First, let's discuss what we liked. Larkooler provided us with almost the full gamut of goodies to get this kit installed and ready to go. The block installed easy, and being sealed makes for one less point of potential leakage. Pre-installing the fittings on the block and the radiator was nice too, but with such a large o-ring being used, I doubt they needed to be wrenched in to the point to where it was almost impossible to break them free. The clear tubing is nice, as adding coolant will add that bit of color, and you can also keep an eye on the fluid, to see any air bubbles, or when it is time to change the tubing, as it yellows over time.
The radiator offers a newer design, and does seem to perform very well considering the fans supplied offer only 62.7 CFM. Also, the pump and reservoir work well together. The variable speed pump makes bleeding easy, and offers the ability to remove some noise, but the pump is barely audible when running full speed. Filling and bleeding the reservoir was also easy; in fact, we did fill the reservoir as it ran, and did not have to go through the on/off procedure. Just keep a towel handy while doing this, in case you pour too much into the funnel when filling the reservoir.
When a cooler (or full loop as in this instance) performs so well it is really tough to tear it down, but there are some things I would like to go over. The biggest thing to me is the lack of screws supplied. While I had eight screws to mount the fans to the radiator, what then of mounting the radiator in a case? Also, if you are going to supply the fan grills, I think there should be a way to attach them. In the aspect of mounting the brackets, you also have to provide the screws for that.
For a kit that is designed to allow beginners an easy way in, this way wasn't so easy, and for someone without all the extra goodies I have collected over the years, these things may really upset the customer. Then, the fact that they supply such tough tubing is a twofold issue as I see it. Most beginners will not think to buy a tubing cutter, and using a utility knife was in no way gentle or easy. The second thing is kinking, and while our run was smooth, tubing this rigid is not very giving when it comes to making tighter bends.
With a couple of very small adjustments to the hardware kit, this could be a real show stopper. The price is right to allow new people into water cooling, and still offer some very good performance to boot. Having almost every angle attended to when jumping into water cooling is very nice when inundated with all of the water cooling gear to choose from. Also, like other assembled kits, you can extend the loop to fit other components later, which is a huge benefit over similarly priced CPU only AIO solutions. Overall, the SkyWater 330 is a well performing kit that is very basic to install.
It offers features not found in other kits, like the newer radiator design, which allows for much quieter fans to accompany the kit. It gets right into the mix at the top of all of our charts. While we did see some very minor and easily fixable things in this kit, I am sold on the SkyWater 330, and as long as you know what you are missing at this point, you are very prepared to take the SkyWater 330 and add it to your rig too. At an MSRP of roughly $130, it is just hard to look past what Larkooler is offering.
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