Reserator XT WC newbie jump start

xbeemer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Messages
146
Although it's gotten good reviews, many here don't seem to like the Zalman Reserator XT much. But for a newbie to WC, it's a great jump start. At about $450 for the Reserator plus the GPU block, it costs more than the component and semi kits usually discussed here But it's all in one, easy to install, whisper quite, and it works well enough if you aren't going for the bleeding edge. I'm cooling an 8800GTX and QX6700 OC'd 20% from 2.66GHz to 3.2GHz. Running Prime95, core temps stay in the 60s, 40s on normal load. Same thing on air ran 85, too hot to use.

So I'm happy I got it and probably wouldn't have attempted WC otherwise. Perhaps the next one will be from components. But for me, for now, the Reserator XT has been a great introduction to WC.
 

xbeemer

Limp Gawd
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Oct 27, 2004
Messages
146
450$ ???

For that much, we can get a much better custom setup. Aluminium in the reserator kill it for the wc crowd.

Sorry to be blunt but you seems to have been raped with this. The best kit for much less is http://www.petrastechshop.com/pecosliel.html ;)

Not blunt, obtuse. I stated right off that cheaper and better can be found in components and kits. The Reserator XT isn't a kit it's a complete system, easy to install and ready to use out of the box. It's not for people like you who know what's what, it's for people like me who simply would not put a $2500 system at risk with anything less than an idiot (me) proof system, at least on my first try. The amount I'd save with a kit that I'd very likely screw up amounts to less than 10% of my overall investment. Easy math from where I sit.

It's like the early days of Hi-Fi, in the '60s. Most people wouldn't go to the trouble of setting up a component system, so they would buy "stereo" sets, which sounded horrible to people who knew what you could get with a component Hi-Fi system. Then along came the quality Receivers, like the Fisher 500-C, which is about where the Reserator XT is now: not quite as good and/or as cheap as a savvy audiophile could put together from components, but still damn good - so people who liked quality audio but were not technically inclined were able to get in on the action.

So it's not for you, hotshot. It's for WC newbies like me. As the thread title says.
 

Xilikon

[H]ard|DCer of the Year 2008
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Even for n00bs, it's a risky bet since it mix aluminium and cooper and eventually, it can leak ;)

However, if you are happy and take enough precautions to avoid corrosion (use the proper fluid and drain it very often), it's fine ;)

 

Arcygenical

Will Watercool for Crack
Joined
Jun 10, 2005
Messages
24,887
Eh, I've seen much worse kits than the reserator.

I'm impressed to see that you're getting core temps in the 60s, with a CPU+GPU in the loop with the reserator.

Pics?
 

ikellensbro

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 14, 2004
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1,410
For $200 and pretty much the same level of setup as the Reserator XT, I'd quite readily recommend Swiftech's H20-220 Compact in pretty much every situation. Sure, it doesn't have the meters or flashy lights, but i$250 cheaper for something better performing that might actually teach consumers a bit about water cooling without the excruciating pain caused by doing some research.

The Reserator XT is a big improvement over the first Reserators, but it's still far behind real radiator, pump, and water block designs, and still uses aluminum, which really should not be happening in a $450 kit.
 

Deton

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Messages
118
I agreed with Ikellensbro. I perfer to go with H20-220 compact than Reserator XT.
Most water cooling users don't like aluminum but if it is anodized aluminum and with a properly coolant mixture then you don't have to worry about the corrosion. However, aluminum take longer to dissipate heat than copper.
I don't think Zalman continue using aluminum for their products if it is so bad. I bet they did their homework first before they manifacturing them. My $0.02
 

xbeemer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Messages
146
Even for n00bs, it's a risky bet since it mix aluminium and cooper and eventually, it can leak ;)

However, if you are happy and take enough precautions to avoid corrosion (use the proper fluid and drain it very often), it's fine ;)

Just a FYI to clear up the FUD: This is the 3rd generation of Zalman's Reserator line, all of which use copper and aluminum. They include a bottle of anti corrosive with the kit and tell you that you need to change it once a year. No big deal as far as I can see.

And, yes, I am very happy with this thing. Cool and quiet. Took only an afternoon to install (and I am a serious klutz), no case modifying necessary. It is expensive, but I consider it a bargain for what it delivers.
 

ikellensbro

[H]ard|Gawd
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Just a FYI to clear up the FUD: This is the 3rd generation of Zalman's Reserator line, all of which use copper and aluminum. They include a bottle of anti corrosive with the kit and tell you that you need to change it once a year. No big deal as far as I can see.
I'm not as perturbed by mixing metals as long as anti corrosive liquid is used. My issue is Zalman using aluminum components in a $450 kit, when copper would cool much better. Now the overall external housing would be somewhat impractical to make out of copper, but I highly doubt that it adds much cooling at all. The components in the Reserator XT are still easily machined out of copper, and so the most likely explanation for Zalman using aluminum is to get more profit out of selling these kits, rather than benefiting the consumer.

