A Closer Look
The Cooler Master Aquagate Max is intended for use in a Cooler Master Cosmos full tower. But a quick look at the system shows that it should easily be adapted for use with most any rig, even a midtower, using the radiator on top of the case rather than internally.
The main unit takes up a pair of 5 1/4″ bays, and contains the reservoir, pump, and electronics. There are two green-tinted observation windows, the larger to see the coolant level, and the smaller exposes a flow indicator.
The reservoir holds 340ml of coolant. I would like to have seen it hold at least 500ml, but the twin-bay height gives a lot of limitation. The pump’s capacity is 450L/hr, which should allow for adding another waterblock or two to your loop.
The Aquagate Max uses compression fittings throughout. Having messed around with pneumatic and low pressure hydraulic stuff for most of my life, I’ll admit that I don’t care that much for compression fittings, preferring barbed fittings and hose clamps. But the compression fittings do give a very clean look to this system. The caps do feel a little flimsy, but seem to be designed well, they fit very tightly over the hoses, and the hoses fit very tightly over the fittings. More on that later.
The radiator is nice and big, which I feel is the real plus to this system. It sports a pair of 120mm fans.
It is made of aluminum rather than copper, which cuts down on the cost and weight, but does lower the heat transfer capability. Making the radiator out of aluminum also adds to the possibility of galvanic corrosion if you add unplated copper waterblocks to your loop. Galvanic corrosion can occur when unlike metals come in contact with each other. This can be greatly limited by using proper cooling additives and distilled water, and changing the coolant solution occasionally.
The design of the radiator allows for using it in other applications rather than only a CM Cosmos case. The offsets seem to raise it high enough from the surface to be used as legs, with only a small amount of airflow restriction. The large number of threaded holes also seem to allow for multiple applications.
The waterblock is small and compact. The base is nickel-plated copper, plated to prevent galvanic corrosion. I opted not to disassemble the waterblock to prevent leakage, but inside there are a number of fins soldered to the base rather than channels cut into it, I assume to also lower the cost. The base is shiny but not lapped.
Included with the Aquagate Max is hardware for installation on Intel LGA 775 and AMD Socket AM2+/AM2/939/754. At this time Intel Socket 1366 is not supported. The system comes with a pair of sensors to monitor inlet and outlet temps. Also included is a bottle of coolant, which is anti-freeze, anti-rust, anti-corrosive, anti-evaporative, and UV reactive.
Enough 3/8″ clear PCV tubing is included for mounting the radiator externally.