Opinions on the new Zalman LQ water coolers?

Discussion in 'Cases & Cooling' started by QueBert, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. QueBert

    QueBert Lifer

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    They just came out and I was unable to find a review but since NE had them on sale today + a $20 rebate from Zalman I jumped on it. I know a water kit would be much better, but as far as all in one units go it looks pretty interesting to me. It doesn't have the USB connection of the new Corsair Hydro's or the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro. But as far as I can tell all that does for them is allow you to install software to monitor and adjust the fan speeds. This comes with a PWM fan so it should be pretty much the same as the USB no? Since there are no reviews on this, when I get it I'll post my temps. I don't have any cooler to test against it as my heatsink's just the stock Intel one.
     
  2. kleinkinstein

    kleinkinstein Senior member

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    They do look all bad ass and such especially with the blue led on the pump but neither of the three is going to provide anything more than a 212 EVO. Should I also mention that the economics just don't work. $100/$80AR or $30? Hmmm. Keep the $70/$50 in your pocket, free up a fan header or two, and drop the cash on an(other) ssd instead.
     
  3. QueBert

    QueBert Lifer

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    I know from a price/performance ratio these aren't a good deal. But I will get maybe 3-4c difference in cooling. And I have an iTX MB with the CPU socket really close to my video card, so I don't have a ton of space. Also I have the memory with the tallest heat spreaders I've ever seein lol. I decided to go with this because it should match the best air coolers like the Phantek, but not take up much space around my cpu socket.

    On another note, does anyone know what type of TIM Zalman uses? I just assumed I should get some AS5 or something, but reading up I found out Corsair uses top quality thermal paste on the Hydro's. So maybe the stock stuff here will be suffice.
     
  4. kleinkinstein

    kleinkinstein Senior member

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    I would expect their own. But since it's JAAR (Just Another Asetek Radiator) who knows. Probably some ubercheap grease to buoy margins as much as possible.
     
  5. crazymonkeyzero

    crazymonkeyzero Senior member

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    Personally I think you should go with corsair (h60,80,or 100)if you are going to go with closed loop liquid cooling of any kind. They are the only manufacturer (of the now many) that back their product by a 5 year warranty. So if something goes wrong and leaks, they will replace your entire system, given you haven't tampered with or tried modding the pump or tubing. (hardly any performance difference between the two, but I always like to have a peace of mind.)

    The old h60 is currently on sale for a measly $40 after rebate. Frankly It's a steal! Use the money you save to buy another fan to run push pull, and you're good to go. All corsair kits come pre-applied with shin-etsu thermal paste, which is good stuff (better than AS5, which is a relatively old standard.) However corsair has just released their i-series which you may want to consider for bit more.
     
    #5 crazymonkeyzero, Nov 15, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  6. QueBert

    QueBert Lifer

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    I know it's just one person's experiences but there's a huge thread on Overclocking.net's forums from a guy who had his Corsair Hydro leak. Corsair was sh*tty to say the least about doing anything for him. And it took him a long time to get them to do anything. Reading thru that thread it was really horrific how he was treated by them. With that said I was still considering the new h80i, but NE doesn't have it yet and I'm too impatient to wait :D
     
  7. Corporate Thug

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    was this the same one where the entire computer was replaced? or is this different?

    From what I've read, I think the thermaltake extreme 2.0 is the best performer for closed loops by a small margin but I can't find warranty info for the life of me. It was $80 a couple of weeks ago as a shell shocker...I was REALLY REALLY close to pulling the trigger...probably should have.
     
  8. kleinkinstein

    kleinkinstein Senior member

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    ^ The Pro is now $60 but the only honest review just stops short of saying it sucks! No wonder prices via MIR are falling fast. Looks like Thermal(needs a 3rd)take at AIO's. For $40 the Macho is the best money can buy.
     
  9. Corporate Thug

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    Never looked at the pro but the extreme is getting great reviews.
     
  10. QueBert

    QueBert Lifer

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    Man this sucker is QUIET, I've never heard a pump in a pc so I'm not sure what's normal noise wise. But with my side panel off and me about 2 feet away from it I'm not hearing anything. My BIOS is saying 29c for cpu temp, Speedfan's saying 58c, not sure which to believe. But since I installed it correctly I have to guess something's up with Speedfan.
     
