Watercooling has long been a favorite means of cooling of many a hardcore overclocker. A lot of enthusiasts has delve into this form of cooling “technology” long before they were thought of as a means of cooling a computer processor. It used to be the trademark of the elite supercooling/overclocking geek from a time not so long ago. For some during that time it was just a pastime, for most it was a habit!
Now times has changed. Slowly but surely, watercooling is becoming somewhat of a regular choice of cooling for today’s performance seekers who wants to get the most out of their hardware. Before it was just the DIYers who gets that kick out of this. But with the emergence of different companies today that produce professionally made watercooling equipment, the gap between aircooling and watercooling is slowly shortening. More and more enthusiasts are finding this form of cooling method safer and easier to build now, thanks to these companies who provides readily available watercooling gear. A lot now feels comfortable buying fully made watercooled systems due to the exposure and success stories of many of those who have already tried it. Nowadays, it’s just a choice of whether to build or to buy your much wanter watercooling rig.
Today we will look at one company and its innovative watercooling system focused and targeted at bringing liquid cooled power systems straight to your doorsteps.
Octools presents you the world exclusive review of the IOport Maximus PC.
IOport’s Maximus series of computer systems operate suing the ioFreeze cpu cooler which allows thermal acceleration at an extreme level. The ioFreeze liquid cooled system will allow the processor to operate at room temperatures well below freezing. By now we all know that a cooler processor means a more overclockable processor. What more a frozen CPU?.
Thermal acceleration not only benefits a processor to run faster than its rated speed but also to run more stable at highly overclocked speeds. Whether your processor is overclocked or not, thermal acceleration will always be beneficial.
All Maximus PC Series all come with highly configurable motherboards to allow for the best thermal acceleration options possible. The Maximus Series consists of the Maximus Bare Bones (Intel P4 or Athlon XP), Maximus P4 and Maximus XP PCs. Each PC is custom configurable.
Being Intel P4 based, our demo unit came with an Asus P4T motherboard based on the socket 423 i850 chipset, a P4 1.8 Ghz cpu which is guarantedd to run up to 2.159 Ghz and 256Mb of Kingston RDRAM.
Present Intel P4 retail units now comes with an Asus i845 based RDR Motherboard, and an Intel P4 2 Ghz guaranteed to run up to 2.3 Ghz. The AMD XP retail units on the other hand comes with an Asus KT266A based DDR motherboard and an Athlon XP 1900+(1.6 Ghz) processor which is guaranteed to run up to 1.9 Ghz.
It didn’t come with any regarding the Maximus Cooling System. It did come though with the Asus P4T manual and some Coolermaster instructions on how to install a redundant PSU. This was quite odd as I expected to see some sort of instructions somehow. Surely it has to have some description of what the thing is and a checklist before firing the monster up. Like on close inspection, I noticed that the PSU is set for 110VAC via a switch in the back. This is a vital information for me as the electrical current we use here is 220VAC. Imagine what a disaster that would be. Okay let’s just say I flip the switch to change the PSU to 220v which you can easily do with power supplies, is there gonna be a disaster? Yes, apparently according to IOport the peltier power supply runs on 110VAC and 220VAC would most likely damage/destroy the peltier. I know this unit is initially being sold for the US market but since they are also willing to ship internationally, a warning in a form of an instruction sheet or manual would have been more appropriate. Also what if you want to upgrade something on your new cooling system, don’t you need something to guide you?
So I emailed them about it and apparently it does come with a manual which they just missed to insert together with the box as the unit they sent to me was just their demo unit. Attached with that reply is the instructions before powering up the unit which in fact was a very important piece of information.
Don’t forget that if you are stuck with anything, you’ve got the toll-free number to dial to if you don’t want to email them.
Another thing, they will be posting instructions on how to upgrade the system also soon. They expect to have them on-line early next month. However for those who don’t want the hassles of working with the cooling system, they have this support perk that if you buy a MAXIMUS system from them, they will upgrade the system for the customer at the cost of the components only. Labor is free. All the customer has to do is call them to make arrangements (get a RA# and etc…). How’s that for a perk?
