I compared the Reserator's cooling performance with a Intel stock heatsink, an Arctic-Cooling Super Silent 4Pro L, and a Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu. These are all quiet air coolers that are decent performers and ideally are what the Reserator is replacing. The test system is a P4 2.4GHz@3.6GHz, Abit IS7, Cooler Master WaveMaster case, and 350w Enermax PSU. There are a lot of components running in this case like three hard drives which creates a pretty heated environment that certainly stresses the coolers.
Temperatures and fan speeds were recorded from Motherboard Monitor which reads the Winbond W83627HF chip (this chip on the IS7 reads/calculates the CPU temperature). For the air coolers, data was taken at 20-30 minute intervals. I tested the Reserator at three hour intervals because it takes much longer to heat up or cool down the Reserator tank by natural convection which affects CPU cooling. A combination of Prime95 and CPU Burn (burnp6.exe) was used to simulate load. Room temperature was maintained at 22 degrees Celsius.
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz @ 3.06GHz (170 FSB)
CPU Temp Idle (°C)
CPU Temp Load (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
4Pro L - Low
4Pro L - High
7000A-AlCu - Silent
7000A-AlCu - Normal
These results are not a bit surprising. Since the Reserator is not being actively cooled, naturally CPU idle temps with the Reserator remain as high as the most efficient idle cooler, the 4Pro L. When the CPU is simulating load however, the advantage to using water over air to draw heat away from the CPU becomes evident. It took a while for the CPU to max out at 53 degrees; for the first hour to two hours the temperatures sat at 51 degrees. It continued to rise, stopping at 53 degrees. Leaving the setup on overnight yielded the same temperature in the morning. At 53 degrees CPU temp under load with this setup, the Reserator performs better than equally matched (performance wise) air coolers.
The Zalman Reserator 1 is a remarkable entry into the water cooling market by Zalman. Zalman's VGA heatpipe made heads turns when it was first released, and the Reserator 1 is no different. The unit's design combines three functions of an ordinary water cooling system into one big blue tank called the Reserator. Packaged with a water block, compression fittings, hose clamps, and other goodies, the Reserator 1 becomes a full fledged water cooling kit for both new and experienced users.
The good lies with the Reserators aesthetics, quiet cooling, ease of installation, and modding potential. The big blue tank, although large, is sleek and professionally designed, and will only draw positive feedback. The quiet cooling is incredible, as the only way to tell if the unit is running is by looking at the flow indicator, putting your head close to the base of the Reserator, or feeling the tubing for water flowing. The Reserator is perfect for anyone looking to cool their CPU and or video card silently (Zalman offers a VGA block that can be added to the Reserator's loop). Installing the kit was a synch and in terms of modding potential, it is possible to remove the pump at the base of the Reserator and add your own outside of the tower. You could even go as far as using the Reserator as a pretty reservoir and adding both a pump and actively cooled radiator to the loop.
The bad includes a lack of mobility that other water cooling kits like the Koolance Exos offer. Additionally, the Reserator does not cool as well as other kits (though it is certainly not the worst either).
Ease of installation
Lack of mobility
Mediocre performance for a water cooler
A high performance heatsink and fan will cool better than the Reserator for much cheaper, but if you're looking for quiet computing then look no further. The Reserator is truly silent and if you are new to water cooling, the Reserator's solid design puts your mind at ease. Price engines like Pricewatch and PriceGrabber only list one vendor carrying the Reserator but there are definitely many more places where you can find the cooler like Sharka Corp, Xoxide, and Case Cooler.
Dev Hardware would like to thank you for joining us here today for the review of the Zalman Reserator 1. Shoot me an email if you have any questions, otherwise head back to the front-page for some other news and reviews or checkout the forums!
DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.
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