  11. kleinkinstein

    kleinkinstein Senior member

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    Nice and quiet, huh? Now you have my attention. Give us a first hand review of the thing, and post some in rig pics too.

    My bad. I must be slow today. I read the Extreme, but processed it as the Pro. :\
     
    #11 kleinkinstein, Nov 15, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  12. QueBert

    QueBert Lifer

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    I should have said it's just the pump that's quiet, the fan not so much so. At 100% it's pretty damn loud, I set it at 68% in speedfan and could still hear it. @ 58% right now and I just barely notice it. I wouldn't say it's loud but it's definitely audible. I'm going to swap the fan out out with a Noisebreaker or Cougar next week.
     
  13. kleinkinstein

    kleinkinstein Senior member

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    Hey, if you want a Cougar, I have almost a dozen of them...both 120 and 140 brand new, never opened or used. Paypal me $7/each and I'll send it to you for free.

    This and this.
     
  14. JEDIYoda

    JEDIYoda Lifer

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    Literally any TIM will work adequately.
    AS5 is way over rated......almost all companies that ship any sort of cooling device that uses TIM has good TIM. No need to spend rxtra money for what exactly???
     
  15. QueBert

    QueBert Lifer

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    had it a week, figured a mini review since I'm bored and have nothing else to do.



    [​IMG]

    It clearly states "ultra quiet" on the fan, wtf? This is my 2nd Zalman product, the other was ages ago and I don't remember much about it. At 100% this sucker is super loud, I'm not sure what rpm they used to think that statement should fly. At 65% it was mostly quiet, but really that makes having a cooler like this kind of pointless imho.


    [​IMG]

    I was mulling over which fan to replace the "ultra quiet" stock one with. I ended up going with a Cougar PWM one. It looks much nicer if you ask me, but most importantly it's way quieter. While I don't have uber sound equipment to measure actual DB levels, I know what my ears here and don't hear. And @ 100% the Cougar sounds to be about on par with the stock one @ 65%, it might be a hair louder, but it's very reasonable. It's definitely audiable 100%, but cranking it down in speedfan that quickly changes. 100% honestly isn't too loud for me to deal with, but I'm not as sensitive to noise as some so YMMV here. But the bottom line is there's a world of difference with both fans @ full boar.


    [​IMG]

    Don't mind the crappy camera phone pic, or the lack of wire management (working on it lol) This case is the Bitfenix Prodigy AKA a huge ITX case. It's big enough to do extra shat like water cool, but it's too small to do so comfortably. The radiator would definitely have mounted better in the top of the case, but to do so I would have had to remove the 5 1/2 bay. I know a lot of people don't, but I use my ODD almost daily so that wasnt' an option. And while I didn't try, I don't think I could add a 2nd fan for a push/pull configuration. With just 1 it's already sticking pretty far out, and almost blocking the tubing to the heatsink. I don't know if having the tubes this scrunched up is hampering the effectiveness of the cooling or not.


    [​IMG]

    pic from the other side with the video card removed. This case is a bitch to do cable management in. I think my next thing will be to buy an external 5 1/2 enclosure for my Blu-Ray drive so I can remove the bay and mount the rad at the top and do a push/pull thing.

    I tried to take a pic of my system on so I could show how the disc in the middle of the heatsink glows, but the pics all came out crappy as hell. It glows blue, not too bright imho, and I like how it looks. My case has no window so it's kind of a whatever thing to me, but it would look pretty sweet in a windowed case. About the pump, I set the fan & the VGA fan to 0 in speedfan and I couldn't hear it running, which is a good thing.

    If I'm to believe Coretemp, my system idles at around 29-30 and hits about 40 under load. I OC'ed my 3570k to 4ghz but Windows 8's reporting stock speed. It says 4 in the BIOS though, I don't know what the hell is up with Windows 8, but I'm going to believe it's just reporting it wrong. Any one here can chime in if they know something I don't. I'm running my memory @ stock 1866 and my vcore's un-touched, or at least I didn't change it. I just used ASRock's built in OC setting. It goes up to 4.5 I might try 4.5 and Prime95 tomorrow.

