Overclocking computer parts is popular because you can squeeze out a little extra performance from each part without having to pay extra for more performance. Depending on how much you overclock air cooling may not cut it. Water cooling has sprung up to take over because it can cool better than air.
- Universal design for Intel Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Duo and AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core, AMD Athlon 64 FX
- Superior cooling performance
- Clear and durable Tube
- Flexible Installation decrease interference
- Silent Operation at only 20 dBA
The Cooler Master Aquagate S1 has a universal design that allows you to use it with either an AMD or Intel processor. The fan will fit in a standard 120 mm fan slot. That means you are limited to a larger case that has a 120 mm slot. The heat sink has a universal clamp that allows it to fit on most motherboards. The water block adapter is in the picture below and as you can see it has many holes all around it and they are used to attach it to many different kinds of motherboards.
The fan also comes with a knob for adjusting the speed. This is great for keeping the fan quiet when you don’t need it and turning up the cooling when you do. The fan when turned all the way down is very quiet, but when turned up you can really hear it turn. The fan speed varies between 800 and 2500 RPMs.
The tube that connects the water block and the radiator is thick and clear. The tube is 3/8” thick and is good enough that you don’t have to worry about leaking, while still keeping it flexible enough to bend it around in your case to move around different parts.
The Fan/Radiator is actually quite large, but it mounts easily to the back of just about any case, just make sure your case has a big enough fan opening. The radiator is made of aluminum and has a ceramic pump. The pump operates at 21 dBA which is really low and you will never hear it. The fan is another thing, it has a variable speed that also varies the noise level. At its lowest setting it runs at about 800 RPM and 20 dBA. When you crank it up it can go as high as 2500 RPM and the noise level is quite a bit higher. The pump has a life expectancy of 50,000 hours and the fan has a life of 40,000 hours. This means it should out live most computers.
The heat sink is a large copper water block and is attached to the fan with two tubes. One is used for sending water to the heat sink and one for taking it back to the fan to cool off. One side is simply the copper water block and the other is a circuit that is keeping track of the temperature of the CPU.
The reason I got this was to reduce the heat and noise that my computer puts off and possibly to open up the option for overclocking. The options are endless if it works as described.
Installing the Cooler Master Aquagate S1 is not an easy task. It is even more difficult if have to take your computer apart to do it. I had to take everything out of my case before I could attach the water block. This whole process took me several hours and you always run the risk that you could break something. Luckily, nothing bad happened during this process. If you are building a new computer it is much easier if you install the Aquagate S1 before you install everything else.
Before I installed the Aquagate S1 my computer ran at about 55 °C at idle and 59 °C after playing a game for about 10 minutes. After installing the fan the computer runs at about 44 °C at idle and 52 °C after gaming. I was hoping for much better performance given that I gave up several hours of my day to put this together and about $80 to buy it.
I am guessing that I am not getting very good performance from the Aquagate S1 because either I did not install it correctly or because the thermal grease was not very good. I will try redoing it and see if I can get better results.
Warranty and Support
The Cooler Master Aquagate S1 comes with a 1 year warranty. There is not a lot of information about what the warranty covers so be sure to contact Cooler Master if you have any questions.
While I am disappointed with the performance, I am hopeful that I can get it to work better by putting it together with better thermal grease and a better installation. It would also be very good if the installation were easier. I would like to see motherboard manufacturers come up with a standard clip that everything could attach to. This would eliminate the need to take everything apart. Also, if that doesn’t happen it would be nice if case designers could put a hole in the back of the case so I could get to the back of the CPU without taking everything apart. As always compare prices before purchasing.
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