If you know something of water-based PC cooling, then you should certainly know the Asetek brand. This company has long been acknowledged by PC enthusiasts as the best manufacturer of water coolers. Using only high-quality components and providing customizable system configurations, the company enjoys technical superiority as well as admiration of loyal users. The opportunity to customize the system puts Asetek’s apart from now-popular entry-level water-cooling systems: the user can choose the water-block for a particular platform, the type of the radiator, the performance and type of the pump, the fans, etc. And of course each component is head above components employed in entry-level systems in terms of quality. However, the market of enthusiasts-targeted cooling solutions is rather small, and Asetek just couldn’t keep quiet seeing how many other firms were turning out water-cooling systems at $150 and less, which enjoy great demand despite all of their drawbacks. So, Asetek came up with an Entry Level Kit which is kind of a pass into the world of PC enthusiasts for users who are not satisfied with cheap and deficient systems but can’t afford a full-fledged top-end one.
The WaterChill Entry Level Kit is a regular product from Asetek, but with a minimum of functionality. The user can choose the water-block type for a particular platform, but the radiator and the pump are constant and cannot be changed. Well, the user can choose another model of the pump, but there’s no guarantee the result will fit into the $130-150 range.
We are really glad to see an affordable water-cooling solution from a famous brand as the users get a high-quality product and Asetek opens a new market for itself. There’s only one question – how does this affordability affect the performance of the product? It’s all clear with top-end products from Asetek – they can only be challenged by the best samples of homemade systems and exclusive products from a couple of small firms that often ask more money for them than Asetek does. The Entry Level Kit, on the contrary, enters a tough-competition market sector where there are dozens of models available.
So let’s try to clear out what exactly Asetek is offering to us and is it consumable? We took a top-end system from the WaterChill series to see the performance and functionality difference between a top-end and low-end product of the company and to find out if it is possible to upgrade the entry-level kit using Asetek’s parts of a higher level. The results of our tests are going to show if such an upgrade makes any sense at all.