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Product : Aquagate Mini R80
Company : Cooler Master
Author : Mark 'Ratchet' Thorne
Date : March 22nd, 2005

Kit Details

The AquaGate Mini kit doesn't consist of much more than a fan, pump, and radiator all connected with two separate one foot lengths of rubber tubing. The tubing is made of a rubber-like material (Electrical Polyvinyl Chloride Tubing (EPT) to be exact) that has an inside diameter of 6.5mm and an outside diameter of 10mm and is connected to the radiator and the pump with metal spring clamps. Unfortunately the tubing is only a foot long so there's not much slack for routing. You're pretty much stuck with mounting the radiator on the rear fan exhaust in larger PC cases.

Aquagate Mini R80 kit contents
Aquagate Mini R80 kit contents
The kit comes pre-assembled with the water pipes attached to the pump and radiator and liquid already in the system. There is no bleeding of the system or any user maintenance required which is good because there isn't a bunghole anywhere to even let you do it. Thankfully, CoolerMaster does guarantee that you will not have to refill the system for two years.

Also in the kit are all the mounting brackets to support most of today's common PC platforms, a steel universal motherboard backplate, the mounting hardware you need for installing the kit, an 80mm fan with rheostat and fan grill, rubber vibration dampers, fan power adapters, a dab of thermal compound, and a pretty skimpy install manual. There's also a 9mm hex socket thrown in for attaching the backplate, which is a nice touch.

Aquagate Mini R80 Pump
More Pictures: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ]
The 9.6W pump has an 80,000 hour life cycle. It spins on a ceramic bearing at 2,500RPM and moves 45L of water per hour while generating about 20dB of noise. CoolerMaster states that it weighs 570g, but I think they must be stating the "dry" weight, without water, because by my scale it's closer to 700g. There are 2 inputs and 1 output on the pump, but one of the inputs is capped off (pic #2), making it a dual I/O design (CoolerMaster is probably planning on using the same pump for higher end kits that will use all the ports). On the base of the pump is a copper plate with a mirror finished center outset (pic #3 and #4). The plate has four tapped mounting holes which let you attach any one of five different brackets to it (pic #5, K8 bracket). The brackets, in turn, let you mount the pump to a K7, K8, Pentium 4, Pentium 4 LGA775, or Xeon processor. That's right; the pump sits directly on your CPU, there is no traditional waterblock.

The screws in the mounting bracket (shown in pic #6. They're reverse-threaded, took me awhile to figure that out. Cursed things!) pass through the mounting holes on your motherboard to meet up with a universal backplate (pic #7) and everything is secured with a set of stainless steel nuts.

Aquagate Mini R80 Radiator
More Pictures: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ]
The radiator appears to be identical in design to the one found in the original AquaGate, but has a CoolerMaster logo etched in the top of it and mounting holes tapped on both sides for the fan. It weights 175g and is about 80mm high by 120mm wide by 45mm deep. The radiator also acts as the system reservoir as well, though how much liquid it can hold is not stated in any of CoolerMaster's documents.

Aquagate Mini R80 Fan
The fan is more or less a typical 80mm fan but has a rheostat attached to it for manually adjusting the rotation speed. There’s a metal expansion bay bracket included so you can mount the rheostat externally for easy adjusting. At the slowest setting the fan generates about 24dB of noise and at its highest, about 38dB and around 53 CFM of airflow.

Aquagate Mini R80 Install Options
More Pictures: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ]
You can install the fan to either side of the radiator. This gives you a bit of flexibility for mounting the kit to your case. You can either have the fan exhaust air out through the radiator and out of your case (as in pic #1), or mount the fan between the case and radiator to push fresh air through the radiator (see pic #4). You can also of course mount the fan backwards and "pull" air through the radiator should you want to.

Because of a lack of necessary clearance around the 80mm fan opening in my case (pic #3), the only way I could mount the kit was by mounting the fan to the case with the radiator hanging off the fan (pic #4). Incidentally, the instructions CoolerMaster provides for installing the kit this way in their install "manual" are wrong (and impossible to do). The easiest approach I found to installing it this way is to attach the fan to the radiator using the short screws (pic #5) and then attach the whole thing to my case using self-tapping screws. I find it's easier to handle when it's all one unit this way rather than trying to manage the fan and radiator separately.

Aquagate Mini R80 Installed
More Pictures: [ 1 ] [ 2 ]
As you can see, mounting the radiator takes a up big chunk of space inside your case. It's not too intrusive in the Xaser III where I have it mounted, but it is possible that your motherboard/ATX12V power connectors or a tall northbridge cooler or something might be blocked or get in the way entirely (you can see that it is almost blocking my motherboard power connectors in pic #2, but I can still get at them without having to remove the radiator).

It also doesn't add much to the overall look. There's no glossy paint or anodized aluminum, no LEDs or even clear plastic tubes to see the blue (supposedly) water that's churning around inside the unit. CoolerMaster can usually be counted on for good aesthetics, but they missed the boat here completely.

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