The main block of the system accommodates a pump, reservoir, radiator, and control and monitoring elements.
The manufacturer doesn’t specify the performance of the pump, but it is quite noisy at its maximum and runs the coolant along the pipes at a speed that the Zalman Reserator TX, for example, may envy.
An indisputable advantage of serially made liquid cooling systems is that you don’t have to select, search for and purchase the components individually. The assembly and installation process is also very simple with off-the-shelf products and requires much less effort and time. The Koolance Exos-2 LX is not an exception in this respect. You can find the assembly and installation guide on the official website, I’ll just point out the key steps to you.
The pipes are cut up the necessary size and put into the system case through the bracket with the interface connector and the card that has connectors for two sensors and additional fans:
Three thermal sensors are already attached to that card – you should place them on the water-blocks. It also has one 2-pin power cable with a Molex connector. Then, you attach the pipes to the water-block(s) and to the Koolance Exos-2 LX and plug the interface cable into the main block.
The fittings included into the Koolance Exos-2 LX kit (and the fittings in the main block) are equipped with valves so that the liquid wouldn’t pour out on your connecting and disconnecting them. Note also that the bottom fitting is the output one, and the top fitting is the input one.
Now that the system forms a closed circuit and you have made sure the connections are secure, you can pour the coolant in. The manufacturer provided a small rubber funnel you can insert into the expansion tank.
It’s easy to handle the coolant in the pack – at least I didn’t let any drop fall past the opening of the tank. After I had filled and pumped the system up with one water-block on the CPU, I had about one third of the coolant left in the pack. Later on I had to add some 100-150 grams of coolant more when I included graphics card and chipset water-blocks into the circuit.
The placement of the Koolance Exos-2 LX relative the system case is most important. The user manual shows an example in which the main block is placed on top of the system case. I think it is not a good position. Well, it is indeed good in terms of compactness and style, but the liquid cooling system is going to keep the temperature higher than it could. The problem is that the system case is getting hotter when your PC runs applications, and the air that the cooler’s radiator will be receiving will be hotter than the ambient temperature. Moreover, if the system case stands in a special niche of your computer desk, there will be extra resistance to the air flow since the surface of the desk is a just a couple of centimeters higher than the grids of the Koolance’s fans.
To verify these theoretical speculations I checked out the cooler’s efficiency in two positions: when the Koolance Exos-2 LX was standing on the system case and when the cooler was placed next to it. And the latter variant proved to be 5°C better in terms of temperature under load. The Koolance Exos-2 LX was tested with the CPU water-block in this test and I guess the temperature gain would be even higher if there were two more water-blocks in the circuit.
That is the reason why I placed the Koolance Exos-2 LX next to the system case for my tests.
I could also win a couple of degrees by lifting the Exos-2 LX up above the surface the system’s feet stand on:
I had to use baby food jars for that purpose – not quite aesthetic but good for a temporary test. It seems that the air flow that comes to the radiator through the slits in the cooler’s bottom panel is no less important than the air that comes in through the side panels. The difference in temperature isn’t critical, of course, but you know how to improve the efficiency of the discussed cooler to its maximum now.
Filled up and turned on, the Koolance Exos-2 LX shows blue highlighting of the expansion tank and control panel:
The rather uninformative monitoring display shows the temperature of one of the sensors. You can use the buttons to select the units of temperature, the speed of the fans (according to the 10-level scale), and the threshold temperature for each sensor on surpassing which the system automatically switches to its full performance.
The Koolance Exos-2 LX comes at a recommended price of $375.
That’s about all I can tell you about the main block of this liquid cooling system. Its performance, noise and other characteristics will be discussed below in the appropriate section. The next sections will cover Koolance’s water-blocks none of which is included into the standard Exos-2 LX kit.