Thermaltake AquariusII

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Low noise entry level kit – Joe

SUMMARY: Very quiet, sedate performance – could be OK for low noise applications.

Kit

The good guys at UniQpc.com were nice enough to send the Thermaltake AquariusII our way to test out. This kit features a 12 volt pump, so external power connections are not required.

First Impressions

First thing I noticed was the diminutive size of the components – specifically, 5mm(1/4″) tubing, radiator sized for a 92mm fan and small waterpump. The radiator footprint measures 140 x 90 x 60mm; the pump 105 x 50 x 110mm. All told, these are not massive pieces to fit inside a case.

Included with the kit are powerful little round magnets which can be used to hold the radiator and waterpump in place. Personally, magnets in a PC make me very uncomfortable – I would use caution in handling and locating these (next to a hard drive is NOT recommended!)

There are also long springs which are used to prevent the tubing from kinking. I would not use this either, as it adds resistance to the system – this is a low flow system as is, and making it worse is not something I would do.

One of the radiator’s tubes was shipped slightly bent:

Rad

I straightened it up a bit, but it was still crimped a bit.

The waterblock is a nickel plated copper forging:

WB

At first I thought it was an aluminum top, but it was too heavy to be of composite construction. To make sure, I scratched a silvery area and found copper underneath. The base

Base

is machined flat and exposes the copper – it’s not polished and could stand some lapping – if done well.

The pump

Pump

is a 12 volt unit with an integral reservoir. It has four inlet nipples – two for filling and intake/outake. In addition, there are two little white balls so you can see the water level better. The pump also lights up when powered:

Lit

Mounts are included for P4 and Socket A:

Mounts

You can either use the four holes in the motherboard for either P4 or Socket A, or for Socket A, clips which engage the socket’s center lugs. Motherboard removal is required when using the motherboard’s holes to install the mounts.

There are enough tubing clamps and other accessories, installation of which is well detailed in the instruction manual (fairly clear and complete.)

Finally, there is a fill tank that looks like a perfume bottle:

Res

Setting up the kit is very easy – it should not take more than an hour to unpack, read the directions and get it running. Take your time to check for leaks – run at least 6 hours (overnight better) before going live.
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Performance Testing

I tested the AquariusII using the Die Simulator with the Socket A clip. The mount is very secure and stiff – good for die contact.

Test Results

Kit

Die Temp

Ambient Temp

Delta

C/W

AquariusII, 74.5 watts

47.0 C

20.2 C

26.8

0.36

Die Simulator results place the AquariusII Kit in the lower rank of CPU cooling solutions (Heatsink Ranking), not surprising given its small radiator, low flow pump and 5mm tubing.

Performance is about where I expected – not a barn burner by any means and consistent with its smallish tubing, pump and radiator. I measured fan noise using a Radio Shack sound meter 8″ from the fan’s intake, and could not get a reading – it’s very low noise (2285 rpm).

CONCLUSIONS

While not overwhelming performance by any means, it is very quiet and easy to install. If you’re just looking to quiet things down and not pushing things too hard, this can do the job, although it competes head-on with low noise aircooled heatsinks.

Thanks again to UniQpc.com for sending this our way.

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