Kingwin Arctic Watercooling Kit

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Kit test – Joe

SUMMARY: A very nice entry level kit with OK performance.

Kit

The kind folks at Kingwin sent a sample of their Arctic Water Cooling Kit to try out. One of the compelling features of this kit is that the base unit mounts within a CD ROM slot. The kit includes:

  • CPU and GPU waterblocks with P4, AMD K7/K8 mounts
  • External radiator and fan
  • Tubing (¼” ID) with screw-on mounts
  • Thermistor cable
  • Assorted screws, washers, thermal grease, tubing tool
  • Anti-freeze

Note that in addition to the CD ROM size unit, there is a second radiator which mounts in an 80mm fan cutout. This adds significantly to the kit’s performance, as will be seen in the test data.

What’s Included in the Kit

The “CD ROM” Base Unit

The base unit includes a radiator, waterpump, reservoir and LCD control panel. There is a radiator fan in the top which exits through the bottom of the unit.

Insert

When installing this unit, there MUST BE sufficient clearance at both the top and bottom for sufficient cooling of this radiator. Therefore, the CD ROM slot in which this is placed must have clearance top and bottom. Installing the unit at the topmost CD ROM slot may give sufficient top clearance, but the slot below must be empty.

A look at the back

Back

shows the inlet/outlet ports, pins for the thermistor, external radiator fan and four pin power plug. The front

Front

features the radiator fill port, LCD screen, temperature adjustment buttons and fan speed knob. I found the base unit’s 80mm fan speeds to vary from 1825 to 3735 rpm. When powered, the LCD displays the thermistor temp, external fan condition, temperature alarm points (50, 60 and 80ºC) and pump condition. The dial of the fan speed dial lights up, varying depending on fan speed selected (blue low, purple high). When thermistor temps hit 50ºC, the 50ºC flashes; same for 60 and 80ºC.

When the external fan kicks into high gear, the fan symbol activates. Finally, if the pump fails, the pump symbol flashes. There is a beeper which beeps once when powered up, and will beep if the pump fails.
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A look inside

Inside

shows the radiator, reservoir with waterpump inside and the PCB control circuit. The waterpump is on the small side – I did not measure waterflow, but judging from the speed at which I saw bubbles moving through the tubes, it’s a low-flow system (I would guess less than 15 gph).

External Radiator

A second radiator is inlcuded with the kit:

Rad

This features an 80mm fan and will fit in a case’s 80mm exhaust port.

Waterblocks

The kit features two waterblocks – CPU and GPU. The CPU waterblock

CPU WB

is nicely finished with a chrome outer shell. The square plug at the top is for the mounting hardware – a nice feature, as forces are centered over the CPU core. The fittings are ¼” – definitely on the small side. The copper waterblock base

Base

is polished. Included are mounts for P4 and AMD K7/8.

The GPU waterblock

GPU

is also attractively finished with a copper base and has mounts for a variety of situations.

Additional Parts

Included are all the necessary parts, including screws, tubing, spare washers, thermistor cable, anti-freeze fluid, thermal grease and a tool for securing the tubing to the fittings. I found it very easy to screw the tubing to all the fittings. There is an instruction manual which is adequate and shows how to configure the kit, purge air through the lines and mount it.

Parts

Overall, nice build quality and everything you need to install the kit into a case. I would estimate it would take no more than an hour to get up and running, including reading the manual. With no case modifications required, this kit is fairly easy to install.
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Performance Testing

I tested the Kingwin kit using the CPU Die Simulator which gives results that are unaffected by motherboard influences, with the Socket A clip. I tested the unit with the CPU waterblock only.

The unit was tested in the open air – installed in a case with restricted airflow will compromise performance; consider these results as the best the unit will do under optimum conditions.

I tested the kit with the thermistor cable placed next to the die’s side – similar to placing it next to the CPU’s core. I found temps displayed on the LCD panel to vary by about 3-4ºC of temps measured at the die. The thermistor is an important part of the system as it controls the speed of the external radiator fan; users can set the lowest temp to 40C – once reached, the fan kicks into high gear.

Test Results – 70 watts

Condition

Die Temp

Ambient Temp

Delta

C/W

Kingwin, Fan Low

51.3 C

26.9 C

24.4

0.35

Kingwin, Fan High

49.5 C

26.8 C

22.7

0.32

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.

Fan noise of the base unit with the fan at its highest setting is annoying – it’s high pitched and very noticeable; at the lowest setting, fan noise is tolerable.

Die Simulator results place the Kingwin in the mid rank of CPU kits solutions (Heatsink Ranking).

CONCLUSIONS

This is NOT what I would consider a “performance kit”, but for someone looking for an “all-in-one” mid-level solution, it’s an OK choice. Normally I would not consider this kit upgradeable, but I will try a couple of ideas and see how performance changes – stay tuned!

Thanks again to Kingwin for sending this our way.

Email Joe