Every year summer heat and increasing room temperature impose their negative effects on the microclimate inside the system case, raising the bar for the cooling solutions. This is exactly the time when some overclockers have to slightly lower their processor frequencies and voltages and when even the owners of super-coolers start thinking about getting something even more efficient than what they already have. It is fairly hard to find a better replacement for a super-cooler among air coolers, because at best you will be able to win extra 3-5 °C if you install a more “advanced” heatsink and top it with two-three high-speed fans. This win is definitely not worth the investment.
Liquid-cooling systems look more attractive in this respect. However, an inexperienced user may face a difficult choice here: whether to buy a mass production ready system or put one together on his own from individually selected components. The former is more appealing because it is easier to assemble and there is no need to search for a bunch of components. Moreover, these systems usually turn out less expensive. However, unfortunately, they are not too efficient (take, for instance, the last system we tested – Thermaltake PW880i).
The latter approach requires more work and at least some minimal knowledge about liquid-cooling systems. Here a potential owner of a liquid-cooling system may face such challenges as search for necessary items, high costs, proper placement and fastening of the liquid-cooling system components, etc. However, the result is almost immediate and systems like that usually leave the best air cooling solutions far behind, as they cool not only the CPU, but also the video chip, the mainboard chipset as well as mainboard voltage regulator components.
This task may become way simpler if you go for a special kit put together specifically for building custom systems like that. Do not confuse these kits with mass production liquid-cooling systems, as they contain separate components (including the smallest ones), which will need to be assembled together from the beginning to the end. You won’t get away with simply “bought-installed-turned on” algorithm, which is usually the case with mass production liquid-cooling systems. We have got our hands on a kit like that a while ago, but for different reasons we didn’t get a chance to check it out up close and personal yet. Today we are going to correct this omission and introduce to you Alphacool Xtreme Pro 360 Rev.2 – a kit for wealthy enthusiasts that contains everything necessary to build the highest-quality liquid-cooling system. Let’s get started.