Kingston HyperX H20 Integrated Heat Spreader Design
I would post pictures of the packaging but Kingston simply sent us this kit in a silver static bag straight off the assembly line. Basically the retail version is a clear and black clam shell with a large sticker band with the logo and relevant information. The most interesting external part of this memory kit is the integrated water cooling so lets focus on that next.
As a bit of history this is not the first time a memory manufacture has included an integrated water cooling thermal solution, in fact OCZ did this back in 2006 with their FlexXLC kit reviewed right here at Legit Reviews. The main difference between the design of the old OCZ kit and this new Kingston version is the direction of the barbed water tubes. As you can see from this file image the OCZ version had vertical water barbs meaning two 90 degree bends that restrict flow through each module. As you add this over several modules it can have a significant impact on your cooling performance, especially if you have other restrictive blocks in the same loop.
However Kingston improves on that design by having the water flow straight through the cooling tube removing the impact to flow from those 90 degree bends in the plumbing. Unfortunately, just like that old OCZ kit, this kit also uses 1/4″ (6.35mm) I.D. tubes with barbs to connect with your water cooling loop. This is considerably smaller than the more standard sizes of tubes in a typical water loop.
From a loop design perspective you need to consider the best way to connect multiple modules together, should you go series or parallel? What about all the extra fittings required in plumbing one of these scenarios, how much extra space is that going to require? Further, if you like me, have matte black compression fittings for your set up now you have to deal with barbs and hose clamps potentially ruining the look you worked so hard to design. It would be great if these manufactures would simply use a standard G1/4 port on these spreaders so that water coolers could screw in the types of fittings that worked best for their set up and allowed them to keep their internal color and fittings theme consistent.
Being a fellow water cooler the next item I became concerned with was type of metal being used for the cooling tube. It is well known in liquid cooling circles that you really do not want to mix dissimilar metals such as copper and aluminum because once the water starts a flowing you will get galvanic corrosion in your blocks. Not good. The majority of water cooling blocks today are either copper or nickel plated copper so I was hoping these tubes were not aluminum. I was unable to find any reference to this on the web or in the Kingston documentation so we gave Kingston a ring. Being a world class company they got right back to and let us know they are using nickel plated brass. Brass being an alloy of copper provides a great balance of very good cooling with the increased strength required and no issues of galvanic corrosion. It is great that they added the nickel plating since this treatment further increases the durability and corrosion resistance while giving it a great high polish silver finish.
From a visual perspective, Kingston switched to a black color on the spreaders from their traditional blue which I think looks great next to the silver of the water tube. They did sneak in a little blue on the top edges that wrap over the outside corners of the memory making this kit quite a looker. If you have a nice window case I would tell you to get some directional LED’s to shine right on this kit as a key visual featured item regardless if you run water or air.
While I have a great water cooled rig as my main PC, my loop has all 7/16″ x 5/8″ tube and I did not have any 1/4″ reducers to test this kit under water. Fortunately if you find all the water cooling too much trouble to mess with, or cannot find a reducer, the well designed integrated heat spreaders work just as well on only air. I can say that even when I was pushing this kit hard and trying to squeeze a bit more performance by trying to over clock, the temps never went above 34.6c. The operating temperatures for this kit is 0c to 85c so I was well within range with my air cooling set up.
Speaking of Overclocking how far can Legit Reviews push this kit? Check out the next page to find out.