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Asetek KT03-L20 Liquid Cooling Kit

Manufacturer: Asetek
Supplied by: Sidewinder Computers
Street Price: $119

By Dean Barker (8/18/2004)

Introduction

Water cooling until recently, has been viewed as an option reserved for the most advanced of users.  Over the past year or so we have seen a tremendous influx of all-in-one kits, some focusing on all out performance while others lean toward quiet operation and ease of set up.  We have looked at the “quiet” kits from Kingwin, Titan and Thermaltake but it’s time for us to now look at the other side of the house.  Asetek has been producing high performance water cooling components and kits for some time now and has had quite a bit of success with their WaterChill line.  Today, we have their entry level kit, the KT03-L20 up on the bench.  The L20 is a very stripped down kit that includes the bare minimum (in Asetek’s eyes) of what you need to get an H2O kit up and running.  We discovered that this kit is very nice and offers excellent performance but in our opinion, does not include the minimum components to safely get a water cooling system up.  Read on to see what we mean.  Before we begin, I do want to thank the good people at Sidewinder Computers for making this review possible.

What you get

Upon opening up the box, you find that the KT03-L20 kit includes the WaterChill CPU block that fits Intel’s P4 (socket 478), AMD socket A, socket 754 and socket 940; a Black Ice Pro Radiator; Hydor Pump; 150cm (just shy of 5”) of ½ OD tubing; water block mounting hardware; a blister pack of thermal grease and the installation guide. 

My first impression on looking at the components prior to receiving the review kit, was that they looked thin.  On first hand inspection, my suspicions were confirmed.  (In addition to the kit we had some extras we thought necessary sent over that we’ll get to shortly.)

Water Block

The water block is impressive and aesthetically pleasing.  Two ½ inch OD (outer diameter) push type fittings are set in a clear acrylic top allowing you to see inside the block.  The push type fittings are the only way to fly.  You simply push your hose into the fitting where it is then locked in place.  To remove a length of tubing once installed, you push down on the outer blue rim and pull the tube out.  With the tube installed, you get a solid tight fit provided you don’t pull too hard laterally on the tubing.  Looking inside the block, we see that a small crescent ridge separates the water inlet and outlet.  This forces the water flowing inside the block, to circulate a bit prior to coming out the outlet fitting.  This increases the convection efficiency by maximizing the surface area the water has a high flow over within the water block.

 

Application for the WaterChill block is as we previously noted, socket 478 P4, AMD socket A, socket 754 and socket 940.  This wide range of processors the unit fits explains all the mounting points seen in the WaterChill’s acrylic cover.


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