Wednesday, the Overclockers.com news email received an interesting press release. The title is simple enough but is quite the claim: “iBUYPOWER Partners with Asetek to Develop the First and Only Liquid Cooling Solution for the Level 10 Tower”. While I’m unable to prove it false with a link (quick Google search yields a whole lot of results, but the vast majority of them are republishing info from this release), I would guess someone somewhere has installed a liquid cooling solution in a Thermaltake Level 10 case since they’ve been out. I just couldn’t find any.
Not that I’d blame people for not wanting to try and put water in the thing. Its, um, interestingly compartmentalized design is not exactly water cooling friendly. But the only liquid cooling solution? I think not.
Here’s the press release itself, which is summed up as iBUYPOWER has partnered with Asetek to include their single-radiator, block/pump water cooling solution with every Thermaltake Level 10 case they sell. This unit is strikingly similar to the Corsair H50 we recently reviewed, which stands to reason – Asetek is the OEM for Corsair’s unit.
That in itself is fine. My unsubstantiated, non-sourced B.S. filter tells me that iBUYPOWER thought the Thermaltake Level10 case would be received better than it has been. Let’s face it, very (very) few people in the computer enthusiast demographic even want one of these things. The best way it can be described is a Thermaltake gimmick. Designed by BMW engineers, the Level 10 is an aesthetic failure that goes up to 11 (long live Spinal Tap!).
So iBUYPOWER probably has some stock to get rid of and they make what could be considered a smart move. ‘Hey, let’s get rid of these things by putting free water cooling in them!’ Considering they cost $850 (see Newegg link above), they darn well should include something. These are all things I understand and do not begrudge them that.
But let’s dig a little deeper and look at the quotes from iBUYPOWER in the press release.
“At iBUYPOWER we are always up to a challenge,” said Darren Su, Vice President of iBUYPOWER. “The Level 10 case dimensions do not accommodate standard liquid cooling systems, and required us to design a cooling system that fits its exact dimensions. It’s just another example of iBUYPOWER’s dedication to innovation.”
Right, that’s it. Dedication to innovation. Oh, and that THEY designed. Let’s have a look, shall we?
So…does anyone else see any innovation or change in design here? Except for the fact that the pump power cable isn’t sleeved as nicely as the H50, it sure looks like a very similar unit to me.
“When iBUYPOWER decided to liquid cool the Level 10 Chassis, Asetek’s Total Solutions Team was quick to respond with the guidance on how to optimize liquid cooling performance in this unique chassis,” said Steve Branton, Asetek’s Director of Marketing. “This our commitment to ‘Thermal Management Done Right!”
Again – really? Let me dip into the land of conjecture and see how that conversation really went.
- iBUYPOWER – “Hmm…how can we get rid of these cases that no one will buy? I know, let’s call Asetek! Hey guys, can you sell us <insert number here> of your LCLC units and can we fit them in this case?”
- Asetek - “Um…yea, sure. Does it have a 120mm fan hole? It does? Well, sure, it will fit.”
Ok, ok. It was probably a little longer and more detailed than that.
What about Thermal Management Done Right? If that were the case, they’d install the fan on the radiator like it was supposed to be installed. Instead of using outside air to cool an already somewhat underpowered radiator, they’re crippling it even more by using it as an exhaust fan!
The point is there is absolutely nothing special about this solution that I can tell. They’re making it out to be some big, revolutionary step when it’s nothing more than including a cooler with a case. So say that. Say “If you buy the Level 10 case, you get a free Asetek water cooling setup!!!” Don’t pretend you’ve done something special. Don’t come out and tell us ‘Hey, non-DIY enthusiast community, come get your free custom, innovative water cooling with this lovely case! (suckers)’ Consumers, at least those in our community, are smarter than that (we hope).