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Pump not powerful enough to push water?

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February 3, 2012 3:12:53 PM

Hey there!

I'm having some problems setting my my WC system. I have a Zalman Reserator 1 v2 setup for my system. In my system I have one EK HF CPU block and 3 EK full-cover GPU blocks. All components are connected with 8mm/10mm tubes with compression fittings.

The first time I filled the reserator I used all 10 feet of the tube (so that I can move the reserator away from the case to a cooler place). The water just didn't fill up the tube and there were several chunks of air in the tube which could not be push out. So I drained the water, cut the tube into half length, and refilled the reserator. This time those chunks of air were gone. However the CPU block was not fully filled. The water level in the CPU block was only a bit above the inlet and outlet position. (Block installed vertically) Almost half of the block was not filled with water.

So my question is whether the pump in the reserator is powerful enough to push water through all component. Is there anything I should do the make the water flow better?

Pump Specifications:

Coolant Capacity : Max. 2.5ℓ
Integrated Water Pump : 5 W, Qmax 300 ℓ/h
Maximum Lift : 0.5 m

Thanks you for looking! :wahoo: 
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 3, 2012 3:59:19 PM

As mentioned before, the Reserator has a very weak pump and also uses aluminium, which isn't something you want if copper is also in the loop (almost all blocks are made from copper). Galvanic corrosion isn't something you want, but you also have to have the pump in order to move the water around to begin with.
February 3, 2012 4:31:23 PM

rubix_1011 said:
As mentioned before, the Reserator has a very weak pump and also uses aluminium, which isn't something you want if copper is also in the loop (almost all blocks are made from copper). Galvanic corrosion isn't something you want, but you also have to have the pump in order to move the water around to begin with.


Humm, I don't have any copper in my loop, so that should't be a problem? And the weak pump causes the components not fully filled by water?
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a c 324 K Overclocking
February 3, 2012 4:47:50 PM

You have air in your loop.

Is your block aluminum?
February 3, 2012 4:52:15 PM

rubix_1011 said:
You have air in your loop.

Is your block aluminum?


It's nickel block.

Does it also have something to do with tube length?
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 3, 2012 5:08:14 PM

Nickel is plating. I bet there is copper beneath it. Either way, nickel and aluminium can cause corrosion as well.

You have air in your loop...it has nothing else to do with it.
February 3, 2012 5:12:35 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Nickel is plating. I bet there is copper beneath it. Either way, nickel and aluminium can cause corrosion as well.

You have air in your loop...it has nothing else to do with it.


Yes it's nickel plated.
So the way to solve this problem would be switch to a more powerful pump?
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 3, 2012 6:41:38 PM

Reserator is junk, anyway. I'd toss the whole thing and start over.
February 4, 2012 3:19:04 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Reserator is junk, anyway. I'd toss the whole thing and start over.


Yea I'll start over.
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 4, 2012 4:04:31 PM

I know this might sound harsh, but it's likely the best solution for what you are working with. The Reserator has a lot of aluminum that makes direct contact with water. You can get by if you used corrosion inhibitors, but it's inevitable that corrosion would still take place in a copper+aluminum loop. Plus, it's been very well documented by several reviews that the pump is very weak and pushes a very low flow rate.

If you are happy with only replacing the pump, you'd do well for yourself to consider a DDC pump, if you did so...at least avoiding another Reserator pump would do you well.
February 4, 2012 4:15:33 PM

rubix_1011 said:
I know this might sound harsh, but it's likely the best solution for what you are working with. The Reserator has a lot of aluminum that makes direct contact with water. You can get by if you used corrosion inhibitors, but it's inevitable that corrosion would still take place in a copper+aluminum loop. Plus, it's been very well documented by several reviews that the pump is very weak and pushes a very low flow rate.

If you are happy with only replacing the pump, you'd do well for yourself to consider a DDC pump, if you did so...at least avoiding another Reserator pump would do you well.


Thank you very much for your suggestion. I'll dump the reserator.

According to your expertise, is it possible to cool my OCed i7 + 3 GTX 570 SC in one loop? What kind of radiator/pump/reservoir (or combo) would you suggest for very limited internal space (I don't mind using external ones and yes they're more preferable to me)?
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 4, 2012 7:46:15 PM

540 watts for GPUs alone, another 100+ depending on CPU OC.

I'd say a quality 360 and 240 in a loop will work fine. You could get by with less, I suppose.
February 4, 2012 7:53:07 PM

rubix_1011 said:
540 watts for GPUs alone, another 100+ depending on CPU OC.

