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CoolerMaster Aquagate Water Cooler ReviewAuthor: Dennis Garcia
Published: Friday, August 27, 2004
Watercooling has really started to catch on as a suitable replacement for heavy and loud heatsinks. The only problem is that your typical DIY watercooling kit is still rather large and poses the complex problem of "how do I install this thing?" Knowing this, many companies have started to come up with all-in-one cooling solutions. These products usually consist of an external cooling box that contains the pump and radiator. Once the waterblock is installed you have a permanent external fixture attached to your system -- and that really hinders the system's mobility.
Cooler Master has come up with a pretty good solution to this problem with the introduction of a little item called the Aquagate. The Aquagate is a completely self-contained watercooling unit that can easily be mounted in a variety of locations, thus providing ease of use and adequate system performance.
The Aquagate consists of a double height aluminum box that houses the major components required for watercooling (pump, radiator, and reservoir). A handy multi-purpose LED display is located on the front for monitoring your system performance and configuring how the Aquagate runs.
Depth-wise, the Aquagate is no longer than your standard Cdrom drive, so there should be no installation issues when used in a standard computer case.
The waterblock is one of the most important parts in a watercooling system, with its sole purpose being the transfer of heat from the heat source (in this case the CPU) to the water. Cooler Master has decided on a micro-fin design using a simple two-barb configuration. This isn't one of the more efficient designs, but a certain balance is required when taking the other components into consideration.
Installation of the Aquagate is very flexible, it can be installed in two empty 5.25 drive bays, an extra power supply bay (using the included mounting bracket), or can simply reside outside the case. The Aquagate comes with CPU mounting hardware for all of the current processor types. Athlon64 and Pentium 478 are fairly straightforward, although care should be taken on Athlon XP and Pentium III systems, since the retention clip provides no lateral support. I suggest the use of a processor shim.