XSPC X2O Water-Cooling Kit Review
I have been involved in a few water-cooling projects over the years and thought I’d write about my most recent. I wanted a silent PC. We all want quiet PCs and I have been on the search to eliminate the noise from my CPU, so after a few thoughts I decided that water-cooling was the step forward. After a little research I decided that the ‘XSPC X2O Water-Cooling Kit’ with a ‘XSPC 250mm Passive Aluminium Reservoir’ instead of the supplied radiator would suit my ambition.
The kit has some excellent reviews and I have spoken to the designer via forums. At first I was a little worried about the small diameter of the tubes and components that this kit offered but was reassured by the many positive comments I had received. I also wanted a small scale kit to fit inside my case and the designer seemed to have some very well thought-out answers to my concerns. So in the hands of a professional I decided to try to install the kit into the following computer: AMD Opteron 146@2500mhz (250x10), DFI Lanparty NF4 Ultra-D, x2 512mb Corsair BH6, ATI x800 256mb, Raptor 76gb, Hiper 450w
As stated on XSPC's website I would be installing the following:
XSPC X2O WaterCooling Kit
- CPU Waterblock with Universal Mount
- Compact 12V Pump/Reservoir
- Clear 10/8mm Tubing
- Anti-Corrosive Water Additive
- Thermal Paste
Designed for:AMD Sockets 939, 754, 940 Intel Sockets 775, 478, 603, 604 *Requires mounting holes
Although the kit comes supplied with a quality radiator I opted to discard this and replace it with XSPCs:
Passive Aluminium Reservoir
- 250mm Anodized Aluminum Tube
- 260ml Capacity
- Acrylic screw off top and base
- Chromed mount
- Removable Blue LED (4pin molex)
- 1/4" Thread
- Weight 700g
- Dimensions: 280x70x70mm
~Supplied with mounting kit and Blue LED
Installation was very simple and swift. The kit comes with a comprehensive instruction manual that would be useful for first timers. I began by mounting the reservoir on the roof of my case. Apologies for poor camera shots.
As I wanted it to sit on top a little modding was required by adding four mounting holes. The kit also comes with all the parts necessary to mount it on the rear of a case if required.
Next the supplied CPU waterblock mounting was attached to the motherboard. The waterblock has an unconventional method of being held in place by a plate.
Although I normally leak test water-cooling kits outside my case for 24hrs I felt comfortable to install the kit straight away but did leave the pump & reservoir combo outside the case until installation was complete. I DO NOT recommended this method of installation – always leak test first!
This is the rear of the case with tubing routed into the case. I added Green UV dye to the de-ionised water to give it a green slime effect.
A closer look at the CPU block with water tubes attached.
Final installation and product without case side panels attached.
Apart from looking great my average CPU temperature under load is a steady 50C with the current passive setup and Opteron 146@2500mhz. Room temperature also stays constant at 18-20C. With the CPU on default settings (i.e.200x10) the temperature averages 43C.
I am planning to add a radiator into one of the top drive bays in the future (possibly a ThermalTake AquaBay M2) but want to try to keep any additions small and inside the case. A 120mm fan bowing onto the radiator from an internal blowhole is also an available option.
I didn’t intent to make a performance cooler (which would cost a lot more) but did set-out to make the computer more stylish and silent. The audible noise of the computer has dropped significantly enough to be noticeably quieter, although future projects would be needed on the PSU, GPU & chipset to push the computer into becoming completely silent.
Generally, the kit is quite comprehensive and includes all necessary mounting gear. Build quality is excellent throughout and the attention shown to important details is apparent. A noise reducing method of attaching the reservoir would be an improvement but this is easily overcome by anyone with common sense.
The XSPC X2O Water-Cooling Kit deserves a serious consideration by those wanting to quickly cool and lower noise in their PC at little expense. The nature of the kit ensures that it would be easily at home with experienced water-coolers like myself or someone looking at getting started in this devious art. The kit is fully recommended and currently available on the XSPC Performance PC Cooling website.