I'd say a quality 360 and 240 in a loop will work fine. You could get by with less, I suppose.


Sorry but 360 and 240 refers to..?
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 4, 2012 7:56:34 PM

Radiator size.

120mm fan size x 1 = 120, 2 = 240, 3 = 360.

There are also 140 sized rads as well. It's just a simpler way of designating the size of the radiator based on how many of what sized fans fit on it.

February 4, 2012 8:00:29 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Radiator size.

120mm fan size x 1 = 120, 2 = 240, 3 = 360.

There are also 140 sized rads as well. It's just a simpler way of designating the size of the radiator based on how many of what sized fans fit on it.


Any suggestions on the radiator itself? (like fin density .....)
February 4, 2012 11:05:14 PM

I think we should encourage passive liquid cooling here & not stop people from going green. The problem with people saying all bad things of passive liquid cooling is that this people never really use passive liquid cooling system.
February 4, 2012 11:10:22 PM

Cheaptrick said:
I think we should encourage passive liquid cooling here & not stop people from going green. The problem with people saying all bad things of passive liquid cooling is that this people never really use passive liquid cooling system.


You mean a system like reserator?
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 5, 2012 6:59:15 PM

Passive doesn't cut it anymore...not with high powered CPUs and GPUs.
February 5, 2012 8:23:59 PM

Nah, unless you're talking Q6600. :D 

It works on some builds.
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 5, 2012 8:58:15 PM

I'm running a Q6600 @3.6.
February 5, 2012 9:34:52 PM

I'm actually joking for I know you're running Q6600 (based on what I saw on your built). It's a very old CPU. I actually still have it but it's now in my drawer.

Listen bro, I'm running Core i7 2600K. Up until about 2 months ago it's the fastest Intel CPU out there. I'm able to overclocked it to 4.8 stable with very minimal heat added. I'm using a very small 120 mm rad to cool it down. This I don't understand why so many people talking BS about no it's not possible to cool the CPU with just a single tiny rad when it's been proven time & time again that it's the contrary. CoolIt & Asetek (major manufacturers of hybrid liquid cooling products) all used 120 mm on several of their CPU cooler so saying that it's not possible is just pure BS.
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 5, 2012 10:46:05 PM

My argument wasn't on CPUs- we all know that newer CPUs run cooler due to lower TDP than older model chips. Your big heat producers are still GPUs which are kicking out 2-3x more heat (each) in watts than a CPU, even when overclocked.

Yeah those Q6600's are old CPUs, but it still runs great. In fact, I'm likely only upgrading GPUs in the next couple weeks and keeping the CPU and rest of the build. The system as a whole performs great on BF3 minus the new eye-candy, and even then, the SLI 260's still do a decent job. I just want more video goodness.
February 6, 2012 2:18:11 AM

rubix_1011 said:
My argument wasn't on CPUs- we all know that newer CPUs run cooler due to lower TDP than older model chips. Your big heat producers are still GPUs which are kicking out 2-3x more heat (each) in watts than a CPU, even when overclocked.

Yeah those Q6600's are old CPUs, but it still runs great. In fact, I'm likely only upgrading GPUs in the next couple weeks and keeping the CPU and rest of the build. The system as a whole performs great on BF3 minus the new eye-candy, and even then, the SLI 260's still do a decent job. I just want more video goodness.


Q6600 is a weak CPU. That 6 y.o. CPU is very weak by today's standard. It won't be sitting here in my drawer in I think it's still a viable CPU. The last time I used that CPU was 3 years ago. Back then it's getting weak. Also an SLI 260 can't do a decent job even at medium setting. That's another old video card you're talking about.

Talking of GPU, I'm actually cooling my dual GPU Radeon HD 4870X2 using a 140 mm rad & I got 34 c when idle & around 45 c when gaming. That 4870X2 is one of the hottest CPU out there with long use. Even hotter than the single GPU GTX 580. I can't even run (2) 4870X2 longer than an hour before when I was using an air cooled set up. So you can't say that a 120 mm rad can't cool down a video card + CPU when according to the PNY review, it can..

Here's by the way my Q6600. I used this CPU way back 2007. I know about the CPU. It doesn't produced more heat than later CPUs.
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 6, 2012 12:41:35 PM

Yes, it does produce more heat than current-gen CPUs.

The Q6600 has a stock TDP of 105 watts (stock); current i5's and i7's have a TDP of 95 watts (stock). Explain how this 'isn't hotter'.

As for my chip and SLI 260's doing a decent job- then I guess I have no idea what I am talking about...I see the performance every day I play the game. Most of my settings are on Med or High, depending on what they are. Yes, my CPU is old- it is also still running very, very well. If you'll recall, it's running at 1.2 ghz over stock. This makes a huge difference when comparing to the stock CPU.

