Water Cooling : Koolance
A Series of Leaky Failures.
I'd looked at water cooling stuff for a while, but worried about leaks, let alone the cost. So, I played it safe and bought a "commercial" system from Koolance. Their PC-1 system was the latest and greatest. I was especially attracted to the all-metal water blocks of the PC-1 and the low-profile, integrated radiator. It did keep things quite cool...for 6 months. A rattling pump prompted me to contact Koolance, who offered a PC-2 system at a discount. They told me it'd cool better and be more reliable with 2 pumps in serial and new, more efficient CPU water block. Ha! As the 6-month mark again approached, the molded plastic CPU water block cracked, dripping water all over my CPU and motherboard. The sight of this is somewhat akin to burning hard earned cash--i.e., it's bad. A new CPU, water block, a bios re-flash, and some old-fashioned scrubbing of corrosion from the AGP slot and card did the trick.
As if I'd not had enough trouble already, the 6-month curse struck again. The first month of sophomore year, the blue plastic reservoir disintegrated, spilling antifreeze and water everywhere. (Luckily, the carpet was already trashed.) Koolance, standing behind their warranty, again was happy to send me replacement reservoir(clear, with more reinforcement), and CPU block. I'll never know whether or how this contributed the my hard drive failing a few weeks later. In any case, the pace of failures increased.
Just as soon as I got the hard drive replaced, I noticed water on my CPU, again! As I caught the problem quickly, the CPU survived with no ill effects. Once again, Koolance supplied me with new parts. I initially rectified the problem with generous amounts of epoxy, however. Finally, the machine survived nearly a full year, suffering from a cracked reservoir. I'd had enough. While the monetary cost was very slight given Koolance's warranty service, the time had become rediculous.
Given my number of problems, I could never recommend Koolance. If it hadn't been for their excellent warranty, I'd have come to this conclusion long ago. I've since learned to check for leaks at the first sight of bizarre hardware problems. Beyond that, I'm better off trusting my own mechanical skills over those of some random supplier. I'm not about to blame Koolance for all of my troubles, though. I do believe I was using a fairly non-standard setup, bringing in cool(never <0C) air from outside directly to the top-mounted radiator. Here are the highlights:
|Koolance with External Air Pipes|
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2009