First we look at the stock idle temps. The PURE comes in well under the stock Intel cooler, as it should, but lagged a couple of degrees from beating the ZEROtherm NV-120. There is a five degree gap between the PURE and the Bigwater 760i, then again there is also a $50 price gap as well.
Under load the PURE and NV-120 are still only a couple of degrees apart with the NV-120 still in the lead. The gap between the PURE and the 760i has grown to a full ten degrees.
Overclocked, the temps are similar to stock settings, only increasing a few degrees across the board with the PURE and NV-120 even at 33C and the Bigwater still in the lead at 30C.
Now for what most are after: the overclocked load temps. If you’re looking at water you’re most likely not running stock settings, and as easy as it is to overclock an Intel chip these days why wouldn’t you? The PURE comes in last, trailing the NV-120 by three degrees and the 760i by a full seven. This has been the pattern pretty much throughout all of the testing. I can’t help but wonder what a higher flow pump and higher CFM fan could do for the PURE.
CoolIT has brought the community a CPU water cooling kit for under $100. It looks nice, has ok performance, and is a snap to install. When it comes to a warranty on the Pure, CoolIT Systems Inc. warrants each new product against defects in materials or workmanship for a period of one year from the date of purchase, and agrees to repair or replace any defective product without charge. Shipping costs are non-refundable and since they are in Canada this is important to point out as this will mean international shipping to many.
Update: CoolIT contacted us this morning and let LR know that they actually have a warehouse in Los Angeles, so users won’t have to do international shipping in the event that something goes wrong.
The overall build quality was good. Yes, the unit we got had some minimal damage to the radiator fans, most likely due to the CPU block hitting it during shipping. As a whole the unit did not rattle. The fan was quiet, as was the pump after it stopped gurgling. With the PURE being a sealed system it is ok for the fact that it is maintenance free. The downside is that it is not expandable. Another downside is that air that is trapped in the system is there forever. The unit I tested had some air trapped in it. It took a good 3 days of it sitting upright to stop gurgling. After that it was good to go, just as long as I didn’t bump the case or disturb the cooler in any way (as soon as I did it was back to gurgling for a couple hours). Same for when I laid the case over to simulate me taking the system to a LAN; it gurgled for days once I stood it upright again. The only thing I could think of to alleviate this issue is for CoolIT to have the system vacuum bleed the cooler prior to sealing it, but this would most likely add to the cost of the cooler.
The screws used to attach the fan and shroud to the radiator also annoyed me. Not sure why they didn’t just use regular Phillips head screws as this would have made it much easier for the end user to replace the fan. The power PCB to me seemed to be a pain to reach and route cable to. Maybe if it were turned 90 degrees or even moved over to the end of the beauty plate, that could have made it much easier to hook up.
I still think the system could use a little higher flow pump and possibly larger tubing. The faster you can get the heat away the better it will cool. Comparing the PURE to the Bigwater may seem a little unfair as the Bigwater’s P500 pump flows 500L/hr and the PURE’s pump is only 210L/hr. The tubing is also smaller on the PURE. So, why compare them? Well, they are both considered entry level water kits, and this shows that just because it’s a water cooler, that doesn’t guarantee low temps.
Now, whether or not the performance of the PURE can justify the additional cost of $40-50 over a high end air cooler like the NV-120, that is something you as an end user will have to determine.
Bottom Line: If you want to make the jump to water cooling for only your CPU and have $100 budget to do it then the pure has you covered.