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Zalman Reserator XT review

Classy cooling, but can its performance match that of the competition?

The Zalman Reserator XT: Beaten by a £30 air fan

Our Verdict

A flashy system, but the beauty is only skin deep unfortunately


  • Looks impressive
  • Easy to set up


  • Quite noisy
  • Not the most effective cooling system

This giant slab of titanium delight certainly has all the aesthetics of a top-notch water cooling sytem.

The external tank has three LED dials and the coloured coolant snakes its way into your case with the tech-cool credentials of a Japanese tailor.

The Reserator's set-up is relatively simple too - with patience and a pair of pliers the risk of leakage is minimal.

Lacklustre cooling

Where we have doubts, though, is the straightforward air cooling of the fluid. Essentially, it means that the actual cooling capability of the Zalman isn't as good as a £30 air fan, and it's not totally silent either.

Still, if you rig up the GPU block too, you can do a fair job of quieting a noisey games PC, but for high-end overclocking you'll probably need to invest in some expensive phase changing goodness. It's available from QuietPC.

Test results:

Full resource draw stress test: Prime 95: 46°C

Max load multi-core stress test: HL2 map draw: 55°C

Real-world gaming stress test: World in Conflict: 48°C

Idle recovery (1 min after stress test): Resting: 37°C