Zalman Reserator 3 Max Dual Liquid CPU Cooler Review

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Sometimes you need to think outside the box. If we didn’t, invention would stagnate altogether. When you look at the biggest advances in technology, it is typically done by a device that no one assumed would work at all at first glance. We all fall victim to expecting certain items to look a certain way, so when a new technology is presented to reach a common end that gets there in a completely different way, it is often initially scoffed at. Take the poor Apple 1 and it’s wooden frame as a prime example.

 Zalman Reserator 3 Max Dual Liquid CPU Cooler



So, at this point, closed loop liquid coolers have pretty much stagnated. Performance seems to have gone as far as it can go without some major design changes, with the top tier CLCs showing cookie cutter-like numbers. With the exception of the Antec 950/1250, they all also look pretty much the same. Of course, stronger pumps, moving from aluminum to copper/brass rads and better contact blocks would make a tremendous difference, as Swiftech proved with the open loop H220. But, for some strange reason….Swiftech seems to be the only manufacturer around willing to (or possibly “capable of”) produce such an item. If CLC is going to progress, it’s obvious an entirely new take on the concept is needed, and Zalman is first out of the gate with a radically new concept.

 Zalman Reserator 3 Max Dual Liquid CPU Cooler


Zalman’s Reserator 3 Max Dual is undoubtedly the most unique CLC we have seen to date, utilizing a quad radial radiator design that will remind many of their CNPS series of coolers. With this design, the Zalman Reserator 3 Max Dual actually breaks each of its two 120mm sections into two radial radiators each, with full use of copper tubes and fins coated in nickel. Running through the radiators is a fluid which has been enhanced with nanoparticles to carry and transfer heat more quickly than water alone. The block mounted pump comes in with a higher flow rate than expected on CLC coolers, rated for 90 liters per hour. The CPU block itself is a pure copper base using liquid side microfins for increased liquid contact and greater heat transfer. Dual 120mm PWM fans are premounted, bringing the overall thickness to 73mm, and are capable of speeds of 1000-2300rpm. Both the fans and pump feature blue LED lighting.