Phobya Xtreme Quad 480 Radiator Kit Review
by Dark Mantis
The item I am reviewing here this time is an external radiator kit from Phobya the well known watercooling company.The concept is great and is an excellent way of keeping the majority of
your watercooling loop and components outside of the computer case. There is obviously a benefit there if any leaks happen as they should be well away from your expensive
electical/electronic hardware. Also very useful for people with small cases where the internal real estate is at a premium. It is supplied in two boxes with the usual Phobya logo and
branding on them. One contains the housing, fans and odds and ends and the other the radiator.
On unboxing the larger of the two containers first, the housing is found to be solidly made out of 1.5 mm thick mild steel with a gloss black powder coated finish. This is done to a high
standard and the unit I had for review was without any blemishes. The construction of this chassis is done as much as possible by bending which is better and more cost effective than welded
seams. Also in this box were the four Phobya G-Silent 12 1500 rpm Red LED fans.
These are 120 mm fans which as you have already probably guessed have a top speed of 1500 rpm. They are built with a clear chassis with red blades. The blades simply pull out of the centre
hub making cleaning much easier rather than having to dismantle the whole structure. An excellent idea. They have a low starting voltage of 5v, so a slow speed startup is possible if a fan
speed controller is fitted. For 120 mm fans they are fairly quiet, rated at 25.5 dB/A, even at top speed at which they shift a very respectable 58 cfm of air each. Thats 232 cfm when
working together. Another nice feature is that the cables are all braided in white with matching heatshrink terminating in standard 3 pin fan connectors.
Whilst still looking at the contents of the large box there is a four into one Phobya branded braided Y-cable to make it possible to connect up all four fans to one header with the obvious
proviso that the header is powerful enough to handle the load.The one provided with this kit was 600 mm long and a dark red braided cable but others are available if some other colour was
required. Three of the four outputs are only two wire even though they are into a standard three wire female socket. The forth is for the speed control feedback and as such has three wires
and is marked as such.
In the second and slightly smaller box was the almost square radiator and a 2.5 mm thick sheet aluminium faceplate to enable mounting of the fans on all four corners of each. The ports on
the radiator are standard 1/4" BSPP with fitted plastic stoppers to keep out any stray particles. They are both fitted on one end and spaced at 120 mm centres. The radiator is covered by a
three year warranty from Phobya.Included are 16 M3 bolts for fastening the fans and four M3 bolts for fixing the radiator to the housing. Overall sizing is 262 x 240 x 45 mm.
Back to the housing again and on the top there is a 1" pre dilled hole for a fill port if required. Each side has many pre drilled holes of various sizes and combinations to enable easy
fitting of any extra devices such as pumps and reservoirs. On the bottom of each side are two large 18 mm holes for pipework to pass through. One is two single holes and the other is a pair
of holes connected by a slot. I did find that as I was using 10 mm ID 13 mm OD tubing that there was room to insert grommets first to stop any chaffing of the tubes. At the opposite end I
installed a pair of bulkhead connectors to make fitting and dismantling easier. I was trying to get some quick disconnects for this use but was unable to get the ones I wanted in time.
The front and top both display a raised Phobya logo above a 250h x 240w mm hexagonal meshed area.
I tried various different configurations to see which worked best with my components and eventually ended up with the radiator fitted inside with the ports at the bottom and the reservoir
over the pump on the left hand side externally. I used an Alphacool VPP655 variable speed pump and an Alphacool Cape Fuzion Core 10 Acetal Reservoir. The fittings were all Phobya Black
Nickel and were nice quality.
To test the performance of the kit as a whole I hooked it up to my Gigabyte GA-P67A- UD5 and Intel 2500K CPU. Initially I just tried running it at stock speed and at idle it maintaned a 25C
level with an ambient of 22.8C. Once I started up Prime95 and left it running for a few minutes after which I checked again and it still kept it to under 45C.
I then overclocked it to 4.4Ghz and on idle it kept to a reasonable 30C and when running Prime95 crept up to the 50C mark.
In conclusion the kit is well made and designed, easy enough to construct with very many mounting options available. If I were to find fault with anything it would have to be the use of M3
bolts as I am not a lover of these and prefer the more standard M4 and it would have been nice to have included a rear faceplate to match the front to just finish the unit off and stop any
stray items from hitting the fans etc. whilst still allowing the airflow.Overall an excellent kit and well priced as it works out to be somewhat cheaper to purchase like this than seperately. I award this 9/10.Supplier: CandC Central: http://www.candccentral.co.uk/ Price £136.13