|Cooler Master Aquagate Mini R80 Water Cooler
The Cooler Master Aquagate Mini R80 offers a complete kit to get anyone up and running with a basic water cooling system. And by anyone I am referring to both the universal nature of the system being able to accommodate just about an CPU, and the general simplicity of the kit making it possible for just about anyone to feel confident installing it.
Although the installation was fairly easy, it could have been a bit simpler, in my opinion. The custom motherboard mounting system may offer greater security and is what allows it to accommodate so many CPUs, but it also adds the most time consuming steps to the installation. Removing a motherboard isn't particularly quick or enjoyable, and for something with the overall simplicity of the Aquagate Mini R80, the effort seems a bit out of place.
Once installed, the cooling performance makes the installation effort worth while. It was able to provide temperatures in line with a well respected air cooler, although it did create more noise in the process. Replacing the radiator fan provided is highly recommended as it is possible to maintain the same temperatures at a mere fraction of the noise output. The system as a whole produces a bit more noise than standard air cooling with a quiet 120mm fan, but ditching the radiator's fan makes things much more comparable.
For those with a system capable of accepting it, the Aquagate Mini is also available with a 120mm fan/radiator. One can only assume that the noise output would be less, and perhaps the cooling performance is improved as well.
The Cooler Master Aquagate Mini R80 sells for $75 and up, which is quite competitive with many of the kits in the same general class as this. The 120mm version is available for $81 and up, which makes it almost a no-brainer to choose, if your case can accommodate it.
Although other coolers may be similar to the Aquagate Mini R80, one thing regarding this and all Cooler Master products that may not apply to other brands is that the quality is top notch. The Aquagate Mini may not be the flashiest or most attractive CPU water cooler, but it gets the job done nicely with its industrial looks.
Given the performance and quality components, I award the Cooler Master Aquagate Mini R80 CPU water cooler a final rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Final Rating (3.5 out of 5 stars):
• Solid cooling performance
• Fairly easy way to get introduced to water cooling
• Competitively priced
• Universal mounting system even includes Xeons
• Waterblock does not cover entire AMD Athlon-64 CPU surface
• Custom motherboard mount detracts from the simplicity of this kit
• Tubing may be too short for some installations
• Tubing may interfere with components around pump
• Must be uninstalled to refill cooling fluid
• Included fan can be extremely loud
Special thanks to ClubIT.com for providing the Cooler Master Aquagate Mini R80 CPU water cooler to BigBruin.Com for review!
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