asetek KT03A-L30 Antarctica Cooling Kit

Jun 11th, 2004 | By

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asetek KT03A-L30 Antarctica Cooling Kit

: 06/11/04 – 04:18:15 PM


: Cooling

Page 1 : Introduction


Manufacturer: asetek
Price: 342 including VAT (MSRP: $259)

asetek first came alive in 1997 when someone bet André Sloth Eriksen, current CEO, into building a faster computer. Of course, Mr. Eriksen succeeded and within one year asetek had over 35 resellers. In 2000, asetek was recognized by the Danish Ministry of Trade and Industry for being the most innovative and progressive company in Denmark. Im a few years too late, but congratulations to them for their achievement. Now, asetek is well known for the VapoChill unit. They are also now well known for the WaterChill equipment. This is where I step in.

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I was fortunate enough to get a sample of the KT03A-L30 complete kit. Its been a long while since Ive stepped into water and Ive always wanted to get back in despite losing a few hundred dollars worth of equipment.
I was just about to head out on a nice Friday afternoon when a courier rings the doorbell for me. I was told the package was shipped from Denmark around Tuesday and by Friday it was already at my door! Quick service courtesy of aseteks choice of shipping.

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Holy smokes this thing was big! Did I get one or was I able to score two?
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Nope, just the oneMaybe next time :)
This is quite the packaging. With three layers of foam, I was sure this thing would be able to take any beating that UPS may have given it. Upon inspection, there was no major damage or missing parts. So far, everything looks quite good.

Page 2 : Specifications

Theres a lot of stuff inside this kit and make sure your reseller has given you everything. Let me list what I received in my package.

1 WaterChill Antarctica CPU Cooler
1 Socket A Cover
1 Hex Key
1 Manual
4 Metal Guides
8 Little Plastic Washers
4 M4 Pozi drive Screws
4 Springs
4 Thumb Screws
1 Thermal Compound
1 Plastic Y Joint
1 120×120 mm RDT02 Radiator
1 120x120x32 mm Sunon Low profile fan
4 Long screws
8 Shorter screws
4 Short screws (gotta love my generic names!)
1 Hydor L30 Pump
4 Suction cup feet
1 Reservoir Mounting Bracket
1 RSV02 Reservoir
1 Control Unit
1 Hermaphrodite Power Connector with PCI Shield
10 ft 1/2 OD 3/8 ID tubing
25mL Anti-Algae solution
A couple of asetek stickers

Miscellaneous Bag of Goodies

You just dont know what youll find in these goodie bags. Just about all the other components crucial to a proper setup can be found in the following image.

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Antarctica CPU Cooler

When you first open the kit, you are presented with the Antarctica CPU Cooler sporting the universal cover; universal in the sense that it can be used with Socket A, 478, 939, 940 and 754 motherboards.

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If you own a Socket A motherboard with capacitors located around the socket, then this cover may not be suitable for you. asetek was prepared for this matter. They include a special Socket A cover that is much smaller and should not pose any danger to the motherboard.

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Left: Socket ARight: Universal
To switch the covers, unscrew the current cover and place the other one on top. The rubber sealing is included on both covers so this process should only a take a few minutes. Lay the lid over the 4 cover holes and screw back down. Put a little bit of elbow grease into it for that added bit of security. The last thing you need is a leaky top.

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Gone are the days of using barbs and clamps. With todays technology, astek packages their equipment with push-on fittings. This should make setup a lot easier.
The inside of the solid copper waterblock has some fins where the water is blasted into. The technical term for these are Stream Channels according to the asetek webpage. The point is to improve the distribution of heat by having more surface area.

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The base of the waterblock isnt bad. Running my finger across proves it to be rather flat.

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It has a little bit of shine to it, but your own personal lap job wont do any harm.

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This isnt your ordinary ripped out of a car radiator. What the astek packages is none other than the Black Ice Pro aka RDT02. Its actually a slightly modified version of the Black Ice Pro.
Built of copper and painted black this radiator looks pretty sweet. This one has a 2 pass system specifically designed for PC watercooling. Rated at 440 W, we should see some good performance with this.

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Youll notice the four pilot holes to mount against the back of your case using the 4 short screws.

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From the top, you see that the radiator also uses the push-on fittings for easy mounting. In addition, four holes are located where asetek suggests you place the Sunon fan on top and screw down with the four long screws they include.

