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Koolance EXOS External Water Cooling System Review

By: Cameron Johnson | CPU Liquid Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Sep 30, 2003 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8.0%Manufacturer: Koolance

Features of the Koolance EXOS


Package and Contents



First off we see the package that Koolance packs the EXOS in. It is a simple white box with the EXOS logo on the outside measuring (24.77cm x 13.97cm x 54.36cm) the box is only about 5cm bigger than the actual cooling unit - Koolance have really packed it in to reduce shipping costs.



Here we now see what you get for your dosh. On the left you see the accessories all bundled together. On the right you see the SCM or System Control Module. This unit plugs into a standard expansion slot bay and has three major functions for the EXOS. The first function is to allow for the hoses from the external radiator to the computers hot spots to pass through the case without having to drill any holes.


The second function is to allow the unit to control the power on and off functions of the external radiator to be set. This is done by a pass through switch that connects to the power on case button. This means that the case power on switch connects to the Koolance SCM. This then has a second line that connects to the power on pins on the motherboard, so when you switch the case power on, the External radiator and pump are activated. A standard 4 pin Molex connector is also required, this is how the external unit gets its power - it's fully powered by the PC, no external power cords are needed.


The third and final function is to provide power and communications between the External radiator unit and the SCM. A large 8 pin power cable plugs into the back of the SMC outside the case and into the back of the Koolance radiator. This provides 12v power for the pump and fans. A temp relay is also included for monitoring the temp of the water block, which also allows for the slowing of the fans automatically - In all a very full functioned SCM!



Above we see the coolant additive that Koolance provides in the pack. It is similar to water wetter, but more like Ethylene-glycol which is a high temperature treatment for water, for us Aussies, that's the same additive that goes into a car radiator to keep the water from boiling and freezing, great for overclockers. This additive is required for best performance with soft or distilled or dematerialized waters which have none of the tradition nasties like copper, iron and chlorine to interfere with good cooling.


Along with this is the water tubing. Koolance provides four meters of 6mm hose, which for most systems is more than enough hose to connect the EXOS to the CPU and back, if you want chipset coolers, you need to get them separate and extra hose from your nearest hardware shop like Mitre 10 or Bunnings.



Here we come to the installation goodies. In this bag you get a rubber funnel for filling the reservoir, two quick connect water connectors, which we have seen on the Corsair cooler before, Velcro strips to secure the unit to the top of the case for mild transports and a special spacer for certain CPU's like Celeron FC-PGA and Coppermine Pentium 3.



Now we come to the heart of the unit, the Radiator, reservoir and pump system. Koolance has made a reasonably compact unit. Stretching the length of most Midi-Tower cases and the same width, you simply stack her onto the top of the case. The unit contains 3x 80mm fans that can be set to Minimum power, thermally controlled or to Maximum power. At Minimum power, you hardly know the unit is on, in fact it's not audible over the power supply fan, great for the quite PC freaks out there. In Thermal mode, the unit reads the temp from a sensor you place near the die of the CPU and waterblock, in our case, the Koolance CPU-200 for Pentium 4 and AMD Athlon XP CPU's. This allows the unit to speed up the fans on the radiator and push more water through the system for harder cooling, this also increases the noise. At maximum power, you will think you have one of those old delta fans - it screams. While I might be slightly exaggerating, it's definitely not a setting to use if you share your bedroom with your overclocked PC and try to get a good nights rest.


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