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Thermaltake Aquarius II Liquid Cooling Review

Former staff writer    -   December 20, 2002


Installation:



If you have a K7 based CPU then you're in luck! The installation is the easier for K7 motherboard owners, than P4 motherboard owners. P4 motherboard owners will need to do several other steps in order to install the water block. These steps include installing the "I" shaped pieces of metal on the back side of the motherboard. Since I do not have a P4 based motherboard, I will not discuss the process in detail but P4 owners will have to completely remove their motherboard from their case.




The clip is made up of three parts. One of the parts is the clip itself or referred to as the "center clip". This is the part of the clip that will be on top of your water block. The other two parts are called the side handles. They are attached along the side of your waterblock and connect to the center clip and also to your CPU socket. The side handles have many "teeth" along the side of them. This is where the center clip attaches to the handles. You can't just pick any one of these teeth to attach the center clip too. Instead, you should go by the manual and use the teeth it recommends. On one side of the clip it states that you should use the third teeth from the bottom and on the other side use the fifth teeth from the bottom.




Once you have the clip assembled you can proceed to install the water block on your CPU that already has thermal paste on it. (Remember to apply a very thin layer, don't cake it on) To install the water block on your CPU, simply place the water block on top of your CPU like shown in the picture. Place the clip on top of the water block and install the clip on the opposite end of the water outlets, first. After you've attached it, attach the other clip and you will notice that the clip places pressure against the water block so that it makes contact with the core of your CPU.



When I was installing one of the clips on this Asus motherboard, I ran in to a slight problem. I could not install the clip because it was hitting the top of my DDR memory. I had to first, remove the memory and then install the clip. If Thermaltake would make the clip slightly less longer, this problem wouldn't exist. If your CPU socket isn't positioned like the one on this motherboard, you shouldn't have this problem.




I'm really not going to be installing this cooler in a computer case because my test system sits on top of a table, and NOT in a case. However, I will show you some ways to install the pump, reservoirs, and radiator. Thermaltake has included parts to install this water cooler in an aluminum case and a steel case. The parts for steel cases are magnets, and the parts for aluminum cases are 3M double sided tape. If you have a steel case, the installation is actually a little quicker and easier. All you have to do is stick some magnets to the case, and then attach the water cooling part (radiator, reservoir, pump, ect). If you have an aluminum case, you'll need to place some double sided tape to your case, and also a flat metal bracket that will attach to the water cooling part.

For example, this is how you would install the backup reservoir. Place a couple magnets beside each other on the back corner of your computer case. Then, stick the reservoir on top of them and the installation is done. If you choose to use the backup reservoir, you'll need to install the provided PCI slot cover in the back of your computer. This slot cover has a hole in it where you can feed the water tubing out of to attach to the backup reservoir.




Here is the cooling kit, before I added water to it. I love the size of this kit, it's so small! If you don't install the back-up reservoir then you can take away two more tubes.



You'll notice that the main reservoir, which also holds the pump, doesn't have a top where you can fill it up with water. That's where the backup reservoir comes in handy, because we will use it to fill up the system with water. As you fill the backup reservoir with water, you will notice the water spreading throughout the entire system by first filling up the main reservoir. Thermaltake has made a low water line on both sides of the main reservoir. You'll want to kept he water above this line at all times. After you have filled the system with water, and it won't take anymore water then turn your computer on and the pump should start working. You did remember to plug the pump up to the motherboard, right? Lets hope so! Keep your eye on the low water line and make sure the water doesn't go below this. If it does, turn off your computer immediately and fill the reservoir with more water.




After turning the PC on, I noticed a very cool feature of the pump. It has a built in bright blue LED light! This should bring some life to your case and draw attention to it.







  1. Introduction & Specifications
  2. Closer Look
  3. Installation
  4. Testing & Conclusion
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