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PC COOLING

Micro Stealth Custom Water Cooling Kit
By: Jim Miller
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    2003-10-08

    Table of Contents:
  • Micro Stealth Custom Water Cooling Kit
  • Micro Stealth Custom Water Cooling Kit (cont.) page 2
  • Results and Conclusion page 3

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    Micro Stealth Custom Water Cooling Kit


    (Page 1 of 3 )

    There's no denying that water cooling is rapidly making it's way to the main stream computer enthusiasts as of late. With the push of water cooling into the main stream comes several user friendly water cooling kits and part providers, enter Aquastealth. Aquastealth is a company that is designing and putting out every component one may need to build a water cooling system. They offer complete kits, but they also offer the individual pieces for the true do-it-yourselfers out there. Today at OCA we're gonna take an up close and personal look at the top kit, the Micro Stealth Custom kit.

    Manufacturers:

    Aquastealth
    Product:Aquastlealth Micro Stealth Custom

    Price:

    USD$159.99

    Availability:

    NOW

    Reviewed By:

     Jim "Justi" Miller

    Review Date:

    December 2002

     


    Micro Stealth Custom Water Cooling Kit

     


     

    INTRODUCTION:

    There's no denying that water cooling is rapidly making it's way to the main stream computer enthusiasts as of late. With the push of water cooling into the main stream comes several user friendly water cooling kits and part providers, enter Aquastealth. Aquastealth is a company that is designing and putting out every component one may need to build a water cooling system. They offer complete kits, but they also offer the individual pieces for the true do-it-yourselfers out there. Today at OCA we're gonna take an up close and personal look at the top kit, the Micro Stealth Custom kit.

    Why has water cooling made such a push as of late? There are a number of reasons really. The first and foremost in my mind is that fact that it offers superior cooling capabilities while keeping the noise level to an absolute minimum. Basically it gives you better cooling ability that the best of the best air cooling solutions, at the noise level of a stock OEM box. There is also the coolness factor. I've yet to tell someone from outside the community about water cooling a PC without getting egg sized eyes in return of disbelief. Add to that the looks and ease of it in today's market, it's something that is often just too tempting to resist for the PC enthusiast.

    Let's take a look at what Aquastealth has included in this kit.

     

    COMPONENTS:

    When the box arrived neatly packaged I found the following packed safely inside:

    • Mini-Jet Pump/Reservoir
    • 2ea Black Ice Micro Radiators and Screws
    • Black Edge Solid Copper Water Block
    • Lexan Clamp Water Block Hold Down
    • 2ea 3/8in Y Splitters
    • 7ft of 3/8in MasterKlear Tubing
    • Installation Instructions

     

    MINI-JET PUMP/RESERVOIR

    The pump included in this kit is the Mini-Jet and it acts as the pump but also has a small built in reservoir as well.

     

     

    As you can see the design is rather simple. There is an intake and output fitting, a fill cap (to fill the reservoir) and a power cord. I have made repeated attempts to contact Aquastealth to find out the gallons per hour rating as well as the fluid capacity of the pump, all to no response from them. Their site quotes "good flow rates". While that may look great on paper, I would prefer to know exactly what that "good" flow rate is.

     

     

    BLACK ICE MICRO RADIATOR

    The radiators included with this kit (it comes with 2 of them) are rather small radiators that are the size of an 80mm fan. They are designed to mount in the standard case mounting holes for an 80mm fan. The thought is that you mount these radiators in the place of your fans, then mount your fans onto the radiators. To quote the site: "3/8" pre-angled inlet/outlet barbed hose connectors. Ultra-compact 100 x 82 x 50 mm (4 x 3 x 2 inch) dimensions allows it to fit in any case with an 80mm fan." Well, almost. If you are using a case that comes with fan racks instead of the fans screwing into the case, some modifications will be needed.


    The kit only came with enough screws to attach fans with 2 screws each, and the holes were not pre-threaded. This created a problem as you are operating a screwdriver, with considerable force to thread the holes less than 1/2 above the fine radiator fins. Needless to say, if you slip up you have just created a wasted pile of metal. Another thing to note here is that when we assembled our kit for testing purposes prior to installation, one of the radiators had a sizeable leak straight out of the box. The size of the leak is irrelevant really as ANY leak is a show stopper, but this one was hard to miss.

     

     

    As you can see in the above image, puddles of water are forming on the top of the bottom radiator. We found the leak and it appears to be a bad weld 2 rows up and on the edge of the radiator. We contacted BeCooling and they did indeed send us a new radiator which worked fine. They claim to pretest every unit before it ships, but I can tell you we saw no shipping damage evidence on our unit with the leak. This further illustrates the dire necessity to TEST THE SYSTEM before installation in your case!!

     

     

    BLACK EDGE SOLID WATER BLOCK AND LEXAN HOLD DOWN

     

    The water block included in this kit is the standard fair copper, 1 piece block.



     

    You'll notice in the image below that the copper finish is not exactly as smooth as silk. The machine marks are still glaringly obvious in the finish and certainly leaves something to be desired. This is nothing that a little bit of elbow grease and some fine sandpaper couldn't take care of, but it deemed mentioning. When you buy a "kit" you like to think that everything is ready to go, that does not appear to be the intention as the block definitely needed some work.

     


     

    The mounting system was a piece of precut Lexan with holes pre-drilled. On thing I would have preferred with the mounting kit would be additional nylon nuts to secure the posts on both sides of the motherboard. As it is, the bolts come thru the back of the motherboard and float freely until you slide the Lexan on and secure them down with the thumbscrews provided. This is not a huge deal, but did create a little bit of a pain that would have been easily avoided.

     

     

     

     

    Let's go to page two and look at the rest of the components, assembly, and performance.....

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