Date: August 10th, 2006
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zalman USA
<--CLICK FOR DEALS ON A WATER/LIQUID COOLING SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES
<--CLICK FOR DEALS ON A WATER/LIQUID COOLING SYSTEM IN CANADA
For around $230 US you'll get a big box with lots of goodies inside.
The Reserator came double-boxed and, as you can see from the dimensions printed on the outer carton, I'm not exaggerating about the size. Let's take a peek inside, shall we?
With the box open, you can see that all the components and accessories are nestled safely in Styrofoam trays. The topmost tray holds the manual and four meters (a little over 12 feet) of 3/8-inch blue silicone tubing. In the next tray the waterblocks and ramsinks are enclosed in retail packaging while the other accessories are stowed in plastic bags. A 500ml plastic bottle of coolant additive is also included.
In the bottom tray, we find the Reserator itself. At almost two feet tall and a shiny black finish, it's quite impressive. This kit is a complete system with everything one would need to watercool the CPU and video card. (Well, two liters of distilled water will be needed to mix with the coolant, but that's small potatos.) Zalman also makes a northbridge cooler and 140mm fan kit as options for the Reserator 1 Plus. (Stay tuned for future reviews of these products here at TweakNews!) Let's take a closer look at all this cool stuff.
PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
We'll start with the reserator. (Reserator is not really a word, but it's better than typing “reservoir/radiator” over and over again.) It's big! Almost two feet tall and six inches in diameter, the reserator holds 2.5 liters (0.66 US gallons) of fluid with room to spare. At a hefty 6.5 kilograms (over 14 pounds), it's no lightweight, either. The main body is an aluminum extrusion with 44 longitudinal fins. Each fin protrudes one inch from the body and Zalman states that this equals a whopping 1.274 square meters of surface area for heat dissipation. I'll take their word for it as that much math gives me a brain cramp. The base on which this monolithic structure rests is cast aluminum and finished in a matte black coating.
A threaded aluminum cap keeps the liquid inside the reserator and a small vent hole keeps pressures equal. Logos and specifications are etched into the top and a decorative medallion with the Zalman trademark accents the side surface of the cap. Notice the deep black, shiny finish and fin arrangement with every eleventh fin terminating in a rod-like feature.
The power cord is approximately 10 feet in length with an on/off switch located near the middle. I find this power solution less than ideal and I'll go into more detail during the installation section of this review. In the background, you can see that the ports are clearly marked and feature side locks to secure the tubing adapters and include internal valves to minimize fluid loss when breaking the connections.