CoolIT thinks bigger...

Written by Brett Thomas

January 9, 2008 | 20:54

Tags: #canada #ces-2008 #events #graphics-cards #peltier #tec

Companies: #coolit

You may have heard of CoolIT Systems, a Canadian based cooling company that has been making some big waves recently. CoolIT focuses on self-contained water and TEC (Peltier) systems for CPU and GPU setups, and the designs have been good enough to end them a very recent contract with Alienware.

I've been in contact with the company on and off for a year now, keeping an eye on when it might be big enough to "break to the world" so-to-speak. So, needless to say, I was quite excited to sit down with the guys this year at the show. And, by writing this, I think you can tell that I think it's that time.

CoolIT's products are definitely of the enthusiast bent, with the Freezone Elite (the self-contained TEC system at right) selling for a whopping $449. Then again, you have to look at what the Freezone comes with - it's a self-contained system including pump, rad, block, and quiet 120mm fan. It's fully tubed, filled, and ready to go out of the box. You just bolt it through your case where you would normally attach 120mm fans on the back panel for ventilation.

It also comes with a controller board and software (the MTEC system) that allows you to set specific target temps for your system, meaning that the TEC unit won't over-cool to the point of condensation. Unless, of course, you set it that way - the settings are totally user-controlled (including a shut-down and email/SMS notice should a part of the system fail).

The company also will be offering (as of the end of this month) a dual drive bay unit that is designed to cool graphics cards in SLI. There are AMD and Nvidia plates available, and the whole set of systems (including the CPU coolers) are ESA compatible. The only problem comes from the fact that they are so self-contained as to not be truly "user serviceable" - so CoolIT will be creating an "upgrade" plan for different plate designs for GPUs (the CPU setup, due to its nature, is universal).

For a more all-in-one setup, there's the barebone Boreas, which you can connect different plates to. The bare system is $449, or it can come configured in a TJ07 case that has been specially designed by Silverstone to fit the setup ($949). The Boreas allows you to cool two graphics cards and a quad-core CPU from one unit with no problems.

Or, if you're already a water cooling fanatic, the barebone unit is set with 1/4" barbs to accept your current water-cooling components. The TECs are self-contained in the unit, so you don't need new blocks. Cooling potential may be reduced a little bit compared to a pre-built system, though, which uses several special build processes that many people ignore.

Overall, CoolIT has come a long way with its product lineup, which probably explains why the Boreas and Freezone systems will be showing up in Alienware cases this year. However, the company remains committed to its true enthusiast DIY market, and I'll be taking a list of questions and suggestions from you guys to them later this quarter in regard to the step-up programs, warranty vs. modding, and the like. Of course, you'll also be seeing reviews of the Freezone Elite, VGA bay coolers and Boreas system up on our site in the near future.

The entire system has had some great vision, and it's easy to see the little things that make a degree of difference here or there have been meticulously thought out. And, when meeting with the founders, it's easy to see why - the staff, which is comprised of a bunch of hardcore cooling and silence geeks, has had the guidance of a 25-year Intel Architecture Engineer at its disposal to help improve the design and use the best materials for the job.

For the future, the company is looking to expand into the higher-end server market. You can look below to see an entirely kitted out server case, which is designed to hot-swap servers in and out while keeping them watercooled. Even better is the control system, which is completely web-based for on-the-go server administration. The purpose is to get rid of huge, air-conditioned server rooms, where in order to cool one server that's running hot then the whole room must be made colder. With this system, each rack has its own cooling structure, allowing fast remote administration on a per-rack basis. As well, CoolIT is part of an initiative making use of CUDA and Nvidia's GPGPU with another Canadian company, showcasing a six-card system capable of unheard-of power that fits in a standard workstation.

Do you have a thought on the company's products? How about things that would help you as an enthusiast or modder want a pre-designed cooling system like this? Tell us your thoughts in our forums.

The Freezone Elite system and Dual VGA systems will be available at the start of this year.

The server rack system is a proof of concept for now, but is already being looked at by larger companies. As well, CoolIT has partnered with Tycrid to cool its six GPGPU workstation setup.

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