Water Cooling Kit Group-Test
Published: 8th July 2013 | Source: Special Tech | Price: £142 - £175 |
Up Close: AlphaCool NexXxoS Cool Answer 240 DDC/XT45
With a name only its mother could love the AlphaCool kit comes packed into a neat briefcase style box. Delving inside we extract similarly coloured Alphacool branded boxes complete with blister packed Black compression fittings. The only exceptions to the brand are the Phobya PSU jumper and the Yateloon fans that come bundled with this kit. The Alphacool ki is also the only one to include a bottle of coolant.
NexXxoS Cool Answer240 DDC/XT45
Intel Socket Compatibility
AMD Socket Compatibility
NexXxoS XP³ Light - Acetal Edition - Intel/AMD
Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 240mm
124 x 280 x 45 mm
Radiator Fan Specification
2 x Low Noise 1300rpm 120 x 25mm Fan
Laing DDC-1T Pro Pump : DDC-1T
Pump Flow Rate
440 L/hr 10W
Alphacool Repack - Laing DDC - 5,25 Single Bay Station
Alphacool AlphaTube HF 3/8" ID - 1/2" OD (10-13mm) : Clear
6 x Alphacool 1/4" Thread Barb Fittings for 1/2" ID : Deep Black
Coolant Clear 1000ml
Simple CPU Watercooling
1 x Alphacool NexXxoS XP³ Light - Acetal Edition - Intel/AMD
The beating heart of the AlphaCool system is the NexXxoS XP³ Light Acetal edition. Sporting a large gold Alphacool logo the XP³ Light is quite the recumbent monolith. Two clearly labelled ports are positioned towards the upper edge of the contact plate, and as such their close proximity to each other may limit the size of fittings that can be used and/or the angles that rotaries must be placed at. No such worries with the supplied 13/10 G1/4" Deep Black compression fittings that come supplied in the kit.
The Alphacool repack Laing DDC single bay reservoir when coupled to the Laing AlphaCool DDC 1T Pro pump provides an integrated solution and with a large clear gauged window there should be no problems keeping an eye on those fluid levels. As with a great many bay reservoirs the fill port is positioned centrally in the top and although quite posterior it is sill easy enough to reach into with a bit of tubing and a funnel if you leave a vacant bay above it. At 45mm Thick the NexXxoS XT45 is the second thinnest on test but only a smidge thinner than the 47mm thick EK radiator. The NexXxos is however the only radiator to have fittings on all sides of each of the two end tanks, making for a total of 3 in and 3 out. This of course offers much greater flexibility when it comes to plumbing in your loop and should be applauded.
Assembly and Testing
Although the CPU block is compatible with a great many Intel and AMD socket types instructions for fitting to socket 2011 aren't provided, leaving us to prove we're real men and work it out for ourselves (which was actually easy enough). After first threading a thumb-bolt, spring and washer onto an Allen bolt this bolt is then screwed into the motherboard socket holes. The Thumb bolts are then tightened down to provide pressure via the springs onto the CPU. Assembling the Pump Res set up was again an instruction free adventure, this time with a little more head-scratching and brute force involved. In essence the Pump is inelegantly stuffed into the back of the reservoir with tubular rubber seals around the nozzles making for a watertight seal. If we thought that was hard we were in for a real treat when we came to fit it into our 5.25" bay. Why? Because it's slightly larger in height than the height of a 5.25" bay that's why, or more specifically, the large acrylic port plate at the rear of the reservoir sticks up proud just enough to cause the top of the res to foul the guide rails of the bay above, necessitating these to be bent upwards with some pliers.
With the swearing and grunting over it was time to plumb everything together. AlphaCool have coupled their Deep Black 13/10 compression fittings with some 13/10 clear tubing. The thin diameter of this tubing makes it easier to manoeuvre than some thicker tubes, however the thin walls and high flexibility did seem to make it more prone to kinking than some of the others on test here. On start up we noted the pump was on the noisy side with a distinct vibration through the chassis, seems simply cramming the pump into the rear of the res with only a thin rubber pad as isolation doesn't make for quiet running! On the plus side, the fans were very quiet. God old Yate Loon eh.
Once the whole assembly has been wedged into place, the slightly smoked glass look of the front panel does give the reservoir that little hint of class. The Gold AlphaCool logo is ever present of course but does nothing to detract from the looks