View Full Version : Review: CoolIT PURE CPU water cooling system

03-18-2009, 02:52 AM

I hate noise. Plain and simple, I think a computer should be utilized, appreciated and even admired, given the right setup. But it should *not* be heard. With seven stock fans running on various components in my case, it used to be nearly unusable. Over time I've been replacing the fans on the various components (and sometimes the components themselves) with quieter options, and even managed to eliminate one fan altogether. (Ironically, it was the quietest fan in the whole setup.)

But it seems I've gotten the thing just about as silent as I can reasonably expect while adequately air cooling my hardware. As much as I would love to put together a custom water-cooling setup and eliminate more of this noise, I simply can't afford it. Enter today's subject: the CoolIT PURE CPU water cooling system. (http://www.xoxide.com/coolit-pure-cpucooler.html)

I was looking at self-contained water-cooling systems, and not having much luck. I had read bad things about several of the options available, and frankly, they were all more than I was willing to try to start with and more than I wanted to spend experimenting. When I found the CoolIT PURE on sale at Xoxide (http://www.xoxide.com), I decided to try it.

The guys at Xoxide were quick to ship as always, and the cooler arrived in good shape.



Inside the box, I found the cooler packed in a sturdy styrofoam enclosure which protected the components very well.


Given the excellent packing, I have no idea how the radiator got this large scratch on it. Thankfully it won't be seen on my system, nor is it likely to be visible on most others.


The CoolIT PURE is a completely self-contained water-cooling system (http://www.xoxide.com/watcoolkit.html) for your CPU. The water block (CoolIT calls it a Fluid Heat Exchanger, which is accurate, if a little long), pump, and radiator come prefilled and preassembled from the factory, with the hoses attached with crimp-style connectors that cannot be easily removed. It comes with hardware to fit both AMD and Intel 775 systems. Some general pictures of the system and hardware that comes with it:




The water block comes with thermal paste preinstalled, as is standard with just about any CPU cooler.


As usual, I removed the stock thermal paste to apply my own aftermarket brand, in this case Tuniq TX-1. I have no idea what kind of paste was on the water block from the factory, but it was quite a chore to remove. I was, however, very impressed with the finish on the water block after removal:


On to installation. I'll be honest, installation of the CoolIT PURE was a pain. Maybe it's the norm for water cooling, but I doubt it. All you water coolers out there bear in mind that this system is preassembled and the water block must be attached to the CPU with the hoses already attached to it and the radiator and pump already attached to them. It required me to remove the heat sink retention bracket from my motherboard to install a set of standoffs for the retention hardware.


I then had to hold the water block in place while supporting the radiator/pump assembly (which was lying on my drive bays) while installing the retaining clips with screws into the standoffs. Though it would have been much easier with four hands, I got it done. Total install time was about an hour. To their credit, the people at CoolIT include a sort of standoff that goes between the fan and the radiator that is offset, and can be installed in any of four positions, providing the offset in any direction you may need it, depending on your case and hardware configuration. This is not mentioned in the otherwise adequate instruction manual, and may be critical for some.


And here is the final install picture:


Now to test it. Before beginning installation, I ran OCCT for 30 minutes using the air cooler I was replacing, a Tuniq T-120, arguably one of the best air coolers on the market. Below are the graph results for the two cores of my CPU:



The Tuniq T-120 topped out at just over 53C on core 1 and right at 50C on core 2 during the test. How did the CoolIT PURE perform?



The CoolIT PURE peaked at just under 51C on core 1 and almost 57C on core 2. I can't explain the difference in the cores, especially with the higher temps reversed between the tests, but it may be as simple as uneven thermal paste application. Regardless, the CoolIT PURE is competitive with the TuniQ T-120 in cooling performance.

While one might reasonably expect a water-cooling system to perform better than air, we should bear in mind that we are comparing just about the least expensive water cooling solution available to a higher-end air cooling system. And, while the CoolIT PURE does cost a little more than the Tuniq T-120, ringing out of Xoxide at $79.99 (compared to the T-120 at $46.99), it holds the advantage I was after: silence. The CoolIT PURE was inaudible over the other fans in my case, and noticeably lowered the overall noise of my computer.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the CoolIT PURE is a good introduction to the realm of water cooling for those who want to start, and a decent cooling solution in its own right. While it is expensive for a single-component cooling solution, it does the job well and does it quietly. It also looks very good inside a case once the painful process of installation is complete.

I give the CoolIT PURE cpu water cooling system 4 out of 5.

Drum Thumper
03-18-2009, 04:44 PM
Nice work. I might have to look into getting one of these beasts in the future.

03-19-2009, 10:20 AM
nice review! well written:)

03-19-2009, 09:43 PM
Good review. Makes it tempting to try this out myself.

03-19-2009, 10:26 PM
very professional review and lots of pictures, i see the next 3dgamer man!

though the review just confirms how poorly this cool it performs. your spending an extra 20-30 for 2-3C lower temps and quiet. with a proper water cooling solution you would get both, granted at a great cost, silence and performance.


03-20-2009, 08:22 PM
Great review! I have the same motherboard, curious as to your impression of it.

03-20-2009, 09:52 PM
I love my K9A2 Platinum, personally. With the quad-Crossfire capability, two eSATA ports and the chipsets it has it's hard to beat (unless you're some kind of Intel fan or something.) I'm not much into overclocking, but I know there are several options for that in the BIOS, and the MSI user forums are first rate when it comes to problems, with their motherboards and other hardware also. MSI is definitely my favorite motherboard manufacturer.