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Have you ever thought changing to water cooling for your desktop PC? Actually water cooling isn't so mystery and some of the water cooling kits are much more easily to be setup than those high end air coolers. Today we'll bring you a simple but complete water cooling kit from NorthQ; Siberian Tiger.
NorthQ is a Denmark company that produces computer peripheral products like air cooling cooler, watercooling, power supply, casing and so on. Some of NorthQ famous products like Siberian Tiger I/II water cooling system, Green Line PSU which approved by Elsparefonden.
- Simple to mount and provides a massive performance boost!
- Completely closed and sealed; maintenance less
- No risk of leaks
- The pump is certified by institute to operate for 5.5 years without fail.
- Easy to use and install, less hassle
- Great Cooling performance.
- No Maintenance for the end user (install and forget)
- Supports both Intel and AMD
- Pump: AC/DC hybrid technology with high-precision ceramic bearings & RPM monitor (3pin)
- Heat exchangers: 120 x 120mm
- Tubes : 35cm flexible steel tubes with plastic cover
- Fan: NorthQ Extreme silent 120mm FAN, with blue LED light, on/off light switch
- System performance: Rth ≈ 0.13 °C / W
- Liquid: Non-toxic, non-flammable liquid that does not expand with changes in temperature
- Complete Noise level: <20 dBA
- Lifetime: 50,000 hours [MTTF]
- Sockets supported: 478, 754/939/940, AM2 & LGA775
Package & Contents
Let us have a quick look on the packaging of NorthQ Siberian Tiger before concentrate on product itself. Basically NorthQ Siberian Tiger comes with a rectangular box with a handle for easy carrying it around although the gross weight of the package is not heavy. Inside the packaging box, there is another layer of plastic container to secure the components of NorthQ Siberian Tiger. The packaging is simple but able to protect the kit very well.
NorthQ Siberian Tiger contains quite number of components such as a water cooling unit which consists of a 120mm radiator, water pump and a CPU block. The rest of the accessories are a 120mm silent LED fan with on/off switch, dual fan controllers with fan stop alarm, user's manual, thermal grease and installation kit for LGA775, AM2, AMD 754/939/940.
The user's manual has very detail information such as package contents, component product explanation, installation steps and etc in English langauge. Since Siberian Tiger can be used for multiple Intel/AMD platforms, NorthQ has included four mounting brackets which can support for Intel 775 (push-pin type), AMD AM2 and 754/939/940 (screw type). However Intel latest socket; 1366 is not yet supported and hope NorthQ will include it for the next product respin.
NorthQ 3580 Siberian Tiger Water Coolering Kit
NorthQ Tiger Siberian is a all-in-one water cooling kit where the great thing is it is maintenance-less as the whole unit is sealed which consists of radiator, tubing, pump and CPU block. Sealed water cooling kit has its own advantages such as maintenance-less, low leak risk and the disadvantages will be lack of flexibility, non-upgradable and etc. Besides Siberian Tiger, NorthQ also has another advanced version; Tiger Siberian II for extreme cooling as it has dual 120 x 120mm radiator which can support up to four 120mm fans (both sides).
If you notice that there isn't any reservoir of this water cooling kit but actually the reservoir is integrated together with the pump. The whole cooling unit of NorthQ Siberian Tiger has an Asetek logo on it which shows that Siberian Tiger is an OEM product from Asetek and the product detail information can be found at Asetek website as well. Basically Siberian Tiger is an Asetek LCLC cooler and it has around 50,000 hours of lifetime which at least will serve you around 5 years. The liquid inside the Siberian Tiger is a non-toxic, non-flammable liquid that does not expand with changes in temperature. The pump of Siberian Tiger is an AC/DC hybrid technology with high precision ceramic bearing and it has two power cables; 3-pin and Molex cables.
NorthQ Siberian Tiger is using 1/4" diameter tubing and both of the tubes length are around 35cm which should be enough to be used in most of the ATX case. Due to unique design of the tubing of Siberian Tiger (steel tube with plastic cover), the tube is much stronger than other transparent tubing which is being widely used in water cooling. Hence the chance for the tube to be bent accidentally and impact the performance will be minimal.
The CPU block of NorthQ Siberian Tiger is made by copper material which is better than aluminum in term of heat conductivity but it will requires more maintenance than aluminum due to corrosion. NorthQ already pre-applied a layer of thermal grease evenly so that users can use the Siberian Tiger on the spot without much hassle.
As you can see surrounding the cooling unit of Siberian Tiger, it contains quite number of fingers which to be used to lock with the socket bracket. Such type of locking isn't so difficult to be installed but it will take some time to fine tune the adjustment during installation. We still hope NorthQ/Asetek to improve the installation design to make it more users friendly.
