Primochill Compression Tube Reservoir Review

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If you know water cooling, then the name Primochill is familiar to you. Their Primochill Pro LRT tubing line is legendary for being one of the best types of tubing to work with in the industry. What some may not know is that they’re constantly striving to come out with new and better products for water cooling enthusiasts. We have one of those items here today to review. Well, two actually – red and clear versions of their new Primochill Compression Tube Reservoirs (CTR for short).

The reservoirs come packaged in their own round tube containers and are secured with formed foam at the top and bottom.

Reservoir Packaging

Reservoir Packaging

The brackets are on top of the reservoir on one end, as are the screws and instructions. Each reservoir comes with two brackets.

Package Opened

Package Opened

Package Opened

Package Opened

Bracket Packaging

Bracket Packaging

The bracket base is made of aluminum and the bracket that goes around the reservoir is plastic. It is installed with a plastic thumbscrew, so mind you don’t over-tighten. Like many things in water cooling (i.e. fittings on Delrin reservoir caps), not much is designed for a lot of force.

Bracket Assembled

Bracket Assembled

Now we get to the reservoir itself, and a good looking reservoir it is. Tube-style with two different ends. One of the ends has two inlets/outlets and the other has four. All hole threads are industry standard G1/4. Primochill says this is the first compression capped reservoir on the market.

Primochill CTR Red

Primochill CTR Red

Primochill CTR Red

Primochill CTR Red

Primochill CTR Red

Primochill CTR Red

There is an etched Primochill logo on either side at the bottom.

Primochill CTR Red

Primochill CTR Red

The brackets are black, so they don’t match the reservoir, but I like the contrast.

Bracket Installed

Bracket Installed

Brackets Installed

Brackets Installed

They hold just fine and don’t require a large amount of tightening to be snugly fit. You don’t need to be worried about stripping the nylon thumbscrews unless you’re just plain doing it wrong.

Bracket Rear

Bracket Rear

Primochill CTR on Brackets

Primochill CTR on Brackets

Primochill CTR on Brackets

Primochill CTR on Brackets

The reservoirs come in several different lengths – 80 mm, 120 mm (the clear one pictured below), 240 mm (the red one) and 400 mm. There are also a lot of colors to choose from – blood red and clear obviously, as well as UV blue, UV green, UV red/pink, yellow, and frosted. You can check out all the colors on their product page. Speaking of UV, Primochill also says these are the only UV reactive reservoirs on the market.

Red & Clear Primochill CTRs

Red & Clear Primochill CTRs

You’ve seen the blood red version, now check out the clear version closer up. This is the one we’ll show you installed in a system for no reason other than it fit and the red one did not.

Primochill CTR Clear

Primochill CTR Clear

Primochill CTR Clear

Primochill CTR Clear

Here are the two end caps. Note you’ll need fill plugs for these, as most people only have an inlet and an outlet in their reservoirs. While Primochill didn’t include any plugs on the two they sent us, they’ve assured me they will be including them in all future reservoir shipments.

The way the end caps are installed obviously varies. On these two, the red one has the four-hole end at the bottom, while the four-hole end was on the bottom of the clear version. They’re removable so that’s not a big deal at all.

Two Hole Cap

Two Hole Cap Red

Four Hole Cap

Four Hole Cap Red

Two Hole Cap Clear

Two Hole Cap Clear

Four Hole Cap Clear

Four Hole Cap Clear

The included instructions are thorough and tell you all you need to know. The one thing missing that I wish was there is a template for the bracket. That would have been much easier than trying to figure out where to drill the holes on my own. It’s a small thing, but that would make life a whole lot easier.

Mounting Instructions

Mounting Instructions

Cap Instructions

Cap Instructions

Removing and installing the bottom is relatively straightforward. All of the steps are below. The only difficult part is after placing the inner part of the bracket in and trying to catch it with the nylon screws. If you’re not very careful, you’ll push the inner part up into the reservoir, leading to your having to pull it apart and try again. After a couple tries, you get used to it and removing/installing the ends is a breeze.

primochill-ctr-31 primochill-ctr-32 primochill-ctr-33 primochill-ctr-34 primochill-ctr-35
primochill-ctr-36 primochill-ctr-37 primochill-ctr-38 primochill-ctr-39 primochill-ctr-40
Success!

