WaterChill CPU Cooler Antarctica (Skt T)

Oct 8th, 2004 | By

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WaterChill CPU Cooler Antarctica (Skt T)

: 10/8/04 – 11:36:03 AM


: Cooling

Page 1 : Introduction



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asetek, most famous for their VapoChill cooling line, has given focus to the less extreme and less expensive water cooling market. There are so many manufacturers to choose from these days and it seems like everyone wants their foot in the door.

Not too long ago we looked at asetek's KT03A-L30 Antarctica Cooling Kit and in there we found the system's performance to be excellent, showing a nearly 33% drop in temperatures compared to stock cooling on a Socket A system.

Today, we look into how well things perform on a Socket T setup, specifically the waterblock. With a new mounting design, asetek was required to design a new cover to allow proper mounting. That said, we've been given the opportunity to test this block's performance on a hot little Prescott thanks to that new Socket T cover.

Page 2 : Package

WaterChill CPU Cooler Antarctica (Socket T)
came shipped in a plain box with the Socket T cover, universal cover, tubing, plastic Y joint, and a bag of parts for install. I should point out though that the universal cover is not part of the retail package and was only included for testing benefits.

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The universal cover shown below was the one that came installed on the copper plate initially. Removing these covers is done with a hex key. The covers themselves are pretty flat, not cavernous like I was expecting, around which is a rubber seal to make the connection to the copper plate leak proof.

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The difference between the socket T and universal covers is in the reach of the mounting holes. The socket T's mounting holes are further away from the socket and so you can see it's arms are longer which makes it easily distinguishable.

The connections for attaching the tubes are quick-connect fittings that should make installation quick and simple. These work very well as long as you remember not to cut the tubes at an angle and to completely insert them into the fittings.

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Looking at both covers you can see that asetek uses three inlets/outlets for their waterblocks. The preferred setup, according to the manual, is for the two on the ends to serve as outlets and the center for the inlet for which water to flow.

The copper plate itself is fairly simple in design and features fins positioned by the center water intake. These fins, that asetek calls Stream Channels, are meant to improve the distribution of heat by increasing the surface area of the block that comes into contact with water.

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The base of the block is flat and polished with a shine.

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asetek included no manual or instructions with my package, however if one is not included in the retail packaging (which would surprise me) they can also be found online at the asetek website.

Page 3 : Specifications

All specifications have been taken from asetek's web site:

WaterChill CPU Cooler – CPU01/AT

Capable of removing at least 200W of CPU-heat.
Two water outlets for more aggressive water flow.
New "Push on" fittings for tool-less and easy assembly of tubes on the CPU block.
Supports Intel P4 LGA 775 (Socket T)
Easy mount of the block on motherboard with finger screws.
A machined finish that ensures a high and uniform quality and perfect CPU contact.
An extremely good plainness and surface smoothness.
Pure copper base plate – providing best possible heat removal ratio.
Optimized fittings (/tubes) for maximum flow.
All fittings and mounting accessories included in standard package.

The important aspects are that this block is made from copper, supports socket T, uses quick-connect fittings, and has two water outlets. Those are the main 'features' and none of them need further explanation at this point.

Page 4 : Installation

Installation went along very smoothly and all I ended up doing was replacing the Swiftech waterblock previously installed in a socket 478 system with this one as well as swapping out systems to test with. I really am a fan of quick-connect fittings I tell you. ;)

The only thing I disliked about the install of this block were the platic knobs on the finger screws. Because asetek shorted me on some plastic washers, when I am constantly installing/removing the block, the springs that go between the block and the finger screws scrapes away some plastic on the screw each time. In the future I'd like to see these finger screws made all-metal.

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The tubing provided was plenty for this setup and proved to be very easy to work with. My initial install suffered some leaks during initial tests that were caused by a slightly larger inner diameter compared to the Swiftech PCI pass-thru barbs, and so I had to put two hose clamps on to ensure it would not leak again.

The exact specs of this machine are the following:

Pentium 4 2.8E @ 3.01 GHz Processor
Albatron PX915P Pro i915P Motherboard
2*512 MB PDP Systems PC4400ELK DDR Memory
Swiftech H20-120 Water Cooling
Seagate 160GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
Albatron PCX5750 Video Card
Thermaltake Purepower 420 W Power Supply
Windows XP Pro SP2 + Latest Drivers, Updates

CPU Cooling:
Intel Retail HSF
asetek WaterChill CPU Cooler Antarctica (Socket T)

The Intel Retail HSF cooler that I will be comparing this block to is of the orb variety. This heatsink has a copper core which you can see in the second picture, and an open fan area that you can see in the first. Unfortunately, this open fan area makes wires in your case more vulnerable.

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Page 5 : Testing

Benchmarking analysis was limited to temperature of the CPU. To gain the results, the system was first put under heavy load by running Folding@Home and RC5-72 clients for a period of one hour and then the peak temperature recorded. The processor would then be allowed another hour to cool to an idle temperature with no user interference. This method was followed in the same order for each cooler and proved to be a consistent way to stress and compare the coolers abilities. Room for error could then be primarily traced back to environment variables such as room temperature and any possible human error in taking the readings.

Measurements were taken using Hmonitor A RadioShack digital indoor/outdoor thermometer for monitoring the room temperature. The indoor temperature throughout testing was between 73°F and 76°F.

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The Prescott is a hot chip, no doubt. Intel's stock heatsink and fan provide little room for overclocking the 2.8E and once I began using the WaterChill block I was finally able to squeeze some more life out of her, and at stock voltage. No matter what I tried though, I couldn't get the system to load up at speeds higher than 3.3 GHz without getting an invalid system disk error during boot. With the PCI clock locked I can only assume the chipset is limiting us here.

Page 6 : Conclusion

Overall I was quite impressed with the quality of this waterblock. While it does nothing incredibly new, I found that it performed well and had an attractive look that most will appreciate. Unfortunately this cover is only for socket T, but hopefully in the future asetek can develope a universal cover that is updated to include support for all major sockets in use today. For now though, if you're looking for an easy way to get the temps on that hot new socket T chip down, I can safely say that
asetek's WaterChill CPU Cooler Antarctica
will do a fine job.


Performs well
Not very expensive
Easy install


Not universal
Plastic finger screws

We'd like to thank asetek for once again providing us with the products in this review.

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