AMA Aragon 900 Water Cooling Kit ReviewZertz - March 22, 2009
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Due to the pace at which hardware evolves, just about every part in an enthusiast system tends to quickly become somewhat outdated or under performing compared to what has just been released. As you are most likely aware, it's simply impossible to keep up with the latest and greatest technologies. However, once you do decide to upgrade a part, there's something that must always be kept in mind - cooling. Chances are, that brand new processor or video card isn't only faster, but also more power hungry and requires serious cooling in order to get those sky-high overclocks. Fortunately, many solutions exist and there's a plethora of companies that design and manufacture various models. When it comes to air cooling, some cool better than others, much better in fact. The amount of heatpipes or the cooler's sheer size differentiates the best from the others. However, water cooling isn't as easy to figure out, as the whole cooling process is going on under the hood making it hard to evaluate prior to buying.
Water cooling kits, unlike custom builds, have a reputation of including a bunch of low end components. AMA Precision is a company unknown to me until now, but they apparently are ASUS' thermal solutions design firm, so they aren't a newcomer in the cooling department. What we have here today, is a kit they call Aragon 900, which includes a processor block, 240mm radiator, pump and a reservoir. They claim "ultimate cooling performance for Core i7" and support for "extreme overclocking". This is no small claim, since i7 is capable or outputting impressive power under load, especially when it's overclocked. But I disgress - let's see for ourselves if AMA's latest cooling solution lives up to the hype.
AMA ships the Aragon 900 in a rather unique looking box. I'm personally not a huge fan of dragons and the whole medieval theme, but I'm sure some will like it. Looks aside, the kit comes into a solid cardboard box with a small windows giving you peek at the radiator's fan grill. Both the front and back of the packaging don't say much about the product beside the model name and a catchy phrase. One side is a lot more technically rich, displaying information on the components specifications while the other side makes some bold claims. Most notably, dual video card is definitely stretching it, but the kit can apparently be extended to cool up to 230W worth of components.
Inside the box lies yet another box along with protective foam which houses the main components of the water cooling loop. The radiator, along with both of it's 120mm fans, lies above the processor's cooling block, the pump and the reservoir. Ironically enough, as you can see on the pictures below, the accessory box was victim of a leak of some sort. At first I thought it might have been a leak from the coolant bottle, but, fortunately, it was full and it wasn't showing any signs of leaking. All you need is in there, so no need to go searching for anything except a couple of tools.
Let's have a closer look at the contents.