Koolance VID-280 watercooling meets EVGA 8800 GTS Superclocked
Written by Daniel ~   
Saturday, 14 July 2007 08:00
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Koolance VID-280 watercooling meets EVGA 8800 GTS Superclocked
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8800GTS and VID-280
I've been running Koolance systems for some time now. I like 'em. They're of a reasonably refined design and excellent construction. I much prefer the external portability of the Exos II, designed to sit atop of one's computer, rather than taking up space within. There are many water cooling systems out there. From the crude and inefficient to the the refined and sublime. I've tried one or two others, I settled on Koolance as the best fit for my needs. You may prefer the others, many do. ":O}

I've been cooling my cpu with my Exos II for I guess two years now, five more years with other systems. In that time I've fairly done in my share of parts. Given the reservations non water cooling Overclockers have expressed in the forums; I'd just like to say that in all that time I've NEVER lost a part to water leaks. I've never had a water leak. But I've spilled my share of water and coolant! Guess what? It dries out! The components stretch, and they yawn, and they start right up no worse for the wear!

Now I'm not saying you can't kill a computer with water and coolant, you can. I'm saying you have to be careless or less lucky than I have been. But, the danger is real? Yes. But, the benefits are equally compelling. So much so, that I thought I'd start by giving the reader one or two simple facts that water cooling overclockers find very compelling indeed.

I borrowed this snip from the Koolance site:

"Of liquids, water (after mercury) conducts heat the fastest. Its thermal conductivity is about 30 times greater than that of air. And not only that, it holds a lot more heat; it takes over 4 times as much heat to raise the temperature of water as it does air."

What this means is that water has a much greater "heat reservoir". If I may use a non scientific term. Water stores more heat energy, relative to temperature increases when compared to air. This has real implications when trying to cool parts in an environment in which the ambient temperature (room temp) is highly variable. On air, as I'm sure our overclockers have noticed there is a direct and immediate one-to-one temperature relationship to ambient air after the cooler's limit is reached. While water is not immune to the raise of ambient temps, it warms-up far more slowly and continues to conduct heat far more efficiently as the temperatures rise. This creates a far wider response time when adjusting to a higher ambient summertime temperatures. Thus, it is far safer to go faster, skirting the limits of the hardware's temperature tolerance on water than on air. The heat differential between air and the thing to be cooled, must be much greater than it does with water. In other words water will cool a thing of very similar temperatures to it's own temperature. Whereas, air either needs to be much cooler than the part to be cooled, or must pass over the part at a high rate of flow.

While I've been water cooling CPU's for some time now, this is just my second venture into using my Exos II to cool a video card. I started cooling cards with my 7950 GT O/C, and was very pleased with the results. But, there is a dark side to water cooling cards. They are very restricted as to which water jacket can be fitted to and work with which card. Usually, no more than three or four cards can use any given water jacket. The VID-280, supports only one, the 8800 GTS, and it does support SLI.

This is not an arbitrary means of gathering our cash unto the creators of these jackets, whenever we buy a new card! But, it does get to be a significant added expense when upgrading video cards. One size simply can not fit all and here's why:

The VID-280

"It combines a full gold-plated solid copper cooler which targets all primary heat-producing regions of the 8800GTS (including the voltage regulators)."

As one can see, VRAM, as well as GPU, and Voltage regs, are all cooled by this water jacket. And, there in lies a problem with video card waterjackets, one I'll come back to later. As each generation of card changes basic layout, they push the past water jackets into obsolescence. This can add $75.00 to a $100.00 dollars on to the price of a card upgrade. In short, if one wants a neatly packaged cooler that is specific enough to give proper homage to every heat source, one must except that is a marriage unto death. There is no re-using these things. Now that I think about it, I should have just glued it on! ":O}

So how does all of this come out on the business end?

This time around I decided to go with EVGA's card, price had much to do with it, but I've found EVGA to be a reliable supplier in the past as well.


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