Looking for the right case that can fit all the hardware and cooling component, and is still lightweight enough to house the Maximus PC was hard. IOport decided wisely to go for the CoolerMaster ATC 110 server model as the case of choice to house their cooling system. It is an all aluminum case that boasts beauty and performance to anyone’s eyes. It utilizes CoolerMaster’s ATCS technology or Active Thermal Convection System which effectively complements their liquid cooled system.
With this unit, we only need to add a few things to make it work. A video card, hard drive, floppy drive and a cdrom drive is all that’s needed to get the “monster” up and running. The cdrom drive and the graphics card was a breeze. The floppy drive was okay but since I placed the floppy drive where the neon light’s mounting screw is, the neon light cannot be screwed anymore to that point. Good thing, IOport has already thought of this and placed a velcro there as backup in case you want to mount it on that area. The hardest part was installing the hard drive in the 3.5″ bay. Because of the tubings, I found it a bit hard to squeeze that hard drive to its place as I don’t want to force it or bend the tubings too much. In the end, I was able to get it there thru patience and determination. hehe. Of course if you use the 5.25″ bay it will pose no problem at all. BTW I also used a 220VAC to 110VAC transformer for the obvious reason. Other than that, since everything is already there, installation is no big sweat.
The Maximus PC is quite noisy that it has a high output Delta 80mm fan cooling the radiator. The other six fan’s noise is masked by the noise created by the Delta. IOport was able to save on space by using this little screamer sacrificing a bit of decibels. The noise is somewhat like a case with a 60mm Delta running on a cpu heatsink. The noise though is quite bearable compared to it. But it is not quiet, that I can say.
With the guaranteed speed running rock solid, I wanted to know if I could push the system some more. A change in FSB and I found myself overclocking it to 122 FSB making the present overclocked speed to 2.2 Ghz. Ran everything rock solid at this speed too. A further bump in FSB to 125mhz, which is the next fsb setting after 122mhz, showed errors in benchmarking. The system was quite unstable when running extensive programs at this point. I guess I have hit this particular processor’s peak. Not bad though. Not bad at all.
So how was our IOport experience? It was cool to the MAX-imus! This is one well designed and laid out watercooling rig. All parts were meticulously chosen and tested for maximum cooling performance. Thermal acceleration well below freezing was attained even at full load. Once running there is no stopping the Maximus.
The IOport Maximus is one performance booster. The choice of cooling components has majorly contributed to the ability of this liquid cooled system to reach subzero temperatures. That choice comes at a price though. IOport’s quest to use the best watercooling parts money can buy has made the Maximus an expensive liquid cooled system. But hey, IOport’s Maximus PC is made for power users who wants extreme cooling paired with ultimate performance and perfect looks. This P4 barebones alone including an Asus P4T motherboard and P4 2Ghz alone costs US$1749. Now that may sound excessive but a breakdown of all the parts, reveals that the price is well accounted for. After all, the Maximus PC could easily be anyone’s dream PC. For those who can afford it and don’t want the hassles of building their own liquid cooled system, the Maximus PC will be one of your top option. With all the support, service and guarantees IOport offers, you’ll be rest assured that your Maximus PC will always work and will last you though time and a lot of upgrades. For the DIYers who wants to incorporate IOport’s ioFreeze cpu cooler to their present rig, don’t despair as IOport has also got them in kits.
Overall, the Maximus PC can be summed up as extreme cooling, performance and looks rolled into one at a price. If you want a sureball supercooling machine, then we highly recommend IOport’s range of Maximus PC for you.
It was fun playing with the MAXIMUS for during the whole week that it was here in our test labs, we’ve let it to run continously without experiencing any problems. NO crashes, no cooling system failure and no condensation. A warning device though for cooling system failure is needed in my point of view. You don’t want that expensive stuff go up in smoke, would you? I’m pretty sure that this recommendation will be highly welcomed by the IOport crew. Aside from that and the bit of noise the Delta produces, the MAXIMUS is near perfect.
There’s no way you cannot wow anyone with this shiny supercooling monster. It just breathes of class and power. I can safely say that it is one Ferrari of a watercooling system.