Since this water cooling kit does not come in any sort of enclosed unit, there has to be some means of filling the water system and bleeding it of any air. This is accomplished by the FBK525 Fill & Bleed Assembly... I just love all the individual nomenclature titles; reminds me of my old military days. Sorry, got lost in the past for a moment.
At any rate, the FBK525 is a very workable bleeding device that is designed to fit within an empty 5.25" drive bay. The clip mounts are made to be screwed into the bay like any optical device and then simply snap the assembly into place. From there you can access the bleeding/filling ports from the front of the unit by simply removing the front bezel plate that usually covers the empty bay. Once you've finished with the bleeding or filling tasks, just remove the filling hoses and replace the plastic cover plate.
I should mention here that when you are filling the system, you can have all your components in place within the PC and still fill the system with water. Swiftech even provides a way to ensure the water system is airtight without using liquid! I won't go into the installation of the kit since the manual included is very in depth, but the tips given are very useful.
Moving on to the processor portion of the cooling system we see one of the latest waterblocks made by Swiftech; the MCW6000. Most of the other components included with these kits are universal between processor types, but the waterblock is where you'll need to make sure you specify the type needed since the mounting techniques are totally different between platforms.
The MCW6000 is an all-copper design that uses C110 copper for better heat dissipation. Beneath the outer cover are 281 copper pins attached to the base of the block. This allows the copper to draw out the heat from the processor core and then makes it easy for the liquid cooling system to remove this heat from the area.
The water ports are 3/8" to accommodate the 1/2" OD tubing used throughout the entire system. Like the radiator, it includes the quick-install couplings that are less than user friendly. I found myself to be using the metal collar clamps and discarding the couplers throughout the entire installation.
When it comes to the base of the Swiftech line of coolers, I would be more than just a little disappointed if I didn't see this. The company has long been known for near flawless baseplates on their entire line of coolers and the water kits are no exception. The base is so smooth that it is impossible to tell any manufacturing marks. Whether inspecting it with the eye or by touch, the base is as close to perfect as you could ever hope to get.
To finish off the installation of the kit you also have a few other goodies. The converters and metal clamps are for use with the pump since it has a larger tubing that needs to be reduced, but the zip ties and Cool Sleeves are for wherever you think they will serve you best. Also included is a small packet of Arctic Alumina thermal compound. I will be using Arctic Silver for testing since that is my standard TIM, but it is good that a quality compound was included for those newer to the world of enthusiast computers.
I mentioned early on that you would find an additive for your water. HydrX is an anti-corrosion compound that is meant to be added to distilled water and used in your cooling system. I will repeat myself here and say again distilled water! This is vital (especially in the US) since if you have hard water, you stand a very good chance of ruining the entire cooling system when the mineral deposits begin building up. By using distilled water and this additive, you can run a worry-free water cooler for ,a very long time.
Another little note regarding this additive is that it happens to be UV reactive. While this didn't have any real meaning to my system, I know of many power users who have gone out of their way to get UV reactive lighting, motherboards, peripherals... the list goes on. This allows the entire water system (even the water in the tubing) to glow with a green lighting effect that is hard to reproduce in any other way.
One final note pertains to the instruction manual. I have installed many different system components where a manual was included and this is one of the best around. Every step of the installation is included to include the order of components for tubing the system. On top of this, it has an appendix with individual installation instructions for every individual component. If everyone had installation instructions like this, the world of enthusiast computing would be a much better place. Since they don't, I'll just have to say "Good job Swiftech!"
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