Now to the tricky part, the radiator. This took me the longest to assemble as it consists of several parts that have to be connected to each other. Corsair calls this part the RadBox and I have to say that it is something of a stroke of genius, since the design allows it to be fitted to pretty much any case. The problem is that the screws that are supplied really could have done with being a couple of millimetres longer, as you have to push the metal frame quite hard against the 120mm Panaflo fan and then against the radiator to screw it all together.
This is then attached to the back of your case on top of a metal plate which is held in place by some more screws and some plastic spacers. The RadBox is screwed onto the metal plate by four fairly short screws, but it all felt solid once all the screws were fitted. It’s really the metal plate that allows for the flexibility – it uses long slots instead of screw holes, so it is easy to adjust it to the screw holes in the case.
The other problem is that it’s really hard to find the right screws, as the COOL comes with all the screws in one bag. It would have been much easier if the screws came in labelled bags corresponding with the installation instructions. I have to give Corsair credit where it’s due though and the supplied blanking plate is a very good solution. It doubles as hose pass-through and power point for the fan, a very elegant solution indeed. Internally the fan is powered from a standard Molex connector.
Corsair also supplies a length of spiral wrap that is meant to protect the hoses outside of the case against kinks and cuts. It’s not hard to attach the spiral wrap, but it takes time if you want to do it neatly. The RadBox is connected to the CPU block via one of its pre-attached hoses. The block is the next tricky part to install, not due to the construction of the block, but rather the retention mechanism. As the COOL was installed in an Athlon 64 system, I first had to remove the screws that are normally used to attach the plastic cooler bracket to the rear plate. These are then replaced by two longer screws to which a couple of washers and a spring are attached.
The two screws with its entourage of parts are then fitted along with a custom mounting bracket over the CPU block and screwed in to the rear plate. It’s not the first time I have come across this kind of a construction on a CPU cooler, but I wish more companies would take advantage of the three hooks on the plastic cooler bracket. Ease of installation never fails to impress and this is something many cooler manufacturers seem to miss.
Finally the second hose from the CPU block is fitted to the water tank. All done, well pretty much anyhow. There is one key part missing, the coolant. Call me a chicken, but I don’t like to mix water and electricity, it might just be something from my college days, but I just don’t put water in my PC. You might wonder why I’m writing a watercooler review then, but the explanation is easy.