Zalman Reserator 2 Watercooling Kit - The Reserator 2 and Test System

Article Index
Zalman Reserator 2 Watercooling Kit
The Reserator 2 and Test System
Mounting Blocks and Bleeding the System
Performance and Final Thoughts

Reserator 2:

And now for the part you've probably all skipped ahead to anyway, the Reserator 2 unit itself. After initial inspection the Reserator 2 closely resembles an actual radiator. It features a total of 50 main fins and a finned holding tank with integrated pump and flow indicator. Instead of using smooth fins like the original Reserator, the Reserator 2 has rippled fins to maximize surface area. Here are some other noteworthy specs comparing the old with the new:

Reserator 1:

  • 1.274 M²
  • 300L/Hr Pump
  • 2.5L Capacity

Reserator 2:

  • 1.5 M²
  • 300L/HR Pump
  • 1.25L Capacity

As you can see by the specs the Reserator 2 has 15% more surface area and half the coolant capacity. Zalman chose to use the same pump which works just fine. A nice feature implemented into the Reserator 2 is the "power control system that follows PC power status" feature which is a fancy way of saying "relay". A cable is run from the front of the Reserator 2 to the inside of your case where it's attached to a spare Molex connector. The Reserator 2 is plugged into the wall at all times and will power on automatically with your PC. This takes the "Oops, I forgot to turn the Reserator on!" out of the equation. Having the flow meter integrated into the Reserator allows for the implementation of a flow alarm. Should the flow meter stop turning, an alarm will sound and the Reserator 2 will shut down. The Reserator 2 also uses the same no drip quick couplers.


The most important feature of the Reserator 2 is the path of coolant flow. Instead of having a fin covered tank full of free floating coolant, the Reserator 2 has a much smaller holding tank and pumps the coolant throughout the entire available surface area. You can see from the exploded diagram, there are 5 fin packs each with 10 fins, (5 on each side) for a total of 50 fins. The new coolant path design ensures maximum heat dissipation.


A feature missing from the Reserator 2 is an easy open tank lid to check coolant level. The Reserator 1 had a rather large screw on lid that was easily removable with a twist of the wrist. The Reserator 2 uses a flat lid sealed with an o-ring secured by four Philips type screws. Of course, checking the level of the coolant is not required on a daily, or even weekly basis, but a screwdriver is now required to remove the lid.

Test System:

  • Pentium 4 3.0E @ 3.75Ghz
  • Asus P4C-800E Deluxe
  • 2 Gigs Crucial Ballistix
  • Sapphire X800 GTO
  • Audigy 2 ZS
  • 72 Gigs of WD Raptor RAID
  • Total 370 Gigs Mixed Storage
  • Plextor PX-716AL Slot Load DVD-RW

Check out installation on the next page.