Success!

Once installed, despite the fact that they really are compression fit, these ends are going nowhere at all. You can’t pull them off (within reason) and you can’t twist them around.

Installation in a system is straightforward, but as mentioned would have been easier if they included a template for the holes. Even so, if you can drill a few holes, you can install these reservoirs. As mentioned, the clear one got the nod in our build because there just wasn’t room for the red one.

Reservoir Installed

Reservoir Installed

Once installed in a full loop, these things look really good. They compliment a clean system very well. The red version would have fit this build even better, but after getting the clear version installed it really grew on me. Two thumbs up for installation use and appearances.

Reservoir Installed

Reservoir In Use

Full System With Primochill CTR

Full System With Primochill CTR

The compression tube reservoirs are reasonably priced right where we in this niche have grown to expect our reservoirs to be priced. The 80 mm versions are $39.95, 120 mm are $45.95, 240 mm are $52.95 and finally 400 mm are $59.95. You can also get them in low profile (which is what these are) or advanced versions, which vary the way the inlets and outlets are configured.

Additionally, with the way the caps are designed, if you’re careful Primochill mentions that you can cut them to whatever length you want. Is the one you bought too long for your application? No problem, carefully (and going slow so you don’t melt it) cut it to length and put the compression cap back on.

Primochill CTR - Compression Tube Reservoir

Primochill CTR – Compression Tube Reservoir

All in all, the Primochill Compression Tube Reservoirs are a solid offering. They have a reasonable price tag, they’re easy to use and install and they look good. That certainly sounds like the total package to us.

Overclockers_clear_approved

– Jeremy Vaughan (hokiealumnus)

RESERVOIR GIVEAWAY!

That’s right folks, you can own the red version of the Primochill CTR you see here. All you have to do is comment on this article! After seven days, we’ll put the number of posts in the comment thread (after my post of course) into Random.org. Whichever number it spits out wins the reservoir. It really is that easy!

We’re sorry, but this necessarily has to be available to US residents only.

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Discussion
  1. hokiealumnus
    The end cap is compression fit. If you look at the dissassembly / reassembly photos, you'll see the inner circle with a thick o-ring. When you tighten the external cap, it pulls the inner cap toward itself and creates a compression fit between the internal cap, reservoir wall and external cap.


    From earlier in the thread. :)
    From what I understand, each end cap is made of two pieces of plastic with an o-ring sandwiched between. And as you tighten the two pieces by screwing them together, they compress the o-ring and make a tight seal with the res. Other reservoirs' end caps usually just screw into the tube.
    As you tighten the ends it has a slope I guess and makes the fitting tight. Read that somewhere here or somewhere else.

    Marketing magic! Not a bad idea eh?
    I....don't get it. What's the "Compression" part of the Compression Tube Res? That makes me think the tube itself can contract or expand to different sizes. Is it really just an acrylic tube with custom endcaps? And then you just cut the tube yourself to whatever length you need? $40-$50 seems pretty steep for something like that. I mean, I can get a foot of clear acrylic tubing from McMaster for like $8...
    Well, seven days is up and it's time to pick the winner! I actually had to generate two random numbers because the first winner was...wait for it... me. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, congratulations to poster #7, C0mput3rG33k!

    I will PM him and give 48 hours to respond with contact information. If no response in 48 hours, I'll run the number generator again and pick someone else.

    Thanks for participating everyone!

    EDIT - PM with info received already; that was quick! We have a confirmed winner. Thanks again for entering. :)
    Certainly an intriguing idea. I am a big fan of being able to cut the ends down to size it to what you need, could be useful to maximizing the space in (or out) of a chassis. Not sure it'd replace my bay reservoir/pump combo, but maybe down the road with a bigger and badder build could be useful.