XSPC RayStorm 750 AX240 Watercooling Kit Review
In the world of PC cooling air cooling is king… at least in terms of sales and ease of use. When "normal" consumers buy a PC they expect it to have a fan of some sort keeping things in check even if they don’t understand the ins and outs of heatsinks. Then when it comes to building a PC for the first time most people can handle fitting an air cooler, even if some are fiddlier than others.
Over the past few years manufacturers such as CoolIT and Corsair along with Asetek have tried to entice those building systems over to liquid cooling by creating factory sealed kits which try to remove some of the fear… or skill from installing more advanced cooling in a system. Overall these have been quite successful and thinking back to some of the CoolIT kits they could be installed in around 60-120 seconds, electric screwdriver and an almost complete system permitting.
Of course the factory built liquid coolers are great to a point but they do have their limitations where as traditional water-cooling is far more flexible and allows us to build a cooling loop around our systems specifications and maximise its potential. So today we are going to take a look at an entry-mid level water-cooling bundle and how it compares to a factory sealed equivalent while also finding out how it could be expanded over time. Enter the XSPC RayStorm 750 AX240 Water-cooling Kit.
Packaging and Bundle
XSPC package their RayStorm kit in a box which looks pretty plain on top but on the sides we do get some info on the contents along with a nice stylish image of the CPU block on the base. Inside we find the main components all in their own boxes and then wrapped in protective material and the bundled items are bagged up where appropriate.
With the kit we get an installation guide, tubing, a selection of tubing clamps, fan grills, LEDs (powered by Molex), thermal paste, barbs, brackets to install our radiator externally and fittings to install our CPU block on all recent platforms (inc 2011, 115x and AM3/FM2). Also present is a 24pin block which allows us to power on our PSU without it being connected to a system, ideal for testing if there are any leaks before the main install takes place.
NOTE: For those unfamiliar with water-cooling you will see terms such as G1/4", ID/OD (inner diameter/outer diameter ) tubing etc. The simple explanation is that these refer to the size of the tubes and connectors which manufacturers use. In the case of this kit we have 1/4inch fittings, finished in black chrome and XSPC make things easy by providing 2m of compatible tubing.
Let’s now take a look at the main components in the kit.