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Maingear EPIC 180 Liquid CPU Cooler Review

By: Chad Sebring | CPU Liquid Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Dec 6, 2011 7:42 am
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Maingear

Specifications, Availability and Pricing




The EPIC 180 specifically made for Maingear uses all the same components as you would expect to see in an AIO cooler. There is the mostly plastic head unit, this time topped with the red Maingear logo and houses the 1.2W pump for the cooling system. The pump sits right on top of the copper transfer plate that uses thin fins on the back of it to move the heat from the plate into the water of the unit. From the head unit the heated water travels through black non-permeable rubber tubing that is covered in a layer of corrugated covering that protects the tubing and keeps it from kinking. The coolant then travels into the 180mm radiator that is actually 184mm wide and 230mm tall. The cooled coolant then travels back to the head unit and the cycle repeats over and over.


To mount the EPIC 180 into the RV01 there have been steel adapters added to the radiator. This steel offset allows for an additional 38mm of room for longer power supplies. It is also set away from the fins 15mm to allow the SST-181 white fan to build a head of steam before the air moves into the fins of the radiator. The steel shroud/offset allows Maingear to mount the EPIC 180 into the frame in the lower third of the chassis. Since the chassis already has a 180mm fan in this position, it makes a lot of sense that I got a SST-181 white fan to test the EPIC 180 with. The fan I received comes with a few accessories. There is an expansion slot fan controller that will allow me to control the fan speeds. This allows you to keep noise levels and performance where you like it if the use of the jumper wire included putting the fan at 12V is too loud.


At this point in the review, things take a turn from the norm. I would usually mention how easy it is to get this cooler from one of your favorite retailers, but with the EPIC 180 it isn't that easy. As it stands today, there is no other retail solution being offered currently that matches what the Maingear and CoolIT collaboration brings to the table. Even with the pricing, while I know what it cost Maingear to obtain these coolers, you cannot buy them directly from them without the systems surrounding them. As far as the scoring goes in the end of this review, there will be an "N/A" applied as there is not really a fair way to score it. The last way in which we are deviating from the usual is in the packaging of the EPIC 180. While I received it in a box, I believe it to be the box that CoolIT delivers them to Maingear in. As for retail packaging, click the links and drool over the builds, as that is the packaging that the EPIC 180 arrives in! Either way, I believe the EPIC 180 is well worth the time to read this, it may even spark a rash of emails to CoolIT to maybe deliver a retail version of this 180mm AIO cooling solution.

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