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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.11.04]
Manufactured by: Zalman


The Quest Continues

It has been quite some time since our original guide on building a silent PC was published. Since then, PC's have gotten only hotter (sometimes by a substantial amount). However, new silent cooling products are constantly being released, allowing us to keep our hardware specs high, while maintaining nice, silent operation.

There is no getting around the fact that today's CPU's and video cards create an enormous amount of heat. Having a passive heatsink on each simply will not do any longer. Under load, it wouldn't take much time before the ambient temperature of the case reaches levels high enough to bake cookies in. What's the next logical step? Water cooling!

Water cooling can often be just as noisy (or noisier) than standard HSF units. Of course, the big advantage of water cooling is that the heatsink is OUTSIDE the case, and is not held by size restraints. In fact, if you had a big enough radiator on your water cooler, you might get away with not having to use a fan at all............

Enter: The Zalman Resorator 1. It's a fanless water cooler! Zalman has taken the theory of removing heat from outside of a case, dissipating it silently, and went all the way with it. This is one of those products that you would have never imagined to be created until someone finally did it.

The Reserator 1 measures in at half a meter tall, and 15cm in diameter. With 44 fins protruding from the center, it has an effective 1.274 meters2 in surface area. That is an incredible amount of surface area, and allows the Reserator 1 to be used with the fastest CPU's AND video cards available today.

The pump used is a small 5W submergable pump. It is rated at 300L per hour. Obviously it's not intended to be used in a high performance cooling system, but it serves its purpose quite well. It it not exactly what I would call 'dead silent' as it certainly makes an audible humming sound when there is little ambient sound. However, in most circumstances (such as watching TV or listening to music), it will do. Just keep in mind though that this is NOT a 0 dB system (this is very important to people looking for silent systems in their studios, etc).

There are other main components that make up the Reserator 1 kit, so let's get to the water block(s)!

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