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Jetart Aquacool AK2000

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

Introduction

Jetart are a reasonably unknown company that has done a fair bit of work with us in the past with good results; their graphics cooling solutions managed to destroy Artic Cooling’s attempt making Jetart the best aftermarket cooling for your card. Now I have the privilege of reviewing their second make of their external water-cooling unit; the AK2000.

A little About Jetart

Jetart Technology has been established since 1989. Jetart is not only a cooling devices designer but also a very professional & well-organized manufacturer, as well as an exporter. We now are focusing on developing “Thermal Solution” relating products. All of materials applied and production procedures are under very strict control. Our capacity has come up to 12 millions pieces per year. In the mean time, we create a brand name “Jetart” for all of our cooling products. Our goal to achieve is that “Jetart” represents image of innovation & good quality. Under all of Jetart staff efforts, our company has been granted “Certificate of Assessment” in accordance with ISO9001 standards in 2002.

Note: Before I begin, I should point out that I lost the pictures for this review after I tested the kit. This means that the pictures that I have are limited. This is explained further later in the review.

The AK2000

Jetart have released an external cooling module before, which they sent out to reviewers to get their feedback. Jetart work closely with their partners and they took the critics their first unit created and came back with the AK2000. Let’s have a look at the new specs:

External module

Dimensions

242 x 110 x 118 mm

Weight

1350g

Body Material

Aluminium Alloy

Radiator Material

Copper

Temperature Control Range

30 °C – 90 °C

Fan Speed Control Range

50-100%

LCD Dimensions

47 x 22.5 mm

LCD Backlight

Blue

Fan

Dimensions

92 x 92 x 25 mm

Rated Voltage

DC 12 V

Rated Current

0.26 A

Power Consumption

3.12 W

Fan Speed Range

1550 ~ 3100 RPM ± 10%

Noise

22 ~ 38 dBA

Bearing Type

Double Ball Bearing

AC Pump

Rated Voltage

AC 120 V

Rated Current

0.067 A

Power Consumption

8 W

Water Flow Rate

250 Litre/hr

Lift

1.1m

• AK2000 external module: 1 set
• Metal bracket: 1 pc
• Screw for metal bracket: 1 pc
• Fasten loop: 6 pcs
• Silicone water pipes: 2 pcs
• Power adapter: 1 pc
• Thermal sensor: 1 pc
• Thermal sensor sticker: 1 pc
• Thermal grease: 1 pc
• Instruction manual: 1 pc

The differences between this unit and the previous attempt – the AK1000 – are mainly to do with the power of the pump. Essentially, this pump has an extra 20 litre/hr flow rate and 30cm lift under its belt.

Another difference is the accessory set that you get. With the previous model you got a water block and a refill bottle. Jetart have done away with this strategy this time, and allowed the external module to be sold separately. This means that you can buy a better compatible water block if needs be. You could even upgrade your old AK1000 for an AK2000.

Other than the changes explained above, the unit is exactly the same, including the aesthetics of the unit.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool
Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

Jetart were kind enough to send a universal CPU water block, and a universal GPU water block along with the AK2000 for the review. I will be testing both.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

I took apart the AK2000 to check out what was actually inside. I found that the fan; a YS-Tech FD129225HB is actually rated as 58.5 CFM and 40dBA. This shows that there is a fair old wind tunnel being made blowing through the radiator. Even though the fan is a 92mm model, the radiator is 80mm wide meaning that some of the air pushed by the fan is wasted.

A Closer Look

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

The AK2000 looks pretty good, and will fit into most gaming setups, which is exactly where its meant to be used, so a thumbs up to Jetart. The front control knob feels pretty tacky however, and it’s obviously not intended as a high-end water cooling solution.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

Filling the unit is easy as you just pour water in through the front port just below the LCD screen. Speaking of the screen, it has a blue backlight and tells you important statistics of the unit, including temperature that the probe is reading, and the speed of the fan. It also allows you to set the temperature which you would like the unit to start shouting at you for being too hot, and when to alert you when the fan speed drops too low.

The unit is quite light considering as what’s enclosed in its aluminium body. The main weight is due to the copper heatsink that the AK2000 uses to dissipate heat quickly. It’s also pretty small and compact considering what it does.

Looking at the back of the unit, we see the two cooling pipes; one red, one blue. The red one is for incoming hot water (from your rig) and the outgoing cooled water (to your rig). Also there is the pass-through kettle plug cable, the temperature probe connector and the on/off signal cable connector.

