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Innovatek XXS Water Cooling Kit Innovatek XXS Water Cooling Kit: We review an Innovatek's latest high-end parts.
Date: June 2, 2004
Provided By:
Written By:
Price:


Unlike the previous kit, this Eheim pump comes with a 12V molex connector plug. This alleviates the need to splice the 115V cable so you can pass through the rear panel from inside the case, thus making for a cleaner installation. Included in the package is a loop through ATX power supply connector to allow you to test the kit for water leaks without having the components powered, just in case you missed a fitting or two. I connected everything up and tested for 12 hours. Absolutely no leaks in the unit on the first try, either I am getting better at this, or they are making them better (it is the latter, this is only my 3rd H2O kit).

I installed the rest of my hardware back into the system and migrated it upstairs to my office. Ensuring everything is plugged I started her up. Still no leaks, (phew) and everything boots up nicely. I launched the MBM beta for UGURU chipsets and check my temps again, what a change from previously. I launched folding (2 times due to HT) and then ran a few benchmarks to both try and stress the system out. There is quite a drastic reduction in temps on this Prescott CPU over air-cooled, both at 0% load and 100% load.

The System Specifications are as follows:

ABIT AI7 BIOS Version 16 (to handle the Prescott CPU)
OCZ PC3700 1GB Dual DDR
ATI 9600XT
Intel Pentium 4 (2.4C and 2.8E)
Innovatek Water Cooling Kit XXS
CoolJag Copper Heat Sink (Skiving) paired to YS Tech 9000 RPM TMD Fan

Water Flow Scenario 1

I connected the tubing in the following manner --> Pump --> Radiator --> CPU Block --> GPU Block --> Water Reservoir --> Pump.

Water Flow Scenario 2

I connected the tubing in the following manner --> Pump --> Radiator --> Y Connector in --> CPU / GPU Block --> Y Connector out --> Water Reservoir --> Pump.

Temperature Testing

I am comparing the Temps from my previous 2.4C and the newly acquired 2.8E on air-cooled and the 2.8E on the Innovatek Water Cooling solution; I am also including the temps from the GPU on air and with the Innovatek GPU Water Cooler. Ambient temperature was at 81F.

CPU Temps

Notice I am not differentiating the temperatures from Scenario 1 and Scenario 2; this is due to their being little to no difference as far as temperature readings go.

Scenario 1 cools the GPU first and sends the slightly heated water to the CPU; you would think that this scenario would cause the temperature to be slightly higher, being that the GPU has warmed up the water at least somewhat.

Scenario 2 sends water to the GPU and CPU simultaneously, therefore both blocks receive water that has just been cooled through the radiator.

The only reasoning that I could surmise this happened is that in Scenario 1, the amount of water flowing over the blocks is great enough to alleviate any temperature increase. In Scenario 2, you have a 3/8" feed into a Y splitter that gives each block ~ ½ the amount of water that Scenario 1 receives. I would think that, in Scenario 2, if I had a ¾ feed from the Pump / Radiator to the Y connector and 3/8"out to the blocks, I would see a decrease in temperature to the CPU. Unfortunately it is just a theory and with the equipment I have in place, I cannot test this.

GPU Temps

I used 2 clients of folding (using Hyper Threading to get both logical processors to 100%) and launched [H]'s UT2003 benchmarking tool to be sure I was hitting 100% CPU utilization. I ran the benchmarks in HQ mode on 1024x768, 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 resolution to get the GPU to work a little during the testing phase as well.

As you can see, the 2.4C was kept at decent levels using the CoolJag Copper HS and 9000 RPM YS Tech TMD Fan combination, the 2.8E struggled very much so. I noticed that the 2.8E was very sluggish under load, when running 2 instances of Folding at Home and launching another application or game, the 2.4C outperformed hands down. Once water was applied to the Prescott, it performed in line of where it should have, although I do not see this CPU as a step above if you are only planning on using it for playing games or day to day computing.

Overclocking

One of the main purposes, aside from noise reduction, for water-cooling is allowing you to crank the CPU to new heights. With a GPU block installed as well, I went for a new record on the 9600XT while I was in the mood anyway.

As you can see, obtaining a nice 275MHz FSB, resulting in 3.85GHz CPU is nothing to sneeze at, that's a mere 1.05GHz Overclock. I believe I actually hit a ceiling due to ram limitations; PC-3700 memory can only go so far, even at 3:2 ratio.

The GPU did not fair as well however. The stock HS/Fan assembly that ATI provides with it's 9600XT is nothing to sneeze at, and although I got better temperatures they resulted in a mere 8MHz (571.5MHz GPU / 342MHz RAM) increase on overclocking the GPU from the air cooled scenario before artifacting became apparent. This is done, however, without any increase in AGP voltage, something that cannot be said for air cooling.

The GPU got a noticeable reduction in Temperature which resulted in ATI's Overdrive giving it a higher overclock, all the way to 526MHz... I had never seen it automatically go beyond 515MHz previously. Overall I like the fact the GPU runs cooler; even if I can't OC to high heaven with it, at least I am comfortable in that it should last longer running at lower temperatures.

Final Words

Innovatek has definitely stepped their kit up a notch or two, since I last reviewed one. The XXS kit is put together for ease of installation by a novice, while keeping the enthusiasts in mind with the flexibility and the quality components. The quality Water Blocks, Pump, Radiator and Tubing truly allow for great performance and variation of design.

Innovatek has hit a home run with this kit in my opinion. It does not perform to the level of say Danger Den, but it ranks up there with the best of them. Using common connection tips on all tube end points to allow for ease of installation and help the novice ensure they have a water tight water design along with the ability to install on a varying number of GPU / CPU's is one of the most compelling reasons to purchase this kit.

Pros: Kit is complete no matter your CPU and almost any GPU you might have, easy installation, every device has the same fitting type, very good performance.

Cons: Price would be my only objection.

Bottom Line: Ease if installation is probably one of the most compelling reasons to seriously consider this kit. They have made this to the level of "If you are comfortable installing a Heat Sink and Fan, you will do fine installing this Water Cooling solution."

This kit can be picked up at .

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit us up in the forums.

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