Cooler Master AquaGate Viva

January 31, 2007 | 14:17

Tags: #cpu #gpu #integrated #radiator #vpu #water

Companies: #amd #ati #cooler-master #intel #nvidia

We tested the AquaGate Viva with both ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards, of which were cooled quite differently. The mid range BFG 7900 GT OC has a standard reference air cooling solution and loud 40mm fan, but the high end Sapphire X1900XTX Toxic has a custom watercooled solution.

We were interested to see how well it compares to both types of GPUs with different heat outputs, and both types of distinct cooling solutions. It's also worth noting that the Sapphire board already had ramsinks on the memory and the BFG didn't need any, but Cooler Master don't provide any in the package, so if you are removing a heatsink from a graphics card, be aware if it the memory is cooled as well it may require additional cooling, which will mean purchasing ramsinks separately.

For CPU testing we used an Intel X6800 Core 2 Duo CPU and a quiet, but expensive Zalman CNPS9700 in comparison. Seeing as the AquaGate Viva and Zalman CNPS9700 produce a similar noise level, we were interested to see if the additional cost of the AquaGate offered a cooling advantage as well.

Cooler Master AquaGate Viva Performance
The Cooler Master AquaGate Viva offers not only a noise reduction but a massive performance advantage over the standard 7900 GT air cooling solution. You do loose the single slot form factor but gain the ability to potentially overclock further by having a larger thermal overhead.

Cooler Master AquaGate Viva Performance
The AquaGate Viva even has a performance advantage over the custom watercooling solution used by Sapphire's Toxic series. It's also quieter than the Sapphire solution, but requires more space and cabling.

Cooler Master AquaGate Viva Performance
Unfortunately we can definitely not recommend it for use on a CPU. We loaded the CPU for only a short while because at 73C we didn't want to permanently damage the chip. The cooling block got incredibly hot but the air coming from the radiator remained cool: there simply isn't enough water flow and heat transfer from such a tiny pump and cooling block. The Zalman offers a far better solution, that's easier to install and doesn't require cables and tubing to be routed everywhere.
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