Watercooling Kit Deconstructed

Raystorm CPU Waterblock

The Raystorm block consists of two parts, the base block assembly and the acrylic mounting plate. Even though only the CPU mounting plate is shown, the AMD mounting plate fits to the block in the same manner. The top of the block has a raised rounded-square inner section with the inlet and outlet holes with an outer lip on which the mounting block sits upon. When assembled, the top of the block and mounting plate form a flat plain.

The top plate consists of a CNC-machined clear acrylic body and a black aluminum top plate. The top plate sits in an indented grove in the top of the acrylic body so that the entire assembly sits flat when together. The acrylic body contains four 3mm LED holes in the middle of each side of the body. This give the block an edge-lit appearance with the aluminum top plate mounted.

The base block assembly consists of an upper black acrylic top and a CNC machined copper base plate. The top is held to the copper base plate with four flat-top hex screws and seals to the copper plate with a rubber grommet along the outer edge of the block's top.

The top of the block consists of the acrylic top and a steel injection plate. The injection plate sits just below the block inlet channel and accelerates the incoming water to increase pressure through the copper plate water channels. The injection plate is sealed to the inlet channel with a rubber grommet along the outer edge of the inner channel. That way, water is forced to pass through the channels in the copper plate to exit the block through the outer outlet channel. The injection plate itself sits perpendicular to the direction of the copper plate micro-channels.

The copper base contains a series of micro-channels through which the water is forced through to cool the block base plate (and the CPU in the process). The thin-finned nature of the micro-channels increases the surface contact area for the transfer of heat to the coolant. The inlet formed by the injection plate site perpendicular to the water channels, forcing water across all channels and out via both sides of the base plate's micro-channels.

The only downside with using a micro-channel design is the increase in flow restriction inherent in its use – pressure builds up on the inlet side because water flow is restricted by the micro-channels. While the water velocity through the micro-channels is increased, the flow rate over the entire system decreases because of the micro-channels.

X2O 750 Bayres/Pump V4 Reservoir

Pump impeller comparison
Courtesy of XSPC

Once the top is removed from the reservoir, you can easily see the arrangement of the pump within the enclosure. The top is sealed to the base chamber via a large rubber grommet running in a channel along the top of the outer edge of the main liquid chamber. Flow of the coolant through the chambers occurs as follows: liquid enters the chamber from the lower inlet port which is not directly connected to the pump, is sucked into the pump through the impeller chamber on the left side of the reservoir, and is pushed out via the outlet port which is directly attached to the pump outlet. The pump sits directly in the coolant and is sealed for full immersion operation. With the V4 revision X20 750 pump, XSPC updated the impeller design for better water redirection. The new impeller design forces the water up above the impeller resulting in higher pressure and flow rate when expelled via the outlet port.

The top of the reservoir is a rectangular nylon piece with underside ribbing for added rigidity and strength. The top is held in place by 11 black-colored flat-top screws. The fill-plug is black plastic with an outer rubber o-ring to ensure a solid seal between it and the reservoir top, minimizing air intake and coolant evaporation from the reservoir.

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