Every one of our three candidates had things to commend them and things to condemn them. Asetek's Waterchill KT03A-L30 is the best performer on test but itâ€™s also the most difficult to install due to there being no way to avoid having to remove your motherboard in order to fit the CPU cooling block. Asetek very much kick-started the mainstream water-cooling trend and though they led the field for a long time, their kits are now badly in need of a refresh. The reservoir and pump are large and clumsy and the fact they still havenâ€™t managed to develop a mounting system that uses existing motherboard hardware is pretty inexcusable. Both Koolance and Eastar managed it!
Eastar's Cool River Deluxe Version wasnâ€™t the greatest performer of the bunch but a good price and non-conductive coolant went some way to compensating. Itâ€™s certainly adequate for normal use and mild overclocking, but should be seen as primarily a means to offer performance thatâ€™s similar to quality air-cooling without the noise penalty.
Koolance's Exos-Al scored well in terms of its installation simplicity and very high performance but isnâ€™t quite so well suited to those looking to eradicate all sources of noise from their system. For a kit so clearly suited to liquid cooling newcomers, the lack of flow and coolant level reporting is a shame.
So there we have it. Eastar's Cool River Deluxe Version takes it on price, Asetek's WaterChill KT03A-L30 on performance, but as a complete package that offers top-flight performance in a system equally suited to newcomers and veterans alike, Koolance's Exos-Al wins our vote.