And, yes, I am very happy with this thing. Cool and quiet. Took only an afternoon to install (and I am a serious klutz), no case modifying necessary. It is expensive, but I consider it a bargain for what it delivers.
I would say Swiftech's H2O Compact kits might be even easier to install than the Reserator XT, provide better performance, require pretty much zero maintenance for years at a time, and still manage to cost 2-3 times less. That's why Reserators in general haven't been very popular among enthusiasts, and even more so now.
 

Xilikon

[H]ard|DCer of the Year 2008
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xbeemer, you seems to love hearing the fud from Zalman.

If you check about galvanic corrosion, did you know that aluminium will act as a sacrifical anode. When I say "sacrifical", it mean it will dissolve and it will eventually be like a swiss chess.

If the kit cost 100$, we might not be that concerned since it's cheap enough to toss it after 1-2 years but for 450$, there are better kits out there. Anyway, I won't bother with you since I expressed my opinion on it and you don't want to hear this as it's not my own computer and not my own money.

 

xbeemer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Messages
146
Well, I did quite a bit of Internet research on WC kits, including here on HardForum. It bothered me a bit that people here did not seem to have a high opinion of the Zalman products, but the many, many reviews this item has generated tells quite another story - so I chalk it up to people here being more in the enthusiast catagory, as opposed to regular users who are starting to see too much heat coming from the latest gen CPUs and GPUs, and too much noise coming from stock and aftermarket air cooling. I, for one, would be happy to not get into water cooling; I don't think it is, um, cool. It's a bother and an added expense. But that's where the higher performance computing is taking us, and I do want the performance. So I'm reporting what worked for me.

I'm not trying to "sell" Zalman, just trying to get some information out that I found helpful and thought others in a similar situation might find useful. But HardForum is overrun by fan boys who are rabid in supporting their particular pov, or in trying to impress with their superior knowledge. So I'm going to try once again to dispell some of the fan boy FUD with some basic 3rd party information, then I'll let it go and anyone interested can go see for themselves.

What you do is Google "reserator xt review" and you will get about 20 really good reviews with lots of pics, not the phoney reviews from vendors but real reviews from the independent review sites. They are overwhelmingly positive, but don't take my word for it, see for yourself.

Here are excerpts from 3 of them:

http://www.guru3d.com/article/cooling/467/

When you think about Zalman then two things will come to mind. Those being cooling and silence. The entire company philosophy has these two main features embedded into the company structure. Zalman makes reputable cooling products with a minimum amount of sound and that's just great as there is a huge market for that.

In the past we have tested a good number of items from them already. Among them the really awesome Reserator water-cooling products. Recently they released a new model of that Reserator cooler namely the Reserator XT.

The trick about this incredibly sexy product is that thanks to a low-noise fan we can now push more performance out of their water-cooling product. So here at Guru3D we figured hmm, why not test the Reserator XT with a high-end system. Obviously we took a Core 2 Duo based platform, and then decided to pick up the ZM-GWB8800 VGA waterblock cooler as well to do some seriously nasty stuff on a 8800 Ultra. The ZM-GWB8800 blocks (designed for nVidia 8800 GTX/Ultra series) cleverly cool not only the main GPU but also the other components around the graphics card, such as the memory, FET and I/O chipset. The blocks are very low profile (only 31mm high) and so won’t take up any further slots. That means they are also fully compatible with SLI systems.
http://www.virtual-hideout.net/reviews/Zalman_Reserator_XT/index.shtml

The Reserator XT is a high-end starter kit with all the necessary gear to get it up and running. The first item in the included list is the CPU water block. The CPU Water Block incorporates a pure copper base for excellent heat transfer. The Water Block Cover has been anodized to prevent corrosion. It supports Intel s Socket 775 CPUs and AMD s Socket 754/939/940/AM2 CPUs, and is designed to be light weight and easy to install. In other words, the top of the block is aluminum, while the base is pure copper for efficient heat transfer.

