InstallationOverall, I found the Aquaduct 360 XT water cooling system to be easy and straightforward to install. The included User’s Manuals do a good job of explaining and illustrating the various installation steps.
Basic Aquaduct 360 XT Installation
1. Install the CPU waterblock
2. Install the GPU waterblock
3. Install the PCI slot pass through bracket in PC
4. Cut and install tubing
5. Connect the power and USB cables
6. Fill the system with coolant and establish flow
7. Install the Aquasuite software and setup system parameters
I highly recommend running the water cooling system for a couple of hours (24-hours is the standard) before powering on the PC. This allows all the air bubbles to work themselves loose and make sure there are no leaks. You can either use the provided 20-pin ATX jumper connector to startup the PC’s power supply (don’t forget to unplug the power cables to the mobo and video cards) or use an external unit as I do. The fittings and tubing used with the Aquaduct 360 XT are very good and it is unlikely that you will encounter any problems with leaks.
Install the CPU Waterblock (Cuplex XT DI)
The obvious first step is to remove the existing CPU cooler and clean the processor in preparation for mounting the Aqua Computer waterblock. For this review I will be using an Intel LGA775 motherboard and processor, which for many will require removal so the four thru-bolts can be installed.
Once the CPU’s IHS has been cleaned and prepped with a little thermal compound the waterblock can be set into position and secured with the included springs, washers, and thumb nuts. Since the mount is symmetrical, the waterblock can be positioned in whatever 90 deg increment works best for routing the tubing.
Clean, simple and secure – a good mounting system IMHO.
Install the GPU Waterblock (AquagraFX 8800 GTX)
After removing the stock air cooler the Aqua Computer VGA waterblock can be installed on the video card. For this review I will be using a single NVIDIA 8800 GTX video card.
Adhesive backed thermal pads are provided to make contact with the memory chips and VRMs. These must be carefully positioned onto the waterblock and don’t forget to remove the protective film from both sides of the thermal pads! Thermal grease is applied directly onto the GPU and HDCP/Video chip. After all the chips have been cleaned and prepped, the AquagraFX 8800 GTX waterblock can be carefully set in place and secured with the screws and springs removed from the stock NVIDIA air cooler.
Once again, installation of the VGA waterblock was relatively easy and straight forward and the resulting mount appears to be secure. This is a good thing as many users may be a little nervous performing this type of work on their $500 video card!