Gigabyte 3D Mercury Case - Get Into Liquid - Cooling System Closeup and Full Specs

Article Index
Gigabyte 3D Mercury Case - Get Into Liquid
3D Mercury - It is What is Inside That Cools!
Cooling System Closeup and Full Specs
Installation - Getting Started With The Merc
Installation - Waterblock, Hardware and More!
3D Merc. - Add Water, Test Setup and Info.
3D Mercury - Q6600 Overclocking and Conclusion

Cooling System Close-up:

There are two main reasons to switch to liquid cooling a computer.  First, you want a quieter solution to cool your hardware rather than louder, high performance air coolers.  Second, you want better cooling capability that air cooling can provide.  This can be for several reasons.  Your hardware or environment is too hot for standard or high-performance coolers, or you are a overclocker/enthusiast who wants his (or her) gear as cool as possible.  The third reason to watercool is simply for the l33t factor.  Not everyone has liquid coursing through their system and it still has a "wow" factor to many people.  Whatever the reason, there are thousands of combinations of radiators, pumps, water blocks, and tubing.  The hardcore enthusiast will research each component and put together a system that costs hundreds of dollar for bleeding edge cooling performance.  In many cases, a custom kit could cost upwards of $400 - without a case.

 Cooling System First Look
Cooling System First Look

We had to see what was under the hood of the 3D Mercury, so we took it apart to see what kind of components Gigabyte put together to make this system work.  It is not an extreme performance cooling system by all means, but it has some pretty neat features as you can see below.

 Cooling System Flow Meter
Cooling System Flow Meter
Cooling System Front I/O
Cooling System Front I/O
 Cooling System Custom Hoses
Cooling System Custom Hoses

 

You can see the small hose coming from the rear of the flow-meter in the picture above on the left.  This line runs off a "T" and has a wire wrap to prevent kinking.  The noteworthy feature of the "T"'d in flow meter is that all of the coolant doesn't have to pass through this.  The Zalman Reserator 1 & Reserator 2 have an in-line flow meter that all coolant must pass through.  The Zalman method causes extra restriction in the lines and reduces the L/h flow of the coolant.  The picture in the middle shows the wiring that hooks to the front I/O.  These wires are responsible for Firewire, 4 USB2.0 ports, Front Audio as well as HDD and Power LEDs and finally the power and reset switches.  Where possible, Gigabyte has wrapped the vinyl hoses with a wire wrap to prevent kinking, but in certain areas the hose has a sharper bend and they have opted to use custom fit rubber hoses instead of vinyl and wire reinforcement or plastic elbows.  These custom hoses add more cost to the system, but make for a much tidier, professional finish.

Below we take a look at the 120mm radiator, fans, and the pump.

 Cooling System Rad & Fan
Cooling System Rad & Fan
 Cooling System Tiny Pump
Cooling System Tiny Pump
 Front I/O With Plugs
Front I/O With Plugs

 

The radiator is aluminum and has a good sized plenum chamber on each side of the fins.  It is cooled by two 120mm fans that are controlled by a rheostat on the front I/O panel.  These fans have a set operating range of 1000rpm to 2600rpm.  At 1000-1400rpm they are inaudible, but once you get over 1600rpm they add a fair bit of noise to the system.  At full speed, they are loud and won't likely be used at this mode unless you were wearing a headset.

You can see in the middle picture that the pump is very small.  I remember back in the Eheim pump days, the pumps were massive and generated enough EMI that they couldn't be put too close to a CRT monitor.  This pump is a DC pump that is rated at 400L/hour and operates silently.  I can't hear it with the radiator fans turned to their lowest setting and all other fans off.

As you can see above (right), the Front I/O panel consists of power and reset switches as well as HDD and Power LEDs.  The fan control is also located at the top front of the case for easy access.  You'll notice the flow meter right in the middle.  This is backlit and looks very nice when in operation.  The USB and Firewire ports all include plugs to keep dust out, but these plugs could be easily lost.  If you don't plan on using your front I/O very often, I'd recommend using the plugs, otherwise just leave them in your handy-dandy accessory caddy!

 

Case Specs:

These specs are copied from the product page over at Gigabyte

  • Extended body for larger space
  • High-end brushed aluminum panel and body
  • Multi-functional window(steel mesh-vent; acrylic-transparent)
  • Enhanced strength rear plate with nickel coating
  • Dual security locks(front and side panel), protect value system hardware
  • Build-in liquid cooling system include pump, radiator, tank set, CPU waterblock
    (2x VGA & Northbridge waterblock are optional)
  • Perfect air convention provides best cooling performance, and silent environment
  • Build-in one LED illumined and one fan speed controlled silent intake fans
  • Build-in two LED illumined silent exhaust fans


We've got some more specs and features from their product brief that are worth mentioning also.

  • High-end, stylish Design
  • Build-in all new design and pre-installed high performance water cooling system
  • Extended body with extra space
  • Metallic Aluminum 3D front panel
  • Integrated thermal solution
  • GIGABYTE patent pending, build-in water flow meter, water level and multi-water valves
  • Easy Service, Refill water from top of the case, Trouble Free
  • Solid modularized Aluminum housing
  • Hassle-Free assembly
  • Anti-vibration and silent solution
  • Integrated cable management
  • Multi-functional side panel window
  • RoHS ready

 

Cooling System Specs:

  • GBT Value for easy upgrade and service
  • Automotive grade radiator with dual 12cm fans
  • Long life 400L/hr silent pump
  • 600ml one piece tank with low-water protection
  • Fill coolant from top of the chassis, simply by just remove the water tank cap
  • Fan Speed controller
  • Copper CPU water block with MOSFET cooling fan
  • Flow indicator with Blue LED backlight
  • Water Level window with Blue LED backlight


On the next page we'll take a look at installation.