After using a Raijintek Triton cooler for just over a year, I was tempted to try and assemble a complete kit myself.
This normally tends to be a very expensive undertaking making custom cooling a decision not taken lightly.
Then I stumble upon the WCUK spec 240GTS ION - Black Ice kit, which includes some well known branded products in an 'includes everything you need' kit.
The buying experience was quite painless, I did however have a slight panic when I noticed that various components could be customised where needed. Luckily as I have a socket 2011-3 system, I didn't need to change add anything, maybe a bigger banner for checking the kit before adding to basket would help.
Delivery was efficient and using UKMail who employ excellent tracking and delivery options, I had it all the next day.
Now onto the kit.
Comparing these components to previous AIO systems I have seen and used, is quite astonishing. The feel of quality and robustness of each component right down to the fittings and tubing is excellent, much better than any AIO system.
There wasn't a build guide included, however my previous research into custom loops included many online guides, and manuals for each component are readily available online where missing.
The CPU block is the budget version of the excellent EK EVO series, a very solid and well machined piece, I had no problems fitting this to my MSI X99S SLI Plus.
The XSPC ION is an incredibly solid all in one Pump Reservoir, in a quite weighty die case metal shroud, again machined smooth with a quality finish. The bracket for the ION is quite versatile however my Cooltek W2 case would struggle to accommodate it if the bracket was used attached to a fan, so a little modding was needed to the front fan mount area to allow the bracket to fit without flexing the case.
The tubing resists kinking and can be made to bend into some very tight spots, of course that would put strain on any fittings, so only do this if there is no other option, luckily I have enough space to allow the tubing to be fitting without aggressive bending.
The fittings even though they are the cheapest standard ones, are very well made and fit perfectly.
Building the loop was easier than expected, cutting the tubing done with a very sharp carpet knife being careful to make clean perpendicular cuts. There is a small margin for error as the barbs on the fittings have a couple of mm overlap.
Measuring up and assembling the loop, it was then leak tested outside the case using the included power supply cable connector allowing PSU use without a motherboard. 3 Hours later and I was satisfied that the loop was solid and ready for installation.
Temperatures have improved between 3-5C Idle per core and 5-10C load per core over the Raijintek Triton (which had excellent cooling capabilities).
The only downside is the noise from the pump which I am going to attempt to tackle with some rubber washers or a gasket where it is mounted.
I highly recommend these kits and at just over £140 delivered, it is a seriously great option for getting started with custom loops.
Finished running picture attached.
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