Again, your PNY cooler review was done by someone who has absolutely no clue on how to review liquid cooling. So, go ahead and believe him if you want. If you are going to start spouting information about how wrong watercooling configurations please also do so on some other enthusiast WC forums and link here as well. Your PNY CPU+GPU cooler has been laughed at on a few threads as being completely biased and scientifically impossible. Moreover, the review didn't include anything that provides information on how the reviewer came to the conclusions he did- he had no idea how to actually test the cooler, and even a few enthusiasts mentioned his 'load testing' methods were false in how he went about them due to exploits.

You aren't a fan of charts, 'experts' and data points- this is how watercooling works. If you can provide this information to me that PROVES your PNY cooler does what magically appears to happen, I'll start to believe you. Until then, I take the reviews of that product as very misleading; especially from reviewers who have no clue in how to review liquid or water cooling products.
February 6, 2012 2:44:42 PM

Hence Anandtech no longer do benchmark comparison on older GPU like the GTX 260 I will instead post some game performance charts showing both the Radeon HD 4870X2 (dual GPU card) & the much older GTX 260 (single GPU card). The GTX 260 can't do a decent job on high setting. It will lag & lag a lot the performance suffers. The reason why I is this is I played the game before & got some lag on Radeon HD 4870X2 (a much faster GPU compared to GTX 260).













The TDP on later CPUs were actually higher...
Intel Gulftown - 130 watts TDP
Intel Yorkfield - 150 watts TDP
Intel Bloomfiled - 130 watts TDP
Intel Sandy Bridge E - 130 watts TDP

TDP varies (the higher the frequency the higher the TDP). It will heat up as you overclock the CPU. So it doesn't mean that if you have a lower stock TDP your CPU is cooler.
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 6, 2012 2:59:49 PM

None of the games I play are listed there. I'm not arguing that it isn't outdated because it is. My argument is that it still plays very well on medium to medium-high settings on BF3.

It all depends on the game and drivers. You'll notice that SLI GTX 260's do fairly well against all the cards listed in those charts above, except for a couple.

For the CPU TDP, you make a good case, but it really depends on what chip you are referencing as the extreme chips almost always have a higher TDP than their non-extreme cousins, and most current Core chips are less than or ~100W TDP. I was meaning current i5/i7 offerings as that was what the OP is running.

This thread is off topic, so while I like the debate, we should keep it focused on the OP's questions. We can debate this elsewhere on a new thread.
February 6, 2012 3:16:59 PM

rubix_1011 said:
None of the games I play are listed there. I'm not arguing that it isn't outdated because it is. My argument is that it still plays very well on medium to medium-high settings on BF3.

It all depends on the game and drivers. You'll notice that SLI GTX 260's do fairly well against all the cards listed in those charts above, except for a couple.

For the CPU TDP, you make a good case, but it really depends on what chip you are referencing as the extreme chips almost always have a higher TDP than their non-extreme cousins, and most current Core chips are less than or ~100W TDP. I was meaning current i5/i7 offerings as that was what the OP is running.

This thread is off topic, so while I like the debate, we should keep it focused on the OP's questions. We can debate this elsewhere on a new thread.


My argument with that charts is that those charts represent comparison benchmarks between the (2) vodeo cards. The GTX 260 (that you're using) & the Radeon 4870X2 (that I'm using). It clearly shows that the aging GTX 260 is slower. Hence you tried to make your point playing BF3 & running it will at high setting, I just think it's a bull hence I played the demo of that game before too (it lags even with a much faster Radeon HD 4870X2 at higher setting) & the newer Frostbite engine of that game is a GPU hungry beast. Using GTX 260 even on SLI at higher setting will cause some lags.
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 6, 2012 3:27:39 PM

The demo of the game was horrid, the actual release is much more refined. I hated the gameplay of the demo as well and was one of the reasons I didn't pick it up on release, right away.

I'm running most on medium settings, a few high settings. Majority is medium by far. I'm getting pretty good framerates, but I know I'm missing a lot of the texture details and eye candy, which is my push to go with better cards. Yes, an entire rebuild would be ideal, but I have a lot of other priorities than gaming ATM. I actually tested my buddy's 560 Ti card in my box and it ran beautifully- a very large jump in graphic detail and quality with very fluid gameplay.

