a USB connection to a desktop control panel software. asetek claims it to be the first ever USB based control software that not only allows access to monitoring functions for voltage and temperature, but also full control of fan speeds and pump volume regulation. You can even setup different operating profiles. Impressive, don't you think? And since the pump is powered by a standard 4-pin Molex from your PC power supply, it can be used as a standalone pump for custom cooling solutions.
Unlike the rest of the WaterChill system, asetek uses third party radiators instead of making their own. Thankfully, the Hardware Labs Performance Systems' Black Ice series of PC radiators are quite famous in their own right for high performance water cooling. The main highlight of the Black Ice radiator is their high capacity cooling through its 2-pass full copper-finned core. Thus, enthusiasts should be quite comforted that the WaterChill uses them. Our kit came with a dual 120mm Black Ice Pro II radiator rated at 4583 BTU per hour, but asetek makes available the entire Black Ice range from the single 80mm Black Ice Micro to the triple 120mm Black Ice Xtreme III monstrosity for the most extreme cooling needs.
The beauty of the WaterChill is that it isn't just a high performance water cooling system with a better control interface, it is multi-talented too. With over 40 commercial kit configurations and unlimited mix-and-match for the ultimate price/performance/customization ratios, the asetek WaterChill truly is one-size-fits-all.