Maxwell architecture has effectively been solidified in the market at this point, a statement firmly reinforced by the onslaught of aftermarket high-end overclocking cards beginning to ship from various board partners. EVGA's CES 2015 suite spotlighted its new KINGPIN version of the GTX 980 alongside a CLC Hydro-Copper version of the GTX 980, both allowing additional OC headroom and other features.
Thermaltake released their latest trio of cases at CES 2015 yesterday: the Core X9, Core X2, and Core X1. The cases are designed to be stackable and, when stacked, they have enough room for even the largest liquid cooling systems. The Core X series cases houses its motherboards horizontally and can be almost completely disassembled to the builder’s liking, allowing for complete customization. The other thing that really pops out during the first impression is that they are large, and in the Core X9’s case, really large. Here are some of the measurables:
Video card manufacturer Gigabyte just announced its fully-equipped “Waterforce” GTX 980s, and they've set the MSRP to $3000. The Waterforce setup includes 3xGTX 980s pre-overclocked, each attached to an individual radiator; the three radiators then get mounted in the external watercooling box, which sits atop the PC enclosure. Pipe clamps, bridges, 5.25” external controllers, and mounting hardware are all included.
Liquid cooling has been done by PC enthusiasts for years, but recently we have seen closed-loop coolers (CLCs) and expandable open loop coolers (OLCs) explode in popularity. Closed-loop coolers aren’t expandable or made to be tinkered with, whereas expandable open loop coolers support adding components to the watercooling loop (like additional GPUs). Swiftech was one of the first manufacturers to begin selling expandable open loop coolers commercially, but they aren't the only one nowadays. Not only has Cooler Master started selling expandable OLCs, but Fractal Design is jumping into the game, too.
AMD has been teasing a new FX processor with a bundled liquid cooler, instilling hope that AMD would be releasing an updated -- or even completely new -- FX-series enthusiast CPU. To the disappointment of the enthusiast community, myself included, the release was just an FX-9590 with a bundled Asetek AIO CLC.
Since 2006, when Asetek released their more affordable closed-loop coolers (or CLCs), enthusiasts have experimented with using them in creative implementations. One of the more interesting mods was using zip ties to
Case, power, and cooling manufacturer NZXT announced new products in their liquid cooling (CLC) lineup today at Computex. The company debuted the Kraken X41 and Kraken X61 to members of the media at the Taipei-based computer electronics convention, alongside a new "GRID+" fan controller hub.
The closed-loop liquid coolers are follow-up products to the Kraken X40 and Kraken X60 that we reviewed last year. The X41 and X61 have kept the same 140mm / 280mm CLC design, but make additions in the form of variable pump speed control and increased radiator thickness.
With thanks to Antec, Cooler Master, and SilverStone, my boredom of closed-loop liquid coolers (CLCs) has subsided as more innovative designs have emerged. As we've discussed heavily before, a significant portion of the cooler industry goes through a single suppler: Asetek, who have a notoriously-long legal arm. Asetek's designs can be found most heavily used in NZXT and Corsair CLCs, and frankly, they're boring; they're rebadges with software options, in essence.
Antec's Kuhler H2O 1250 CLC blew away all other CLCs when we last tested a cooler, and now we're back to see if SilverStone can perform the same feat with their 240mm Tundra TD02 cooler. In this SilverStone Tundra TD02 benchmark and review, we'll look at the liquid cooler's installation, build quality, and thermal performance. This review will be a bit shorter than our previous CLC round-up and Antec 1250 review, as we've already covered many of the core cooling principles and can now focus purely on the unit.
We caught up with AMD video card manufacturer VisionTek at CES 2014, where the company unveiled its new liquid-cooled R9 290 – the “CryoVenom R9 290.” VisionTek partnered with EKWB to couple the R9 290 with an aftermarket open loop liquid cooling block; the block can be integrated with any compatible open loop system for proper cooling functionality.
After a suggestion from reddit user "Tangential_Diversion," we decided it'd be a good idea to do a sort-of collative post post-discussion from our reddit topics. For our regulars who might not frequent reddit's technology subsections, I frequently answer questions about new reviews, products, and PC hardware over here and here. Most recently, a thread about our Antec Kuhler 1250 dual-pump CLC review received nearly 100 comments, where I answered several questions about design and discussed the future of GN's test methodology.
This post will quickly round-up some of the Q&A from the community -- I'll also jump into some explanation of future plans for testing methodology toward the end.
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