Radiator or heat exchanger is playing an important role for water cooling and the 120 x 120mm radiator that is chosen for Siberian Tiger actually is a Delta Black copper radiator which is designed for Sibearian Tiger and to be used with the steel tubing. The radiator has quite number of small fins which increase the dissipation area as well as the cooling efficiency too. At the top portion of the radiator, it has two tubes; one for carrying the heated liquied from the processor and the other one is used for carrying the cold liquid to transfer the heat from the processor.
Although radiator is used to dissipate the heat but in order to maximize the effectiveness, a fan is included to be worked with the radiator to further cool down the liquid asap. NorthQ selected an extreme silent 120mm blue LED fan for Siberian Tiger which has less than 20dB noise. The blue LED fan can be turned on/off as a switch is added for allowing users to control the LED on/off. Since the radiator of NorthQ Siberian Tiger can support dual 120mm fans but users are required to get another fan by themselve as there is only single fan included for Siberian Tiger water cooling kit.
NorthQ did a job here for the fan controller of Siberian Tiger as they included two fan controllers; one is a PCI type fan controller while the other one is a fan controller box. This is good as different users will require different requirement for the fan controller and most of the manufacturers will only include either one of them to cut down the cost of the product. The fan controller box has the alarming feature if the fan is not functioning whrer it will alert the users.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Installation is neither easy nor hard for the NorthQ Siberian Tiger, let us explain in detail. For the whole unit of CPU block installation, we found that the Intel type push-pin installation isn't working well with the finger locking of the socket bracket and the CPU block. This is because it requires precision adjustment between the socket bracket and the CPU block. Besides that the push-pin type is a bit fragile because the white plastic leg might bent accidentally if the force applied on it is not at right angle and sometime when the socket bracket is successfully installed on the motherboard but the finger locking between the socket bracket and the CPU block are not aligned then it is required users to start over the process again.
Now let us focus on the radiator and the fan installation of NorthQ Siberian Tiger. Since NorthQ Siberian Tiger is using a 120 x 120mm radiator and the radiator can't be mounted on a case that is not having 120 rear case ventilation area without any modification. However we still managed to install this 120mm radiator on the 92mm rear ventilation area by some modifications.
After the radiator installation then next will be the fan. The fan can be installed on the radiator very easily without much problem unless users decide to install dual 120mm fans on it which may a bit harder than single 120mm fan but it really depend on the pc case compatibility that is being used. The fan can be lighted up easily by switching on the switch but as the switch is has the same length with the fan power cable, it will be hard for user to switch the fan on/off oftenly unless NorthQ modify the switch so that users can reach it without open up the case.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3
Heatsink: NorthQ Siberian Tiger Water Cooler
Memory: 4GB 800MHz DDR2 Memory
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: OEM Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB
PSU: In Win Commander 1200W
Optical Drive: DVD RW HLDS
Operating System: Microsoft XP Pro SP2
Benchmark Software: Prime 95
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
Here are the performance results of NorthQ Siberian Tiger with others famous and good performance CPU air cooler. As you can see the NorthQ Siberian Tiger performs better than the rest of the CPU air cooler except Thermolab Baram. You may wonder why a water cooling kit can be beaten by an air cooler and actually a basic entry level of water cooling isn't really performing much better than high end air cooler. Furthermore the Thermolab Baram performance is equipped with dual high performance fans and NorthQ Siberian Tiger is just using the stock silent fan. If the NorthQ Siberian Tiger is equipped with the same dual performance fans on it, then we believe it will perform better than Thermolab but we are not going to do it today as we are reviewing the whole water cooling kit rather than the individual parts
After some introduction and testing of NorthQ Siberian Tiger water cooling kit, we found that this water cooling kit is not only comes with great features such as maintenance-less, low risk, easy setup and etc, but it also performs quite well too. With its cheap price at 109USD which is just a bit more than a high end air cooler, it is definitely worth to get it. Besides that NorthQ Siberian Tiger is much more silent than those air coolers and another selling point of this water cooling kit is it is produced by a very famous OEM cooling manufacturer so no need to worry about the quality of this kit at all.
* Good performance
* No leak risk
* All-in-one & easy setup
* Strong steel tubing with plastic cover
* 120 x 120mm copper radiator
* Dual fan controllers are included
* Fan light can be turn on/off
* Extreme silent
* May not suitable for all kind of cases
* Not upgradable due to flexibility issue
Thanks to NorthQ for providing this sample for us to review.
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