Battle of the Water Cooling Kits


In the beginning, only the most ‘hardcore’ of PC enthusiasts ventured into the world of water-cooling their PC’s. It sounded like a dangerous business – mixing water with expensive electrical components all inside the same case.

After a while, the need for a better cooling system than air alone grew greater, with many processors pushing out more heat than ever. Companies in the computer cooling industry started realising the potential for releasing their own water-cooling products, and ventured into the market experimenting with ways to make water cooling easier to install.

Early attempts were pitiful, with water-cooling ‘systems’ being beaten by air-cooling both in price and performance. These system’s have since been improved upon, but still do not match the performance given by water-cooling systems built by enthusiasts.

Today I’ll be taking a look at some water-cooling kits from Alphacool, Swiftec, Thermaltake and XSPC. These ‘kits’ differ from the ‘systems’ I mentioned, in that they provide you with all of the components necessary to build your water cooling system, but don’t actually come pre-built. You will also find that many of the components included in these kits are the same as those used by water-cooling enthusiasts.

The Kits
Narrowing down the manufacturers to include in this round up wasn’t easy. Many manufacturers provide some form of water-cooling kit these days, and including every single one would probably have had me tied up for the next month. One of the most noticeable omissions from this review was Asetek, who despite numerous e-mails and support tickets, never got back to us.