Asetek Antarctica WaterChill CPU Cooling Kit ReviewFormer staff writer -
Hold on a second - the block bottom! We still have that 'Remove Before Using' sticker stuck to it. Let's take this off, and take a look at the bottom of the Antartica. As you can see, its a highly reflective, well polished surface. Certainly no machining can be felt, and you can only see the barest of marks remaining. Quite the well protected, high performance lapped surface. (I apologize for the picture, I actually DID leave the sticker on until this point - the waterblock is still attached to my filled system - but it still gives an excellent representation of the quality of the workmanship)
So, slide that waterblock down over those metal rods, and you're almost there! Overtop of those rods next come the spring, and finally the thumb screws. The springs keep you from crushing your CPU die, and maintaining a fairly consistant pressure over the entire CPU base. Screw them down, and guess what, you have an installed watercooling system.
This is just a generalized guide - I can't give you any notes on lengths, because they change from case to case, and it is really a learning experience. Some things I picked up during the installation and my research are as follows:
1) Always have the radiator with the in/outlets at the top, not the side or the bottom - this will allow for air bubbles to escape more easily.
2) Make sure to get the waterblock head facing the right way - there is a top and a bottom, found like normal on the bottom with the ridge on one side of the waterblock.
3) Use shorter lengths of hose from your waterblock outlets to the Y-connector then I did - this will let system pressure come back more quickly, but more importantly, the Y-joint doesn't flex too easily. My idea was to get the Y to turn half the corner, when in reality the Y should have been short and straight, and just let one tube turn the entire corner.
4) The Asetek Anti-Algae stuff sucks. Invest in some Water Wetter, which can be found in any Auto enthusiast store, and even in some major computer modding and watercooling stores. I'd suggest the auto stores, because they are cheaper. Its generally pinkish-reddish stuff, smells like alcohol (don't drink it) and you only need about 4 full capfuls for an entire filled system. Just pour it into the reservoir when you're done filling the kit. I don't know what happens when you mix the Anti-Algae and the Water Wetter, but I don't particularly suggest it.
5) You're probably going to need to mod your case to fit this nice big 120mm radiator in. But we all love modding, right? Personally I cut the bottom HDD rack out, cut a 120mm hole in the front of my case, and drilled 4 holes to attach it. Finding the ideal placement was a bit difficult, but that's really part of the fun.
On we go...