Water Cooling 101: The ThinkComputers WC101 Rig – Product Overviews

With our multi phase loop in mind we ordered a pair of radiators. We will begin our loop with just the 240mm and add the 360mm later. To serve this function we could choose none other than Alphacool full copper rads; specifically NexXxos XT45s.

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Both rads are 45mm thick (middle of road thickness) and feature 6 ports on the single chamber end. The ports are arranged so that you will have access from many angles. They both come with G1/4 plugs as well as screws for fans to ensure the proper length is used and that they will not puncture the radiator itself.

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Both have an identical matte black finish with baby blue Alphacool insignias painted on. You will find that no matter the orientation you can get the logo to appear upright by rotating the radiator. The ports come with plastic plugs installed to protect the threads and to keep things from falling inside.

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The only difference between the two is the extra 120mm length of the 360.

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GPU Block
There are a few parts that will be added in the later stages of our loop’s evolution. One of the first will be the addition of a GPU block. Keeping with our theme we chose an awesome looking hybrid option from Alphacool the GPX-N 970 MO6. This particular block is specific to the Asus Strix GTX 970 we’ll be running it on, (and covering further down) but can be found in essentially the same configuration for all common GPU types.

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What makes this block unique is that is not a full cover block but it’s also not a Universal block either. Utilizing an Alphacool universal GPU block (one that covers only the processor on the GPU) and pairing it with a finned passive cooling system, Alphacool have created a light-weight and unique GPU cooling system. The block comes complete with a really nice backplate, all the mounting hardware, and thermal paste and pads.

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As you can see it is simply a universal GPU block set into an aluminum heat sink. The cooling should be nearly identical to a full cover block (slightly more or less depending on airflow) but lighter and slightly cheaper. Really including the backplate it is a very good value.

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The build quality as well as the fit and finish of this block are top notch. If you can’t tell I’m supremely impressed with this block. That’s saying something considering my previous skepticism and the fact that I have worked with a lot of GPU blocks from a lot of different manufacturers over the years.

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Memory Blocks
After we add our GPU block to the loop we’ll also be getting our memory under water. For this we have a really nice looking pair of memory blocks, the Phobia U-Cool – Black – 8mm.

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These feature 8mm barb fittings for water cooling as well as a nice arrangement of passive cooling fins. These should really let us get the speed of our memory up while keeping things much cooler. It’s hard to tell, but these come do come complete with thermal pads.

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With that we have finished our complete tour of the ThinkComputers.org Water Cooling 101 gear! It’s certainly quite the impressive haul; after checking everything out we are ecstatic to be working with this equipment and can’t wait to get started.

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