The water blocks look dirty as they were exposed temporarily to water and corroded slightly.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool
Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

The water blocks that are included are pretty basic. Consisting of a plastic top, rubber grommet and a full copper bottom, they aren’t going to win any awards. However, Jetart have improved on the previous design and now there are more channels in the lower metal part meaning that the water has a longer path to follow before being taken back to the cooling unit. This means that more heat is carried away from your valuable silicon. This combined with a more powerful pump should yield better results. The CPU block comes with several outer metal shrouds which are used to hold the block in place above your processor.

A Closer Look cont.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

The graphics card cooling block is obviously much smaller than the CPU block. This not only lowers weight but means that there will be a high level of compatibility with cards as less space is needed. The graphics block should have an adapter which I’ve managed to lose after taking the pictures for the first time.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool
Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

Looking at the bottom of the blocks, there aren’t particularly well lapped, although they are very flat (CPU block top, GPU block bottom). The outer metal shrouds are more reflective than the bottom of these water blocks. This seems a little silly, but performance is what counts, not aesthetics.

The plumbing that you get with the kit feels horrible. The pipes are quite long and wide meaning more water can flow. The length means that the kit will fit in many different setups. The pipes themselves are very flexible which allows for easier installation, but they also kink easily too which drastically lowers the flow rate of the water inside. As long as you’re careful, this should not be a problem. As with the pipes coming out of the external cooling module, they are colour coded red and blue. You get extra lengths of pipe with the AK2000 itself and the water block packets.

As the unit is external, you get PCI face plates with male-male barbs in them which means that you connect the pipes coming from the AK2000 to the barbs on the outside, and then the water block(s) on the inside ultimately connect to the barbs on the other side of the PCI plate.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

Below are the two water block kits, the CPU kit is top, with the GPU kit at the bottom. Obviously you get longer lengths of tubing; the pictures are just to give you an idea.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool
Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

Installation

Installing the unit is quite easy, and is quite novel to have to plumb your PC. The CPU water block goes on easily with the clips, and the GPU block is also easy to install.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

The clips that hold the tubing in place are crap. They are like bent paperclips. It’s a little worrying putting this kit in your PC with the seals held by bent metal. Whilst they feel cheap and look less than impressive, they do do the trick. Even if you yank the tubing hard, the seal will not break. It’s an inexpensive way of keeping the seal but it’s not a particularly elegant method.

Filling up the unit with water was a chore to say the least. First you have to find yourself some de-ionised water/distilled water. This isn’t that hard; simply go to your nearest garage and they’ll sell some. However this does add to the price of the unit and this water won’t come with anti-algae additive, or any of the other necessities of water cooling fluid.

Then you have to have the unit up on end, and pour the water in slowly. This is harder said that done as the hole to pour into is very small. The previous model – the AK1000 – came with
a filling bottle which I can really see the need for. You’ll more than likely end up with water everywhere so have a towel ready. Once you’ve filled the unit, you then have to get the top on. The thread on the top is very temperamental and getting the cap on at the right level and then tightening is very difficult and frustrating.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

Once all this is done, if the cap isn’t done up perfectly the unit will leak, and leaking is definitely not wanted around your expensive electronics.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

After filling the unit and finally getting all the air out (which is another long chapter of frustration) it’s a good idea to ‘program’ the unit. To do this, you hold down the control knob and then turn it to set the warning temperature and the warning RPM level. If the temperature or the RPM crosses these limits, a very annoying alarm will sound to alert you to fix the situation. Once you’ve finished, holding the control knob down until the temperature and fan speed display returns will save these settings. You can then change the fan speed at any time by twisting the control knob. One small note, this knob seems to be very unresponsive and lags; i.e. you turn the knob one way and the fan speed will take a good few seconds before it reaches the correct RPM and it’s a lot longer than it takes for the fan to slow down.

Its interesting to see that there is a ‘T1’ and a ‘F1’ logo on the screen. There is actually an unused ‘T2’ ‘F2’ logos that aren’t used on the display meaning that Jetart have left the unit with room for improvement.

Testing

To test, I’m using my normal rig with the following specs:

  • Intel P4 3.2 GHz (socket 478)
  • Gigabyte GA-8IPE1000-G motherboard
  • Sapphire Radeon 9200 256mb Graphics Card

First of all, you need to have the CPU mounting bracket on which comes with your motherboard, this thing looks like a claw and the Jetart mounting system uses it to clip to.