Next is a concentrated bottle of high quality anti-corrosion coolant. This coolant contains a high quality anti-corrosion agent for various materials including copper, aluminum, plastic, and other metals, helping to prevent corrosion due to long term operation.
http://www.tweaknews.net/reviews/zalman_reserator_xt_review/

The base is dead flat and has the highly reflective finish we've come to expect from Zalman cooling products. The plating on the base and the anodized aluminum cap should, it theory, all but eliminate galvanic action and contamination of the system, but untreated copper in the radiator necessitates the careful choice of coolant. That's why Zalman includes a bottle of their ZM-G300 additive. When mixed with distilled water, this stuff will prevent any nasty degradation of the components and facilitate good cooling and long life. The coolant contains a high quality anti-corrosion agent for various materials including copper, aluminum, plastic and other metals that prevents corrosion and has a relatively long service life.
 

Arcygenical

Will Watercool for Crack
Joined
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Messages
24,887
Look, nobody has any problem with the performance of the kit. It's the aluminum and copper mix, and the price/performance ratio.
 

Wshmaster0

2[H]4U
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Jul 11, 2007
Messages
3,505
If you've got the money to replace that after a year or two of use then go for it but a rule that most seasoned w/c'ers will tell you is that alluminum and copper do not mix.

Most reviews online only test the performance of a kit within a very controlled environment. Two they only run this setup for a little while to get the temperature readings but nowhere near the amount of time it takes for the aluminum to wear down.
 

Xilikon

[H]ard|DCer of the Year 2008
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If you've got the money to replace that after a year or two of use then go for it but a rule that most seasoned w/c'ers will tell you is that alluminum and copper do not mix.

Most reviews online only test the performance of a kit within a very controlled environment. Two they only run this setup for a little while to get the temperature readings but nowhere near the amount of time it takes for the aluminum to wear down.
And to add insult to injury, not everyone is qualified to review watercooling kits and components. It take a different mind to review a watercooling kit compared to aircooling.

 

Methadras

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Messages
6,132
Not blunt, obtuse. I stated right off that cheaper and better can be found in components and kits. The Reserator XT isn't a kit it's a complete system, easy to install and ready to use out of the box. It's not for people like you who know what's what, it's for people like me who simply would not put a $2500 system at risk with anything less than an idiot (me) proof system, at least on my first try. The amount I'd save with a kit that I'd very likely screw up amounts to less than 10% of my overall investment. Easy math from where I sit.

It's like the early days of Hi-Fi, in the '60s. Most people wouldn't go to the trouble of setting up a component system, so they would buy "stereo" sets, which sounded horrible to people who knew what you could get with a component Hi-Fi system. Then along came the quality Receivers, like the Fisher 500-C, which is about where the Reserator XT is now: not quite as good and/or as cheap as a savvy audiophile could put together from components, but still damn good - so people who liked quality audio but were not technically inclined were able to get in on the action.

So it's not for you, hotshot. It's for WC newbies like me. As the thread title says.
Look. If you use dionized water, then if you ever spring a leak and it splashes on your system, you will not have a problem of shorting anything out. WC'ing is really not that big of a deal to begin with anyway, so please don't make it out to be some kind of voodoo or something because it isn't. You could save yourself some good green and get quality parts anyway with a little patience and planning. Even if you are going to spend $2500 on a system, why would you even bother to WC at all anyway?
 

RangerSVT

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
1,989
I won't bother with you since I expressed my opinion on it and you don't want to hear this as it's not my own computer and not my own money.

You have expressed your opinion freely in this thread a shit-load of times, it's been noted, we understand your concern and are aware of the potential issues, what you're doing is being abnoxious. He has already bought the kit and installed it, is happy with the results and happy with the product, what do you want him to do at this point?....serious question
 

JustMe74

n00b
Joined
Dec 20, 2007
Messages
10
I bought one too. It works very well.. mine is cooling a QX6850, Northbridge, and 8800gtx. However, I had two goals in mind:

1). Silent PC.. I'm tired of loud fans
2). Less crap inside the case; I've set up other WC setups before and it gets crowded with all of that stuff in there. Considering how often I am inside my case doing something, I don't want a pump, reservoir, and radiator all inside the case.

The Reserator XT was the perfect fit for my needs and it's working great. Seems to cool about on par with a good air cooler, but definitely not as good as a "custom" WC system. But, I have a pretty fast PC that is almost totally silent, so I'm happy. I bought mine on Newegg last month and got a pretty good deal on it compared to the retail price.. less than $100 more than the bottom of the barrel Swiftech kit that someone mentioned above.

I think especially if someone is building a HTPC, where space inside the case is really an issue, as well as noise, this would also be a good device to use.
 

[IO]ERROR

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
160
When I 1st got into WCing I picked up a Res 1. Great product. Regardless of what people at the time told me it never let me down. I was able to OC well with it and get near silence. I've since moved on to a custom build but I still have my Zalman. It cools my sons PC.

