Innovatek has done a great job designing the innovaCOOL rev.3.0. Their solutions makes their cooler stand out in the crowd with nice, clean and compact design, a completely new take on their reservoir and especially their retention clamp. It is very easy to install and the needs for modifications to your case are minimal due to the compact design of the radiator. We did, however, run into problems with the reservoir leaking. Knowing that Kjell Erik at Overklokking.no
had reviewed this kit just a few weeks ago, I gave him a phonecall so that we could compare our lab notes.
He did not have any leak problems during his review, but there was one major difference -- he had used the Eheim 1046, which has half the capacity of the 1048 model, 300LPH instead of 600LPH. He is currently reviewing another system using the same pump and reservoir as I, and this
system displays the same symptoms as the innovaCOOL rev 3.0 -- leakage around the cap on the reservoir and airbubbles forming at the outlet of the pump.
To my knowledge, innovatek does not recommend using pumps that are more powerful than the Eheim 1046 because it does not help increasing the cooling capacity. I venture to say that this has nothing to do with performance, but rather the fact that the reservoir will not be watertight if a more powerful pump is used. In other words, the upgrade path for this cooler is very limited, and OiK AS
should definitely reconsider their use of the Eheim 1048 in this kit.
Fig. 9 The waterblock hooked up on the CPU
Fig. 10 The quick-fix on the leakage problem.
From what I have seen during this testing, this cooler is a good choice if you want a quiet, compact, yet good performing and easy to install solution that looks good as well. Especially for the price of $225.00.
On the other hand, if you are planning using peltier elements, you should stay away from it. Why? Simply because the retention clamp does not allow the added height, as a peltier builds typically 3-5mm , nor will it allow any form of insulation around the socket which is crucial to prevent condensation.
Furthermore, I suspect that the radiator would not be able to handle the added load of, say, a 172W peltier element. The radiator would simply be saturated, and thus not being capable of dissipating the heat added to the system. You could of course compensate by adding high CFM fans, but this would increase the noiselevel, and from my point of view it's not worth it. One would most likely be able to increase the capacity by using a bigger and better radiator, preferably a multichannel type, but you must be sure that the fittings on the radiator actually fits the hoses used in the rest of the cooler.
Our rating are as follows:
- Easy to install
- Good technical solutions
- Looks good
- Compact design
- Quite good scalability
- Leaks with pumps over 300LPH
- Not suitable for use with peltier elements
- Too low capacity at really high loads
Thanks to OiK AS for providing us with the watercooler.
Part 2, Swiftech H202-C
Part 3, CoolComputers Tri-Arc Custom Kit