In the past we've reviewed several Prime Cooler products ranging from their notebook coolers to passive GPU heatsinks, however, they haven't managed to make any significant impact on the United States markets due to a lack of distributors even though they have been in business since 1998 and have gained support across Europe. Today, however, we're pleased to be able to share with our readers a preview of Prime Cooler's latest endeavor - water cooling. Unlike Corsair with their COOL Water Cooling Kit, or the various other manufacturers who offer an entire kit with everything needed to establish your water cooling presence from the fluid additives to water blocks, Prime Coolers opts to sell all of their components individually. Comprising of their water cooling line-up are two CPU water-blocks (K8 & LGA-775), water additive, water cooling pump, and three unique radiators each with a different fan assembly for up to three 120mm fans! Unfortunately, as of the time of writing, Prime Cooler has yet to venture into any Chipset or GPU water-blocks. This article today is simply a prelude of what’s to come from Prime Cooler's latest products and will be complemented later by a radiator roundup and additional performance numbers. With that covered, let's plunge into the frigid waters of Prime Cooler's water cooling.
To start off, we have three radiators from Prime Cooler, all of which parts support a different number of 120mm fans. The three models are PC-AQRAD1, PC-AQRAD2, and PC-AQRAD3, which support one, two, and three fans respectively. These radiators consist of all metal construction for superior build quality and aluminum fins to radiate the heat away from the water. These fans are attached using screws directly to the radiator frame, thus no fan shrouds are needed. One of the disappointing points with the Prime Cooler radiators, and any water cooling product for that matter, is the lack of any included accessories or documentation. No fan screws or tubing connectors are included with the radiators so you'll need to purchase these components separately. The connectors for all of Prime Cooler's water cooling parts are NTP 1/4 connectors for OD 3/8" or OD 1/2" tubing.
Differing from normal PC water cooling pumps, the Prime Cooler PC-AQPUMP1 is a lift pump with water tank meaning a reservoir isn't entirely necessary for proper usage. This water tank is able to hold a few ounces of water and is certainly not large but should be suffice for most purposes and atop the tank is a screw-on cap to allow easy access at filling the system. On the side of the unit are the in and out connections for the water pump. Providing the power needs for the pump is a 3-pin connector, which is actually what you will find on most cooling fans, but Prime Cooler has adapted it to the needs of their pump. Included with the PC-AQPUMP1 is a 4-pin molex power connector that adapts to the 3-pin layout and allows for RPM monitoring of the pump's motor, if you so desire. With the exception of the plastic water tank, the motor housing is composed of aluminum. Unfortunately, the cylindrical design of the Prime Cooler PC-AQPUMP1, and lack of mounting brackets, doesn't make the water pump and tank ideal for a desktop system that is frequently transported. As with the radiators, the pump doesn't include any of the water tubing connectors or additional accessories. This pump is able to push 600 liters per hour of water with 10mm diameter tubing and 9.4W rated power.
Another one of Prime Cooler's water cooling products is their PC-AQCW1 cooling water. Unfortunately, Prime Cooler doesn't state much information in regards to their water additive such as if its anti-corrosive, non-conductive, or heat transfer enhancer. The liquid does claim to be anti-rusted and anti-frozen, but doesn't list the specifics of the liquid. In our tests, we hadn't found much benefit from using the included 500ml liquid.
Onto the water blocks, at this time Prime Cooler limits their selection to two water blocks both of which are for CPUs. One of these water cooling blocks is designed for Intel's LGA775 processor while the other is designed for AMD's K8 Socket 939 solutions. Both of these heatsinks are quite similar, except for the fact that the mounting holes are different between sockets. The base on both of these water blocks are composed entirely of copper, and was quite flat and scratch-free. Overall, the PC-AQCPU1 775 and PC-AQCPU1 K8 were quite normal when compared against other water blocks on the market and its usability will be determined upon completion of our in-house testing. Although the other water cooling components hadn't included any connectors, the water blocks do include both NTP 1/4 connectors for OD 3/8" and OD 1/2" tubing. Also included with the water blocks were the mounting bolts and some generic thermal paste.
Although the Prime Cooler build quality of the three radiators, water pump and tank, and water blocks may look nice as far as the build quality and design goes, the true test comes to the actual performance. As this is simply a preview and our in-house hasn't yet been completed, we will be reporting our complete Prime Cooler water cooling results in the very near future. However, it's unfortunate to report at this time for our United States readers, that the Prime Cooler products can be fairly hard to find due to a lack of Western distributors, nevertheless we hope this will change in the future as their interests grow. Our major grief from these Prime Cooler water cooling products so far is simply the lack of included accessories such as connectors and any documentation.
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