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Watercooling is one of those things that’s usually reserved for the kind of people that are into overclocking their PC or just want to have something to brag about. That said, the Armari T64-LQX really is something to brag about and even though it has a watercooling system from Koolance fitted, Armari hasn’t let a drop of water get near it. This probably makes you wonder what’s flowing around inside the Koolance then, as you’d imagine that a watercooling system isn’t much good without water.
The liquid that Armari is using is sold under the brand name InertX and is Perfluorocarbon coolant which is a liquid that is over 1.7 times heavier than water, but completely non conductive. This means that in reality you could submerge all your components in InertX without damaging anything. The big advantage when using InertX is that even if your watercooling system springs a leak, there is no need to worry – whereas just a few drops of water could fry your motherboard and components.
The Koolance EXOS watercooler is a top notch piece of kit and consists of an external unit that sits on top of the PC case – it’s a clever configuration and takes up minimal space for an external watercooling solution. It also blends perfectly with the Coolermaster case. The Koolance might not be as flash as the Zalman Reserator 1 watercooler, but it takes up a lot less space in your room. Armari has done an excellent job of installing the watercooling kit as well, with a waterblock on the CPU and one on the graphics card’s VPU. The tidiness of the installation is typical of what I have come to expect from Armari and there is no doubt that attention to detail is paramount to all of the PC building staff there.
When the system arrived in the TrustedReviews offices I thought I’d been sent the wrong model – when I removed the PC case from the box there was no sight of the EXOS unit. But I soon realised that the EXOS can be removed for transit and there are two self sealing connectors for the hoses that can be detached and re-attached as required. This will result in a small spillage of liquid when you remove the connectors from the EXOS unit, so you best do it over a bowl or have some tissues handy.
An impressive cooling solution doesn’t make a great PC, but luckily Armari continued to impress with a CoolerMaster Wavemaster aluminium case. But it’s what’s inside the case that really matters and with an AMD Athlon FX53 CPU at its core, the T64-LQX is one of the fastest machines on the market. Not happy with the stock speed, Armari is selling the T64-LQX with the processor overclocked by 100MHz to give it an extra performance boost. Although this might not seem like a massive performance hike, it has been done by changing the CPU multiplier rather than the FSB. This means that there is no risk of damage to any of the other system components and there might still be some headroom for additional overclocking. It's also worth noting that despite the overclocking, the CPU temperature never rose above 33 degrees.
The processor is accompanied by 1GB of Corsair XMS PC3200LL memory, which should be plenty for most applications. The motherboard is the Asus A8V Deluxe based on the VIA K8T800 Pro chipset with support for 1GHz HyperTransport bus and Socket-939. The board also features onboard Gigabit Ethernet, SATA and IDE RAID, FireWire and 7.1-channel sound. Also bundled is an Asus 802.11g wireless PCI network card that can be set up either as a normal network card or as a wireless access point with some nifty software that Asus provides.