CoolWave Storm III Watercooling Kit

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Kit test – Joe

SUMMARY: Very good choice for a watercooling kit with reasonable price/performance.

CW Stormcool III Kit

I know it looks like a tangle, but the kit ships with fluid, so I took pics as assembled.

The good guys at CoolWave were nice enough to send a CoolWave Stormcool III Kit to test.

The CoolWave Stormcool III Kit features

  • Copper blocks for CPU, GPU and Northbridge chips
  • Clips for Socket 478/370/462
  • Radiator with 120mm fan
  • Fully sealed waterpump/reservoir
  • Fully charged with fluid

The kit comes securely packaged

CW Stormcool III

in a foam container – note that it ships fully charged with fluid. The hoses have fairly difficult to remove clamps; the upside is that the user does not have to fill-and-bleed the kit.

The CPU waterblock

CPU

is all copper – these are fully sealed and users are not able to open these up; the GPU and chipset blocks are of similar construction – just smaller. The base

Base

is well finished – I could not feel amy machining or polishing marks.

The parts

Parts

that ship with the unit allow mounts for all manner of CPUs, GPUs and Northbridge chipsets. The GPU is a clamp-like affair, which I have not seen before.

The waterpump

Pump

is encased in a plastic non-removable reservoir. There is a block object¹ on the power wire between the pump and the four pin plug – I asked about it but so far (communications problem??) I can’t get an answer as to its purpose – my supposition was that it’s an inverter and the pump is an AC unit, but that’s speculation on my part. This is the only part of the kit that does not have hose clamps; the hoses are silicone, which adhere very well to tightly fitted connections.

¹A number of readers suggest that it is for noise suppression – sounds good to me!

TESTING

The CoolWave Stormcool III ships with a Yae Loon fan D12BM-12, a 120 x 25 mm unit that runs at 1650 rpm. I found it to be fairly quiet – I could not get a reading with a Radio Shack sound meter 8″ from the fan’s intake (the meter stops at 50 dBA).

One of the weak spots in entry level kits has been the waterpump – I ran this one for five days straight without a problem. This is not by any means a torture test, but at least it did not fail out of the box.

THE TEST

The CoolWave Stormcool III was tested on the CPU Die Simulator which gives results that are unaffected by motherboard influences. For this test, I only tested the CPU waterblock; I insulated the other two waterblocks to isolate their influence on results. However, with all three waterblocks installed, performance could be somewhat worse than indicated here. View the test results below as “Best Case”.

TEST RESULTS – CPU Simulator

Heatsink
Die Temp
Ambient Temp
Delta
C/W
CoolWave Stormcool III
47.8 C
29.1 C
18.7 C
0.27

Delta = CPU temp – Ambient Temp
C/W = Delta / CPU Watts

Interpreting C/W: For every watt (CPUw) that the CPU
consumes, the HSF will limit the CPU’s temperature rise to (C/W x CPUw)
plus the temperature at the HSF’s fan inlet. For example, at an ambient temp of 25 C, a C/W of 0.25 with a CPU radiating 50 watts means that CPU temp will increase 50 x 0.25 = 12.5 C over ambient temp, or 37.5 C. The lower the C/W, the better.

Die Simulator results place the CoolWave Stormcool III in the upper rank of watercooling kits tested to date (Heatsink Ranking), with the proviso that results may be adversely impacted with additional waterblocks installed.

CONCLUSIONS

When I opened up the kit, I was pre-disposed to expect “entry level kit performance” – something on the order of 0.40 C/W. I stand corrected. Overall, the CoolWave Stormcool III Kit is a very good price/performance buy – MSRP is about $100.

Thanks again to CoolWave for sending this our way. CoolWave is looking for distribution – interested vendors please Email Richard for details.

Email Joe