Aqua Computer cuplex kryos NEXT CPU Water Block Review 16

Aqua Computer cuplex kryos NEXT CPU Water Block Review

(16 User Comments) »

Value and Conclusion

  • The Aqua Computer cuplex kryos NEXT CPU water block has an MSRP ranging from ~$60 to ~$260 at the Aqua Computer web shop for the Intel LGA 2011(-3) version, with the socket conversion kits costing ~$10 each for customers in the USA. Some of these versions can be purchased for the same price from Performance PCs and ModMyMods in the USA. The specific review sample version costs an estimated $159.99.
  • Highly innovative features
  • Great build quality with lots of customization options
  • Excellent thermal performance
  • Aquasuite is a powerful and user friendly driver for the VISION system
  • Two year warranty
  • The particular review sample configuration is very expensive
  • High liquid flow restriction as a result of the fine <0.2 mm thick fins and channels.
When years of R&D into a new manufacturing process to yield thinner fins and channels coupled with better, more uniform coolant flow distribution in the cooling engine nets you a CPU water block that performs a couple percent better than its predecessor, you have to realize that something needs to change. Some companies are doing so by offering aluminum-based components at a lower cost, others are introducing flagship-class blocks at ever-low prices, and Aqua Computer has instead decided to embrace the market's entire price range to then extend it further on the high end too.

As a result of the many, many different versions the cuplex kryos NEXT comes in, there is something for nearly everyone to choose from. The review sample we have here today is among the very high end and has three novel features I really liked. The Flush Mount System is one of them, wherein you have a low-profile water block that also minimizes potential compatibility issues with components on the motherboard around it. But the main talking points here are without a doubt Aqua Computer's VARIO and VISION technologies. Where else are you going to see not just an integrated OLED display, but a full ARM microcontroller and temperature sensor supported by a lightweight but feature-rich driver? The VARIO technology meanwhile removes the question of "What if my CPU IHS is shaped differently from what the company modeled for?", and helps provide the best-possible fit within the design scheme for every individual CPU. Oh, did I mention the PVD coating is novel also and looks/feels absolutely fantastic in addition to having the practical benefits of being scratch resistant?

You are paying for it dearly, however, and so while the cuplex kryos NEXT series as a whole is well balanced out, this particular review sample is not for everyone. I dare say it is not good value for money either if all you are looking for is a well-performing, well-built water block. This is not even the most expensive block either, and at $160 it is a whole ~$100 less than the same version with nothing other than a .925 sterling silver cold plate - not something I would recommend, especially given how people today still rely on distilled water and a silver coil for the coolant and call it a day without having any anti-corrosion agents.

In the end, it is up to you to decide if the block design appeals to you or not. If not, then this whole discussion is moot, and aesthetics do remain one of the biggest points in terms of whether to make a purchase or not in custom DIY watercooling circles. If it does, or perhaps its novel features intrigue you, go check out the entire range linked above and see what particular combination hits the sweet spot for you. The range as a whole is well worth a global recommendation, as is this particular combination. I do wish we would have an award for innovation as that would have fit in much better here, but a recommendation will have to do.
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