Innovatek: High Cooling Capacity For A Fair Price, Continued
Innovatek sent us two kits that are essentially identical, except for the different sizes of their CPU cooling elements. You also have the option to purchase one of two different heat exchangers to improve cooling efficiency. In general, these two versions consist of a CPU element (including the socket bracket), highly flexible tubes, a water pump (Eheim), a header tank and a heat exchanger, which fits into any tower case.
One of the cooler's more positive features is the fan, which revolves very slowly and is very large. This cuts down on operating noise, thus allowing the PC system to conform to strict ergonomic guidelines. Innovatec's design for the CPU bracket on the cooling element also gets a thumbs-up from us. Not only does it seat the element perfectly on the CPU surface and create a seamless contact, it effectively prevents the processor from being destroyed, as well. With this bracket, you can cinch the heck out of the screw without shattering the CPU core. Another bright spot is the header tank, which permits you to fill and drain the cooling water simply and quickly. There's no need to vent the tubing here, unlike most systems.
As if that weren't enough, the diameter of the tubes prevents any air bubbles from forming in the equipment. Included with the cooler are elbows that keep the tubes from kinking. Although we're heaping praise on the Innovatek cooler, we did also discover that the system has some weaknesses. The equipment didn't come with any useful installation instructions, which are a must for any fervent computer nut. We were faced with another conundrum when installing the water pump - we were unable to lead the plug through the case. The best solution we found was to cut off the current plug and replace it with a clamp-tite plug from our local hardware store. If you own a PC system based on an Intel (Pentium 4), you won't be able to use an Innovatek kit, since they don't have a bracket that will fit on a Socket 478 or Socket 423.