|ASETEK WATERCHILL ANTARTICA|
Asetek recently refined their CPU waterblock, the result of this work was the Waterchill Antarctica and today we have a watercooling system based around this cooler to review.
As you can see from the above specifications there are 3 coolers included in the package, the Antarctica block, chipset cooler and vga cooler. Lets take a look at them in detail.
Antarctica CPU Waterblock:
The above pictures show the Antartica waterblock has a full copper base, the inward flow to the unit is through the middle pipe which sits directly above the centre of your CPU where cooling is most needed. The water is removed from the system through the left and right pipes which then join through a “y” junction. This design allows for increased water flow leaving the unit over previous designs. You can also see from the images there are various holes in the block. These facilitate attachment of the block to your motherboard. As the unit supports Socket 478, Socket A, Socket 754 and Socket 940 not all holes are used at the same time. In our images the socket 940 design is being used. Attachment of the unit is relatively easy, 2 screws are inserted from underneath the motherboard (through the existing motherboard screw holes that attach the normal socket 940 bracket the spring-loaded attachments are then twisted onto the screws until the waterblock sits flat and tight against the CPU.
The GPU block features the same highly polished copper base as the Antarctica cpu block. The water is pumped in through one pipe and crosses the VPU before exiting through the second pipe. Attachment of the waterblock is also reasonably easy. Using the existing PCB holes two screws are inserted from the cooler side and then bolted on from the rear. The GPU cooler supports both Geforce and Radeon parts, including the new X800 from ATI as the above picture shows.
In our test system we were unable to install the Chipset cooler firstly because the design of the SK8N. The Nforce3 chipset is directly under the AGP card with no room for the height of the cooler. Additionally the Asetek manual states that Via, Intel, AMD and SIS chipsets are supported however there is no mention of Nvidia.
The design of the chipset cooler is very similar to that of the GPU cooler. Water is pumped across the component. Attachment of the cooler varies depending on the chipset. For some chipsets you will use screws in the same way as the GPU cooler, for others there are plastic ties to attach the unit to the motherboard. Full instructions on the method to use are included in the manual.
The rest of the system comprises of the following:
Reservoir and pump:
You will notice on the picture of the pump that there is some rubber sealant round the top fitting. This required adding through user error and was not a defect in the pump itself. The two other Asetek pumps we have had access too have worked flawlessly.
The pump is made by Hydor and can circulate 1200 litres of water around the system every hour. Initially when the system is filled the pump is rather noisy however as the air is worked out of the system (which can take around 20 mins) the unit becomes a lot quieter - otherwise known as "bleeding". The reservoir sits directly beside the pump and is made of plexi glass. Removal of the lid to fill the system is very easy, just unscrew the lid and pour in the water.
In the KT12A-L30 Asetek have provided a dual fan radiator. It is this component that is responsible for cooling the water in the system. The water is pumped through the radiator which is cooled by the 2 almost silent Papst 120mm fans. The fans can be set to 7v or 12v mode (we shall look at the effect of the 2 modes later) using the pictured breakout box. Its just a case of changing a jumper, neither setting is loud, especially compared to a CPU cooler. This box also has a floppy disk drive style power connector which supply’s some of the power to the unit. (Additional power is supplied through an external pass-through connector to the mains power).
Here’s how the kit looks when assembled:
Overall assembly was easy. As long as you take your time reading the instructions everything is well explained. Asetek seem to have made everything as easy as possible. For example to attach the pipes its just a case of cutting the required length and pushing the pipe into the hole until it locks in place.