120mm Water Cooler Round Up w/ Cooler Master, Scythe and Zalman

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Zalman Reserator 3 MAX

        Zalman Reserator 3 MAX box    Zalman Reserator 3 MAX Specifications:

  • CPU Compatablility
    • Intel socket 1150/1155/1156/1366/2011 
    • AMD socket AM2/AM2 + / AM3/AM3 + / FM1/FM2
  • Radiator:
    • Material: Pure Copper & Black-Nickel Plated
    • Weight: 870g
    • Dimensions: 120x145x79mm
  • Fan:
    • Dimensions: Ø120 x 25(H)mm, Blue LED
    • Speed: 1,000~2,200rpm ±10%
    • Noise Level: 18.9~36.7dBA ±10%
    • Bearing: Long Life Bearing
    • Speed Control: PWM (Pulse Width Modulation)
    • Power Connector: 4 Pin
  • Pump:
    • Base : Pure Copper
    • Dimensions: 70x85x37mm
  • Thermal Grease (ZM-STG2M): 1g

 Zalman Reserator 3 MAX

Now the Zalman Reserator 3 MAX; the most stylish unit of the round up and of any sealed loop water cooler we have looked at in the past. Zalman has put their flair and style into the Reserator 3 MAX by having the radiator barrel shaped like the CPU coolers they are known for. In doing this they have used a nontraditional radiator fan for the Reserator 3 MAX, which could be interesting getting a matching fan for a push pull setup.

 Zalman Reserator 3 MAX radiator tube configuration

The above image is from Zalmans website. It shows how the tubing is configured in the radiator. The cooling coil is one single tube that circles radiator four times. In a traditional radiator there are many narrow channels with cooling fins. With the Reserator 3 MAX only having a single large tube, will be interesting to see how it performs.

 Zalman Reserator 3 MAX back of radiator

The back of the radiator has a standard 120mm fan mounting pattern for attaching to the case. Zalman provides long screws to add a second fan or short screws to attach straight to the case. The fan wire is run through the center of the radiator, out the back and to the side. The issue I have with this is that Zalman didn’t make the wire long enough to reach a fan header on the motherboard. So a extension cable will be needed if you do not have a fan header right at the back of the board

 Zalman Reserator 3 MAX top of base

The top of the base has a nice sleek look to it. The Zalman logo on the center, with a light ring around it. The base and the radiator fan are both blue LED

 Zalman Reserator 3 MAX bottom of base

The base comes only protected by a thin sheet of plastic film, no thermal paste pre-applied. The unit we have had a small blemish near the center. I could not feel it with my finger nail, but as you can see in the above image, in the right light it was very obvious.

 Zalman Reserator 3 MAX accessories

Zalman provides mounting hardware that is similar to what they provide with their traditional air coolers. Mounts pretty much the same way as well. Universal backing plate, with AMD or Intel upper mounts. Those attach to the base with eight, yes 8, screws. Then depending on your socket there are three different sets of screws to mount the unit to the CPU. In looking at the other coolers, it’s a bit more complicated than it needs to be.

 Zalman Reserator 3 MAX installed

With the unit installed I can see now why the tubes were crossed. If they were parallel like all the other units one would be pulled closer to the fan, which is an issue with a fan without a body or grill.

 Zalman Reserator 3 MAX LED lights in the dark

If LED fans are you thing then the Zalman Reserator 3 MAX does look nice when running.


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