February 6, 2012 10:07:32 PM

Im not sure how old this thread is but im going to comment anyways...Im having the same problem i just built a new PC & im wondering if the pump has enough balls to do the trick but what you do is take the name & model of the pump & youll notice its just a aquarium type pump so i also did some tests with the spare pump i have & im still wondering how that lil pump' pumps at all..Over all im sure you have changed the pump to an external pump like i done and thats a good move..but which pump to use you have to remember our holding take isnt a rad so you dont meed a powerfull pump like the swiftech 655 myself im using the Thermaltake P 500 and i hope i made the good choice..If not ill just find the right pump..
February 6, 2012 10:30:17 PM

douglasw said:
Im not sure how old this thread is but im going to comment anyways...Im having the same problem i just built a new PC & im wondering if the pump has enough balls to do the trick but what you do is take the name & model of the pump & youll notice its just a aquarium type pump so i also did some tests with the spare pump i have & im still wondering how that lil pump' pumps at all..Over all im sure you have changed the pump to an external pump like i done and thats a good move..but which pump to use you have to remember our holding take isnt a rad so you dont meed a powerfull pump like the swiftech 655 myself im using the Thermaltake P 500 and i hope i made the good choice..If not ill just find the right pump..


Just got the swiftech 655 today lol
February 6, 2012 11:00:49 PM

QuickShow said:
Just got the swiftech 655 today lol
LOL top of the line mate...
February 6, 2012 11:08:26 PM

Care for a nice tip...when you pull your botton cap off to pull out your pump youll notice the blue nipple well thats ur water return..what you do is add 10'' of hose on that nipple what that does it sends the warmer water to the top of the tank...if not the in and out are so close your just pumping back the warm water leaving the colder water to the top
February 6, 2012 11:24:12 PM

douglasw said:
Care for a nice tip...when you pull your botton cap off to pull out your pump youll notice the blue nipple well thats ur water return..what you do is add 10'' of hose on that nipple what that does it sends the warmer water to the top of the tank...if not the in and out are so close your just pumping back the warm water leaving the colder water to the top


Thanks for your tip but hmmm let's see why rip the bottom cap off of a brand new pump? Should I do this even for a system with external radiator and reservoir?
February 7, 2012 4:37:10 AM

To Rubix, regarding the Frostbite 2.0 used in BF3 is similar to MOH 2010 which I mainly played. I'm familiar with the game engine it does lag in BF3 but not on MOH 2010. The way DICE used the game engine was different than in MOH 2010. They've used a browser base system incorporating the game engine in it. No amount of patching can make the gake run smoothly on a slow GPU such as the GTX 260. I strongly disagree that you can run the game smoothly but I think I should end the discussion about this cuz we're going nowhere. You still gonna insist on your claim & so do I.

As for Reserator users, I do have plans on modding the passive liquid cooler. I'm thinking of adding an inner core tube in it & probably put a different kind of coolant. I was reading about dry ice & liquid nitrogen but none of those cooling agents are viable in a close set up. Maybe a car coolant or something that can be kept in a close set up without worrying about condensation or some other problems.

On the pump of Reserator, if you need to change it, the base of the Reserator is a pain in the rear to remove. This is no exaggeration. It took me a long time to remove it the Reserator sustained some damaged to the top cap as well a small scratch to the base. Zalman did replaced the top cap but with different version (Black for Reserator 1). Careful planning as well as following the suggestion made by another user on a different forum thread should be followed.
a c 324 K Overclocking
February 7, 2012 12:26:17 PM

Again, running SLI 260's and regardless of your opinion on them, they do run the game rather well on mostly medium settings. Not going to argue with you on it- I see it every time I play. Yes, they aren't as pretty as newer cards, but they work fine. If you really feel that you need proof, I can capture video with FRAPS and post it, but that really is more than I feel I need to do to validate a point.

Condensation would occur regardless of liquid used. The only real way to guard against condensation is insulating.

Again, I advise against using the Reserator as it is mainly aluminum.
February 8, 2012 6:15:01 PM

Not the pump silly...The reserator tank itself..the bottom cap with the in and out hoses connected to it..if you do replace ur pump with an external pump youll have to take the old pump out of your tank right and cap the hole were the electric wire came in with a screw on cap that was supplied with the reserator 1 v2 tank...I was just saying while you have that bottom cap off to pull off that old weak pump youll notice right beside the old pump theres a blue nipple what that is..is your return water....whats happing now your new pump is pumping water through that blue nipple and the warm water is just being sucked back into the lines without cooling first..So add 10 '' water line to that blue nipple what happens now your water return will be sent to the top of the tank leaving the cooler water to be sucked back into your system...This tip my friend makes a big difference when it comes to cooling you CPU..
!