Given their nature, external water-coolers have a lot of room to do things right. Zalman took full advantage of the space they had with the XT and delivered a superb external solution with excellent performance. Though slightly expensive, “you get what you pay for” rings true here.
Having built a name for themselves over the years by providing quiet cooling solutions for everyday users and enthusiasts alike, Zalman has become more and more known for their performance products and for pushing the envelope by going places not many others have gone.
That fact is evident by visiting their site and taking a look at a few of their latest products. They have a new mouse, the FPSGun that has been reviewed by various sites around the net and for the most part has been given mixed reviews. Regardless of the opinions, you have to give them credit for going the route of the unconventional. This dedication to providing us all with products that we might not see elsewhere is also exemplified by their three dimensional monitors. Rob and I played around with these at CES last year and while they might give some a headache, it’s a pretty awesome idea.
Those examples aside, the Reserator XT has taken the Reserator name and pushed it up to the next level. Keeping our system cool while keeping the noise down, the Reserator XT produced some impressive numbers that can’t be argued with. While it would have been nice to have another cooler on hand to test, like a Koolance or Asetek setup, we were surprised by the numbers and tip our hat to Zalman for engineering a spectacular cooler.
Installation and setup of the cooler was incredibly simple. From start to finish, it took just under 45 minutes to get everything hooked up and prepped for testing. Prior to going live however, we tested the loop for a complete day, running the system without power to the PC for a full 24 hours. This is absolutely mandatory as the last thing anyone wants is coolant (water) dripping onto their graphics card or motherboard.
For future Reserators, it would be nice to be able to monitor the settings of the cooler from the PC. Perhaps an ESA compliant Reserator is on the horizon but now we are getting into speculation. With the plethora of extras that can be added to the system such as chipset and VGA water blocks, Zalman definitely serves up decent competition to other water cooling system manufacturers and in the Reserator XT, hits a home run.
I am going to award the Reserator XT a rare 9 out of 10 along with our Editor’s Choice award. Although expensive, the build quality and performance of a kit like this justifies the price. You could build an efficient kit yourself for around the same price, or use the Reserator XT and enjoy simple installation and a unit that will really attract attention from your peers.
Once again, we walk away from a Zalman review impressed, and can only force ourselves to have patience to see what the company unveils next.
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