Thermaltake Aquarius II Liquid Cooling ReviewFormer staff writer -
The Aquarius II water cooling kit comes in a very small box. The size of the box was very similar to box size that the Iceberg cooling kit came in. Once you open the small box, you will find that it comes choc full of parts and odd-n-ends. Here is an overview of what you should receive in your box. Be sure to check for each of these items, because you may not be able to complete the installation without them all. There is also a part check list in the first part of the Installation Manual.
The radiator is basically made of all copper. The pipe and fins are made of copper, but the housing is made of metal. The radiator is nicely constructed and very small (86x130x89mm) so you can install it virtually anywhere in your case. The construction and overall design is much nicer than the radiator found on the Iceberg water cooler. However, the DangerDen radiator is about two times the size of the Aquarius II radiator. The fan that is found on the Aquarius II radiator is a standard 80x80x25mm case fan that pushes about 40CFM at only 22 dBa. The fan has a 3 Pin connector so you can easily read the RPM rate of the fan from your operating system.
Pump & Reservoir
The pump comes pre-installed in the reservoir, so you don't have to worry about installing it and sealing the reservoir up so that it doesn't leak. Since this is already complete, it will shave 10mins off the installation process. The pump that comes with the Aquarius II is the smallest pump I have ever seen used in a water cooling setup. I was also very happy to find that the pump runs on 12v DC power! This means, you can plug it up to your motherboard and it will run. Unlike the Aquarius pump, my DangerDen pump AND my Iceberg 1 pump requires AC power which can only be obtained from running a wire out of your computer and plugging it in to a power outlet. Usually all good things have a drawback. In this case, most DC pumps won't pump as much water as an AC powered pump. The Aquarius 12v pump only moves about 22.5 gallons of water per hour. When you compare this to the Iceberg 1 pump that moves 150GPH and the DangerDen that moves 317GPH, it's quiet a difference.
One VERY cool feature about ThermalTakes water pump is that it has an integrated digital water flow meter! This little device, usually must be purchased separately and also installed by you, comes pre-installed and on the inside of the reservoir. A water flow meter will allow you to monitor the rate at which the water is flowing at.
This can be an excellent failsafe feature because you can have a program in windows running, such as MBM, that will detect if the pump stops pumping water and then automatically shutdown your computer to prevent damage. (If you already own a water cooling and are interested in buying one of these devices, they can be found on several cooling sites such as HighSpeedPC.com for around $35 bucks.)
Another reservoir?! Yep! Included in the Aquarius II water cooling kit you will receive not one, but two reservoirs. This reservoir is known as the "backup" reservoir as it holds extra water for when the main reservoir water evaporates. When the water slowly evaporates from the main reservoir, the backup reservoir will keep the main reservoir full. This is yet, another nice failsafe feature that is found in the TT Aquarius II. If you don't want a back up reservoir you don't have to use it. I'll discuss this later on during the Installation.
When I first saw the water block TT had included in this water cooling kit, I wasn't as impressed with it like I was about everything else. It's solid copper (with nickel plating) and from the weight, you can tell! However, the bottom of the heatsink wasn't imperfection free, but close. I noticed that some paint got on the bottom of the heatsink :/ I didn't really like that, but atleast it isn't where the CPU core will be at. The water block is a solid block of copper that doesn't have any screws in it, or any cracks where water could possibly leak out one day. Only time will tell if this water block can handle the heat we place it under.
In the kit you'll receive a clear box that is filled to the rim with screws, claps, magnets, and heatsink clips. You may not use all of these parts, so if you get your water cooling kit installed and have parts left over, don't sweat it :) You'll also receive several pieces of metal shaped like an "I". These are for P4 based motherboards, too bad we won't be using them in our installation ;)