After messing around with some lowbrow cooling, I finally stepped it up and purchased a liquid cooling kit. The Swiftech H20-220 Ultima XT CPU liquid cooling kit seemed like a beginner/intermediate setup and that was what I was looking for. It comes with a pump, a radiator, a reservoir, a CPU block (with many types of mounts), enough hosing to do the job, and some concentrated liquid which you can mix with one liter of distilled water. As I currently still leverage a less than mediocre video card (soon to be replaced with GeForce GTS450), I did not feel a need to get the VGA block.

The install was simple, yet still required some fun like drilling two large holes in the back of my case for the tubing to and from the radiator. The instructions were clear and offered multiple methods/configurations for mounting and flow. As this is my first attempt at water cooling, I am quite satisfied with the product.

The Thermaltake case I bought some five years ago came with five fans; add in the CPU fan and it was both loud and very inefficient. My CPU and enclosure temps ranged from 65-75 Celsius and often spiked into the 80’s! Now, with this kit, my CPU temps range from 28-38 Celsius. I also got rid of three fans from inside which included the CPU fan. Quiet, cool and sexy!

Afterword: The only downside right now, is that by removing the extra fans, my onbaord GPU is heating up. As I mentioned before, I am getting a new graphics card and expect to see some improvement there.