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Four New Closed-Loop Liquid Coolers Versus Noctua's NH-D14

Zalman Reserator3 Max

Like the Water3.0, the name of Zalman’s Reserator3 Max can be spelled with or without a space between the primary name and its version number (as Reserator 3 Max). Also like the Water3.0, the Reserator3 Max is designed to fill the rear-panel exhaust vent of most high-performance tower cases. The similarities end there, though.

The Reserator3 Max includes only one fan, but its radiator can be installed over a cases's original 120mm exhaust fan. And rather than use a rectangular radiator, the Reserator3 follows Zalman’s iconic radial-fin design, which was made popular on its air coolers. The big change from socket-based Zalman coolers is that the heat sink’s pipes are completely filled with liquid and connected to a remote pump.

Since the radiator isn’t mounted directly to the CPU, there’s no conductive tube in its center. We instead find a hole with fan-mounting screws.

The Reserator3 Max pump housing uses a finely machined and semi-polished copper disc to assure excellent contact with CPU heat spreaders.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.