What I don't get is why it cost so much? What does the XT have that would make it cost $450.00? I believe when I got mine is was like $279.00.
 

Xilikon

[H]ard|DCer of the Year 2008
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You have expressed your opinion freely in this thread a shit-load of times, it's been noted, we understand your concern and are aware of the potential issues, what you're doing is being abnoxious. He has already bought the kit and installed it, is happy with the results and happy with the product, what do you want him to do at this point?....serious question
Serious question warrant a serious answer : Nobody will want to sit on a bomb waiting to explode on their ass and my comments is a serious warning. The cost is also a factor against them. Those who review or use them and say it's great obviously didn't use them long enough to experience the issues. Ask yourself why the serious watercooling manufacturers started to understand those concerns and took some decisions to steer on the right direction and that include Koolance and AquaComputer who used aluminium in the past and just started to remove them in new products ??

There are better kits than this one and it's not more complicated than the reserator. My question to the owners of this crappy kit would be : Are you feeling so ashamed of making a poor purchase decision that you are willing to close the eyes on the negatives and bash the rest ? Go on http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=70 and brag about the Reserator XT then tell me after 1-2 days how they will threat you ;) It's guys like you who made the [H] watercooling forum being threaded as a bunch of idiots by the rest of the watercooling community.

I will not say this comment if the Reserator is 100$ or less but for 450$, you can get the best components available and still have some bucks left in the pocket for a pack of beer.

 

JustMe74

n00b
Joined
Dec 20, 2007
Messages
10
Serious question warrant a serious answer : Nobody will want to sit on a bomb waiting to explode on their ass and my comments is a serious warning.
True, but you're exaggerating it considerably. As long as you use anti-corrosive (included) and change it out once a year, it's not going to happen.

The cost is also a factor against them.
Maybe for you. $339 (what I paid for mine) is not a big deal.

.... include Koolance and AquaComputer who used aluminium in the past and just started to remove them in new products ??
The problem isn't so much aluminum, it's the mixing of different types of metals. But as noted, if you use anti-corrosive and you change it out, you're not likely to have a problem. There is some small risk involved with ANY watercooling setup.

There are better kits than this one and it's not more complicated than the reserator.
Better is very situational. I have WC'ing in several PC's, but for the one I just built, the Reserator XT was the perfect solution. The unit actually performs a lot better than I thought it would, in fact.

My question to the owners of this crappy kit would be : Are you feeling so ashamed of making a poor purchase decision that you are willing to close the eyes on the negatives and bash the rest ?
The only one bashing here is you. Your rude tone detracts from anything valid you might have to say.

My penis is plenty large, thanks.. I don't need to brag about it on forums.
 

xbeemer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Messages
146
[IO]ERROR;1031928987 said:
When I 1st got into WCing I picked up a Res 1. Great product. Regardless of what people at the time told me it never let me down. I was able to OC well with it and get near silence. I've since moved on to a custom build but I still have my Zalman. It cools my sons PC.

What I don't get is why it cost so much? What does the XT have that would make it cost $450.00? I believe when I got mine is was like $279.00.
I forgot how people don't bother to read all posts, or even the original post. So here it is again: the $450 was for the Reserator plus the GPU block plus shipping. Total cost. The Reserator XT alone, which includes the CPU block, was something like $350.
 

xbeemer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Messages
146
This is a follow up report, after using the Reserator XT for about 18 months.

Basically, I have bow to the folks who gave me flack over my choice of and enthusiasm for this rather expensive WC kit. It is seriously flawed. It did get me into water cooling and overclocking, and it did not, ever, leak. But the water pump is a piece of crap. I replaced it with a Swifttech pump, and now it's fine. But you guys were right, I would have been better off with the Swiftteck WC Kit, and it would have saved a lot of money as well as grief.

Here's my Newegg review:

Pros: Cools my OC Quad and GTX just fine. Very easy to set up for someone new to WC. Quiet. Looks cool.

Cons: This would be a great WC setup except for a killer design flaw that causes the pump to shut down when a bubble forms in the flow meter, which happens every week or so if you don't shut it down, more often than that if you do. To restart, you need to move the (rather heavy) unit from side to side, upside down, etc. to get the air bubble out.

Other Thoughts: This is my second unit, after an RMA from NewEgg. I had the first one nearly a year, and the 2nd one for just over a month. I RMA's the first because I thought perhaps I had a faulty pump and wanted to get it replaced before the warranty ran out, but the new replacement does exactly the same thing. This is clearly a faulty design. Not recommended for anyone.
 
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