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Looks like the whole kit couldnt make it to my house without suffering some kind of damage. Here you see the paint being chipped off. This had to have occurred either from shipping or packaging, but its only a minor detail and at least you can now see the copper side of the radiator. The important thing is that this should not have an impact on performance.

Those are the two main components; on the next page is everything else inside the box.

Page 3 : More Specifications


The RSV02 Reservoir is made of thick Plexiglas with the same push-on type fittings. It has a removable top for easy filling and bleeding. It also boasts a 30 second filling and air removal process with completely tool-less assembly.

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The reservoir is not very big and will fit inside any case. I would have preferred the fittings to be placed at different locations. They are currently positioned about 90 degrees away from each other and so one end will always be facing the motherboard or the side panel. I would of preferred one inlet be higher up and 180 degrees away from the other.

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The removable parts make it real easy for cleaning.

Sunon Fan

The packaged 120x120x38 Sunon fan will do the bulk of the cooling. At 34 dBa you may find this somewhat noisy. The other options include buying another fan. If you do so, I suggest going Panaflo, Vantec Stealth or SilenX.

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Expect about 50,000 hours of service from this fan at 2300 RPM with 83 CFM. This is the 3 pin power connector model as it does not plug directly into the power supply. It will be connected to the control unit instead.

Hydor Sletz L30 Pump

Even though I only have one waterblock, I got the biggest pump available at asetek, nothing like 1200l/hr goodness with the same great push-on type fittings.

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The 6 feet 4 inch lift would make it more of a pond pump than a watercooling kit component. This should provide ample lift for any case you may own.

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The Hydor L30 provides multiple mounting methods. You can stick with the simple suction cup method or rotate the base 90 degrees and screw it down into your case. As well, you can attach the reservoir mounting bracket by securing it before attaching the suction cups. The final product looks like this.

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Socket A Cover

Heres an image of the special smaller socket A waterblock cover that wont interfere with all those capacitors.

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Anti-Algae Fluid

Dont drink this stuff! If it kills algae and other bacteria who knows what it will kill in your stomach. Its also suppose to improve heat conductivity and increase pump lifetime. The instructions say to add about 6 mL to each system fill or refill.

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I think I got about 10ft worth of the half inch OD tubing. I didnt actually measure the length. The tube itself doesnt provide much information. However its very rigid and doesnt kink easily.

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Control Unit

If you read the instructions, the manual specifically says not to open this thing up. Well, that just tempted me and seeing how easily the screw came off I just had to show you the insides.

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Not much to see. All you have here is a power connector, a fan connector a simple 12/7 volt switch, and two bare leads if you want to solder your own LED.


Ahh yes. The one thing we always need but will probably never read. Read this 48 page document as it contains vital information about how to setup the watercooling system. Whether youre a rookie or a guru, take 5 minutes out of your time and do this one simple step. Its not very hard.

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Page 4 : Installation

The installation is pretty simple but may be time consuming. The first thing you need to do is remove the motherboard so you can mount the guide screws. Dont forget to use the washers on the back of the motherboard as you never know what components you could accidentally short.

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You may need to trim the plastic washers if there are components in the way. When youre done it should look something like this but with the tubes connected.

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Here is the setup I used. Starting from the pump outlet I went to the radiator then to the center push-on fitting at the water block. The two outer push on fittings join up at the Y Joint then lead to the reservoir and eventually back to the pump.

When attaching the tube to the Y Joint, youll need to put in some effort. Its a real tight squeeze but it also ensures a leak free connection. I twisted the tube so much that I ended up with a blister on my hand.

asetek recommends a minimum of 5.5 cm worth of tubing between the reservoir and the pump. A minimum of 20 to 25 mm of the tube must be pushed into
fittings to ensure a complete seal.

Heres a picture of the waterblock with tubes all connected:

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Remove the power cable from the back of the power supply and replace it with the hermaphrodite power cable. Then plug back the original power cable into the hermaphrodite cable. It should look something like this:

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The white cable is the original power cable connected to the wall. The black cable is the hermaphrodite power cable connected to the control unit.
Youll need to connect a molex to the control unit to power the pump.

Bleeding and Filling

With the removable lead on the reservoir it is rather easy to fill the system. asetek recommends using distilled water and its a good idea. Tap water is full of impurities that could ruin your system and cause lots of damage if the system leaks.