    I would say this isn't a good value, it retails for $109, and while the rad is pretty thick @ 49mm, Corsair has a unit with a double rad for about the same price. I'm not sure how the thickness of a shorter rad compares to a longer thinner one *shrug* I got this for $90 with a $20 rebate, so for me it was a good deal. I know there are air coolers that cost less and cool close to as good. But space is super limited on my ITX MB so the space this free's up made it worth the money imho. If you're going to get this I would recommend getting a better fan.

    I've never had water before so I can't compare the quality of the tubing to anything else, but this is pretty thick and feels nice. It's not as flexible as I had hoped, but then again since I don't know what's what maybe this is flexible.

    1 last thing I'll comment on, the instructions it came with blow chunks. While it wasn't really hard to get installed, a few small details weren't easy for me to figure out. It comes with screws for 1056 + 2011, they're the exact same color and the only difference is the 2011's are a hair shorter. The baggies they all came in nothing was labeled. While I picked the right ones the 1st time, it was more luck than anything. It also comes with mounting equipment for AMD.
     
    #15 QueBert, Nov 24, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  16. kleinkinstein

    kleinkinstein Senior member

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    Nice honest and straight forward review. I was truly hoping you'd circle back. So, thank you. On fit, finish and aesthetics alone, I was pretty optimistic about the new Zalmansm esp. this - their flagship - the LQ-320. I, like you, find myself always searching for the perfect AIO for SFF. But I think I'll stick with $30 and the tried and true Thermalright True Spirits in p/p for all my mATX and ITX builds.

    Again thanks for the effort to report back and Happy Holidays.

    ...BTW, something is wonk with your camera. The resolution is almost horrid. If it's a Canon, try the Portrait mode. It'll make a big difference.
     
    #16 kleinkinstein, Nov 24, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  17. MrVeedo

    MrVeedo Senior member

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    hows the zalman working out so far? thinking of snagging a 320 next time they go on sale.
     
  18. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    The longer thinner one would usually be better because there would be less resistance to air moving through, plus air gets heated as it makes its way through so heat transfer will probably go down towards the back side of a thick radiator.

    How about a $30 after rebate ZALMAN LQ-310?

    Newegg currently has rebates on all Zalman AIO.
     
  19. MrVeedo

    MrVeedo Senior member

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    #19 MrVeedo, Jan 2, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  20. kleinkinstein

    kleinkinstein Senior member

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  21. Zap

    Zap Elite Member

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    I just want to point out that today is the last day to pick up a Zalman LQ-310 for $30AR.

    I missed some earlier posts in this thread.

    Can anyone point out in Corsair's warranty statement where they put in writing that they will replace your computer if their H-series cooler leaks? No? That's because they DON'T as a rule.

    You are completely wrong. "Shitty" TIM fails the "makes me feel good about using expensive TIM" test. :awe:
     
  22. kleinkinstein

    kleinkinstein Senior member

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    A LQ310 review just went up today.

     
    #22 kleinkinstein, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  23. tornadobox

    tornadobox Platinum Member

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    Hey guys,

    I ended up ordering the Zalman LQ320 from Newegg last week and it arrived last night, I was quite excited to get it installed, but ran into an immediate issue.

    The hole spacing for the fan/mounting to the case was off by a significant margin:

    [​IMG]

    (note the alignment of the screw holes on the right compared to the holes in the fan)

    I'm RMA'ing the Zalman (and actually ended up ordering a Cooler Master Seidon 120M as a replacement, currently $39.99 AR), but wanted to know if any of you who have the Zalman encountered anything like this?
     
  24. aigomorla

    aigomorla Cases&Cooling Mod<br>PC Gaming Mod<br>Elite Member
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    how can they mess up standard mounting on a standard radiator?

    This is why i dont use any cheap h2o setup.
    Just go with air, unless ur limited to the space a drive block can support.
     
  25. MrVeedo

    MrVeedo Senior member

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    wow that's messed up. sure its the rad and not the fan? mine should be here tomorrow, I will post results.