Zalman Reserator 1 Plus Review

Anyone who has ever looked into performance air cooling kit for their PC will have come across the name of Zalman, no two ways about it. Zalman have been around for a good few years now and ever since they released the Zalman Flower cooler with its huge wadge of copper fins, have been synonymous with noise reduction and performance. The majority of their air cooled CPU coolers are designed with silence in mind but come with the benefit of being extremely efficient to boot. Expanding their range to GPU coolers, Chipset coolers, PSU’s and even completely passive enclosures, Zalman offer an entire range of passive and fan assisted cooling products.


Zalman’s problem is that there is only so far you can go with air cooling. There’s only so much copper you can squeeze onto a CPU, GPU or chipset. So where do they go from here? Well, in 2004 Zalman introduced the Reserator1 CPU cooling kit, which basically comprised of a huge, finned aluminium reservoir filled with distilled water which was pumped round a CPU water-block. Completely silent and very efficient. Obviously not completely happy with that, they later introduced the Reserator 1 Plus which has the capacity to cool CPU, GPU and Northbridge all from the same system.

Kindly supplied by our friends at Quiet PC we will be looking round the “standard” Reserator 1 Plus as well as the optional ZM-RF1 fan assembly for those of you who want that extra OOomf in your water-cooling system.


The whole set-up comes in a very large box, bigger than an ATX case box but not quite as big as a house, adorned with loads of cool images and technical specs the Reserator box is quite a thing to behold and really does grab the eye, although I somehow doubt that its the kind of thing that a shop browser would buy on impulse.Zalman have Layers

Inside we see the first polystyrene tray. This contains the 4 meters of 1/2″ silicone tube as well as the extremely well laid out instruction book. This first tray has a large noggin in the middle which can be used to lift the tray out to reveal the second layer of the Zalman cake.

Contained in this tray are the CPU and VGA coolers, the ZM-WB3 Gold CPU block and the ZM-GWB2 VGA block, a bottle of water addative to prevent corrosion of the wetted parts, a flow gauge and a PCI bracket with a couple of holes for the tubes to pass through. Removal of this tray reveals the actual reserator itself complete with cable.

Lets have a quick look at the specs of the whole assembly:

Reserator (Reservoir+Radiator+Water Pump)

– Dissipation Area : 1,274m2

– Weight : 6.5kg

– Dimensions : 150(L) x 150(W) x 592(H)mm

– Material : Anodized Pure Aluminum

– Coolant Capacity : Max. 2.5L

– Integrated Water Pump : 5 W, Qmax 300L/h

– Maximum Lift : 0.5m

CPU Water Block (ZM-WB3 Gold)

– Weight : 260g(Water Block)

– Dimensions : 60(L) X 60(W) X 20(H) mm

– Material : Pure Aluminum Cover, Gold Plated Pure Copper Base

– Compatibility : Intel Pentium 4 (Socket 775/478)

AMD Duron/Athlon/Athlon XP/Sempron (Socket 462)

AMD Sempron/AMD64 (Socket 754/939/940)

VGA Water Block (ZM-GWB2)

– Weight : 60g

– Dimensions : 63(L) X 45(W) X 20(H) mm

– Material : Anodized Pure Aluminum

– RAM Heat Sink : Pure Aluminum, 8 pieces

So now we know a little about it, lets dive in and have a closer look.