Before the AK2000 I had the Noctua NH-U12 on my CPU which doesn’t require the P4 mounting bracket so I had to remove it. To test the AK2000’s water block I had to reinstall it. However, I managed to lose all the pictures of the installed water block due to a horrendous HDD failure. Suffice to say I wasn’t too impressed. To add further insult to injury, when I was taking the mounting bracket off to remount the NH-U12, I managed to snap one of the clips. This means that I can’t use the mounting bracket anymore, so there aren’t any pictures of the CPU water block installed.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

The CPU water block problem was entirely my fault (well, Maxtor’s fault but we won’t go into that… :P) but the VGA block is due to another issue. Once I installed the block and took pictures – which I subsequently lost – I removed the block so that I could take a picture of it on its own. When trying to reinstall the block, the thread on one of the holes for the screws was badly worn meaning the screw won’t hole the block in place. I now can’t mount the block in place so there won’t be an in-action shot of this either. However, I managed to take a picture of it not on the motherboard to give you an idea of how it’s mounted.

People say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ve got a hell of a lot of typing in-lieu of these two pictures…. The CPU water block did look pretty good with the shiny metal plate which the clips push on to hold the block in place. The transparent blue plastic and the copper went well and overall the kit looked professional. Another bonus was that the kit used a LOT less space in my case than my humungous NH-U12 meaning system ventilation was increased dramatically. I noticed that the PWM area and the Northbridge where noticeably cooler as a result. My RAM also seemed to be cooler.

On my graphics card, the block looked good, and was equal to my previous passive heatsink in the way of noise.

I have to say, the colour coded tubing looks quite cheap and a little tacky. I prefer clear tubing as it looks more professional and clean. I personally think that the tubing isn’t meant to be seen.

After start-up my rig was left for 30 minutes, and then the temperature was recorded to represent an idle reading. Full load was recorded at the end of 30 minutes of CPU-burn in test. Ambient was 28C throughout. To test the water cooling ability, I used a burn in test and had the AK2000 set at 3 different RPM speeds.

It must be noted that my PC runs a lot hotter than most due to the position that it is in (under my desk near a radiator).

It should be noted that on the top RPM the fan is very noisy and isn’t really acceptable in a market where silent cooling products are becoming a necessity. When the RPM is set lower, the noise is more tolerable.

First I had the CPU and VGA on the same loop which yielded less than impressive results. In fact, I was too scared to run the AK2000 on the low RPM at the temperature was going upwards of 60C.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

The high RPM reading was more acceptable, but nothing to write home about. Once you factor in the amount of noise that the unit was making, it wasn’t really all that incredible.

Once the VGA loop was removed, the results were more acceptable. In fact, it was pretty much on par with my NH-U12 which I count as the best air cooler out there. However, the amount of noise was again a lot higher than the NH-U12.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

Finally, I used the AK2000 just on my graphics card which was much more effective. In fact I would say that it’s the best cooling I’ve had on it. However, it’s rather bulky for just cooling a graphics card. On the plus side, I managed to eek an extra few MHz of overclock out of the card.

I move my PC around a lot (LAN parties etc.) and the AK2000 is simply not designed for this. It’s really annoying having to move the actual computer box and the water cooling box at the same time. It also means that there is more chance of a leakage. In short, water cooling isn’t really right for my setup.

After using the patrolling unit for a while, the temperature probe stopped working and would read something completely ridiculous like -15 or 100.

Jetart AK2000 - Aquacool

Conclusion

This kit is not designed for overclockers; in fact, the kit barely deals with stock speeds. I would advise that you only have one water block on your loop, as temperatures rise too high with more than one.

If you move your PC around a lot then again, this kit is not for you. The external water block is only attached by the flimsy tubing which could easily come loose and spray water everywhere.

I would say that this is definitely entry level water cooling that does not cool particularly well, but does give you bragging rights; ‘I have water cooling in my PC’. I wouldn’t advise buying this if you’re going into overclocking, or looking for a supremely quiet PC.

It might, however, be of interest to people who have a very hot PC with poor internal air flow as the kit is external. This kit will definitely wipe the floor with generic cooling that would come with a shop-bought PC.

ProsCons
Easy to installLow performance; can’t overclock
Slightly better than average coolingLoud – very loud
Useful if you have a high internal temperatureHard to fill up

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