Since the pump is connected directly to the power supply, youll need to unplug everything before bleeding. I wouldnt want to power the system without proper cooling to the CPU.
To kick start the power, short pins 13 and 14 on the power supplys motherboard connector. asetek provides you with a wire to do this. How nice of them.

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Keep pouring water in until all the air is gone from the system. At that point, fill the reservoir until its three quarters full. For me the process took about 20 minutes. It was loud until the system was fully bled; at least you know its working. Afterwards it was very quiet and the pump did not warm up very much.

If you are using the reservoir mount, as you fill it, you will notice it sagging. The weight is not properly supported.

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To remedy this problem, I taped two Styrofoam peanuts together and wedged it in between the table and the reservoir. Problem solved! You can also use the packaging foam if you like. If you find the suction cups on the pump are dampening the vibration, cut a piece of the packaging foam and place that underneath the pump.

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Dont forget to add the anti-algae solution. Also, if you ever plan on cleaning the system, do not use any form of alcohol. This also means dont use alcohol in the cooling fluid. The reason behind this is because the waterblock covers are made from PMMA (Ploy Methyl MethaCrylate) and does not resist well to chemicals. The only type of cleaners you can use are generic plastic cleaners, benzine, petroleum, and turpentine.

After emailing their technical support, it should be noted that antifreeze and ethylene glycol can be safely used.

Now that the system is operational, let it sit and check for any leaks.

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Now how am I supposed to put all that into my case without having any major kinks? To be honest, I couldnt. There was simply too much for my tiny little box. I managed to get everything but the radiator in. I cant wait for a bigger case.

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I was ok with this setup, however because my power supply mounts vertically and not horizontally it provided some major kinks in the tubes. It was simply no good, that and it started to leak because of the terrible positioning of everything.

I also found that if you tilted the components around trying to get all the air out, the push on fittings would start to get loose and water would drip out. I observed this as I moved the radiator around. I suggest minimal movement once things are in place.

I gutted the system and decided it was best just to leave it all hanging outside. With this extremely ghetto setup, lets see what kind of system temperatures I can obtain.

Page 5 : Testing

Heres the system I installed the KT03A-L30 to:

Iwill KK266
Duron 1200 (12*100)
1.94 VCore
, stock is 1.75
Arctic Silver 3 Thermal Compound
2*256 MB PC 133
ATi Radeon 7000 32 MB PCI
Generic Steel Case
1 Sunon Intake Fan (used with the stock cooler)
40 GB Maxtor 7200 RPM
WinXP SP 1 + latest Update
Via 4.45

For comparison, I ran the stock AMD Cooler, the Sunon fan pulling and pushing air through the radiator at 12 and 7 volts. I also tossed in the 120mm Vantec Stealth pushing air through the radiator at 12 and 7 volts.


The hard drive definitely made the most noise. I could just hear the pump. There was a tiny bit of air left in it. The Sunon fan is impossible to hear at 7 volts, however at 12, it is a lot more noticeable and drowns everything out.


Temperatures were read using Motherboard Monitor and full load was achieved running Folding and RC5 at the same time. Room temperature was between 21.5-22.5 degrees Celsius. I took the readings when the temperature had settled.

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As you can tell, if you direct the air flow so it blows air through the radiator you will notice a one degree difference. Not a whole lot, but for those diehards, this could make or break a few extra MHz.

Page 6 : Conclusion

A lot has changed since the days of my Z3 from Overclockers Hideout and Im very impressed by the KT03A-L30. I think the numbers speak for themselves, the CPU was operating at just over two thirds stock temperature. I doubt this would be possible without the asetek KT03A-L30 Antarctica cooler. Although the Sunon fan may be too loud for some users, it does add quite a punch. I think most people will be better off taking the extra 2 degrees while running the fan at 7 volts so they can actually hear themselves think or try and watch TV in the next room.
I cant wait to see what the asetek engineers have next, but Im thoroughly impressed with what I have now.


Easy setup
Multiplatform support
Superior performance
High quality components
Solid copper with nice base finish


Does not fit in a small case
Loud Fan at 12 V
Lacks 120mm grill
Leaks if push on fittings

You are now able to find this kit for a little less than the MSRP. All in all, a very sweet deal with this very sweet kit. With the performance I got and only the minor issues I had, I'm happy to hand asetek the
Overclockers Online POWER Award
. Drum roll please…..

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