Cooler Master Aquagate Max Review

Posted: Mar 26 2008, 12:00am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 9:22am CDT, in Reviews | Computer Hardware

 

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Benchmarks

Features & Specifications
The Cooler Master Aquagate Max is capable of dissipating up to 600W of heat making it able to cool most of the hottest (literally and figuratively) processors on the market. The system is compatible with Intel LGA775 socket processors and AMD K8 and AM2 processors. The system includes an aluminum radiator that is cooled by dual 120mm fans. The fans are included and can move up to 71 cfm of air.

The system is NVIDIA ESA certified and can provide detailed information on the operation and efficiency of the Cooler Master Aquagate Max when attached to an ESA certified mainboard and other components. The kit also includes a bottle of coolant that needs to be diluted and 3M of clear tubing with a 3/8-inch inner diameter.

Installation & Use
Installing the system is not as difficult as you might expect, the most difficult aspect of the install for me was finding a place to secure the radiator inside the case. Cooler Master designed the kit with the Cosmos case in mind and if you use the cosmos case installation would be easier. In my case I was using the Cosmos S which appears to have a different bolt pattern in the top of the case than the original. This made for a bit of difficulty securing the radiator the top of the case. Eventually I was able to secure the radiator and found plenty of clearance for the radiator and fans.

If you are using a case that has the PSU at the top rather than the bottom like the Cosmos units do, you will need to do some tweaking and put in some effort finding a place to secure the radiator. The tubing comes in one continuous 3M length that you need to cut. The reservoir of the cooling system is a double e5.25-inch bay mount design. On the front of the reservoir is a window so you can easily check coolant levels and a flow indicator that allows you to tell at a glance when the pump is moving water correctly.

The reservoir has a pair of LEDs inside to illuminate the level window and the flow indicator when it’s dark in the room. The system also includes a pair of temp probes that connect inline for both sides of the liquid circuit. The fans and temp probes connect to the rear of the reservoir, which also houses the pump. The pump and other electronics for the ESA capability of the unit are powered by a single moles connector plugged into the back of the reservoir. The reservoir connects to the mainboard via a single USB adapter plugged into one of the mainboards USB header.

In total the installation, including mounting the radiator took about an hour. Once installed filling the system is done by pulling the reservoir out of the case a bit to access the gill port. Getting the air out of the system was very easy as well. Once done I fired up my computer and everything worked flawlessly. The mainboard I used with the system is the new XFX 790i Ultra which is an ESA board. This allowed me to see multiple pieces of information about the system including temperature of the liquid on the inlet and outlet side of the water circuit, fan speed, pump speed and water level.

Performance
Cooling performance was excellent. The Cooler Master Aquagate Max is cooling my Intel QX9770 processor and at idle the quad-core CPU ran at 64C. Under full load running 8 instances of wPrime the Cooler Master Aquagate Max was able to keep the cores of the CPU running between 78C and 91C. This system has enough overhead that you could overclock your CPU as well and keep it cool.

The only really bad part about this system is that Cooler Master uses simple screw on compression fittings. That means if you ever need to remove the system to change cases you will have to drain the fluid. A few bucks worth of quick connect fittings like Corsair uses in its Nautilus system would have made the Cooler Master Aquagate Max much more user friendly in that respect.

Verdict

Conclusion

Pros

  • Includes everything you need for install
  • Works well

Cons

  • Mounting the radiator can be hard
  • No quick disconnect fittings

Verdict
The Cooler Master Aquagate Max performs well and can cool even the fastest processors without fear under full load. Installation can be a bit challenging and those with small cases may want to seriously consider buying a new case if the Cooler Master Aquagate Max seems like the cooling kit for you.

8.5
10
 

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.

 

 

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cooler | review | max