I used a Xigmatek Elysium case to mount the cooling solution in to. The Elysium has ample space at the top for a 360 radiator. When I mounted my radiator, I placed the fans between the radiator and the top of the case, so as to create a pull environment, exhausting the heated air out of the case. the included screws were about 1-2 mm too short to screw in from the other side of the SECC steel, through the fans, and then binding to the radiator mount points. So, I had to go and purchase some screws that were just a smidgen longer so as to accommodate my mounting needs.
The Xigmatek Elysium case comes with a fan aggregation power port near the top, so that you supply power to the PCB and there are 6 additional fan headers on the little board. So the 3-to-1 PWM adaptor that was included in the EK kit was not used.
The included EK Compression fittings were a pleasure to work with, clean in appearance, and very easy to use on the included tubing. Once these baby’s are tightened down, they are water tight! Mounted the CPU block on the motherboard, placed my pump in a place that worked logically with the waterflow, and started measuring and introducing the EPDM tubing. Installation was honestly so easy I thought I had done something wrong. Ran a 24-hour leak check on the water loop, everything was good!
So I started using the computer… Remember, I’m not a hardcore overclocker, or performance junky. I wanted good, stable performance with as minimal a noise profile as possible. If you want fully in-depth thermal differences and comparisons under differing overclocking loads, you are not going to find that here. I’m going to tell you where I was (from an acoustic and thermal starting point) and where this kit left me, and what it has allowed me to do.
Ok, so first question everyone asks, “How much better is water than air at cooling?” Water is a *much* better thermal conductor of heat. Orders of magnitude better. Here is an example. Comparing my thermal load peak (max temperature achieved) in spots that were both cooled by air and by water cooling.
Cooler temperatures = hardware longevity.
Cooler temperatures = more reliably performing parts.
Cooler temperatures = headroom if I wanted to overclock, or maybe flash the video cards to a 290x BIOS and gain additional performance.
Here is the kicker, the EK product page says that if I were to add additional VGA cards into the loop, they recommend that I pick up an additional radiator. As you can see, from the results on this kit, you can make a *massive* improvement in your thermal and acoustic profile with this kit! Will be interesting to see what adding in an additional radiator will do to the deltas.
Now, we all know, the cards are not producing less heat, we just have a more efficient method of wicking that heat away. Here is the beautiful part, the fans on the radiator are no louder than the fan in the power supply combined with the rear exhaust fan! In other words, there is zero net gain in the sound profile! Let me say that again, I now have better cooled, more reliable parts, now in a much quieter system. I’m happy, my family is happy, my dogs and cats are happy…. EVERYONE is happy!