Water cooling your PC. Now if there's ever been a statement that begs of insanity, that one is it. Insane? Possibly. Yet that doesn't change the fact that cooling your CPU and other components of your PC with H²0 or some form of it has become the latest rage in performance PC hardware. A form of cooling that started with extremists that were out to steal every last ounce of performance from their computer, has turned into one of the more viable solutions to achieve maximum cooling with minimal noise. With the rage now in full swing it's no surprise that manufacturers are now making complete water cooling solutions available in many shapes, sizes, and formats. The solution we'll be looking at today is brought to us by Swiftech in the form of a complete ready to use system that is prepackaged in a PC case.
Swiftech is no stranger to the high end cooling arena to say the least. With their popular MC(x) cooling line they are at the top of everyone's recommended list of air cooled heat sinks. They've also been making water cooling components since before the time that it was cool or "chic" to do it. Always being a reliable source of water cooling parts, it's not surprise that they've jumped on board with a complete package that allows even the most inexperienced of water cooling wannabes assemble a system to rival all of the home built Frankenstein water cooling rigs out there today. The systems they have available are the Q Power line of water cooling cases and they come ready for your PC parts. Today, we're going to take a close up look at one of their units and what it can/can't offer you. We'll include more pictures than any mortal being should desire to see, and give you a break down on whether it's as easy to assemble as they claim, whether it performs up to expectations, and most importantly, if it's actually worth your hard earned money!
The unit we have in the Dev Hardware Secret Labs is the QPower system built around the MCW462-U with the MCW40 graphics GPU water block, or what Swiftech affectionately calls the FS020-H20-C-W40. Said a bit easier, it's a PC case preassembled and stuffed with everything you need to water cool your CPU and video card processor. The QPower system comes pre-primed and bled, filled with 90% water and 10% of Swiftech's cooling fluid, which is basically antifreeze.
A quick peek at all the members of the QPower family (the one we are looking at is highlighted) and their suggested retail prices, which are a bit higher than what you can actually buy these products for from resellers such as Sidewinder Computers, always a good thing! :)
MCW462-U x 2
MCW462-U x 2
MCW372 x 2
MCW372 x 2
In the biggest box I've ever seen a mid-tower case come in, the QPower system arrived at my door.
The packaging was the standard fair, thick Styrofoam padding and a plastic cover to protect the case itself. All of the components were securely placed inside the case. There was a cardboard box firmly attached to the power supply mounting rack that held all of the hardware. Both of the water blocks were securely mounted in place as well, the CPU block to the factory P4 holes and the video GPU block to a case crossbar with zip ties. Nothing was going anywhere during shipment and barring a UPS box throw competition nothing was going to be damaged.
If the old saying that "first impressions are lasting ones" is true then I just might be in trouble. Quality SCREAMED from this thing. From the above mentioned packaging, to the beautifully run water lines that pass thru grommets into the case from the radiator, to the rounded edges of the case, all the way down to the mounting system of the bleeding system.
Here are a few random general shots of the system when I unpackaged it.
If I'd bothered to read the documentation before the system arrived I would have expected this, but I was shocked to see that the system was already filled with the coolant, and it was already bled. I quickly realized that my "project" just got much easier with a larger margin for error, which when you're me is always a good thing!
What I want to do is take a closer look at the individual components of this system, then get into installation. Hit next to continue.
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