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Review: Reactor Waterblock

by David Ross on 17 April 2000, 00:00

Tags: Reactor

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Reactor Waterblock

In recent months since we started playing with Water-cooling, I have had a lot of friends who have bought the kits from Overclockers Hideout, I also speak to Scot a lot on ICQ from there. And I have to say something: he is always planning something new and innovative. I tend to find out about these things fairly quickly. Most of the time they are just normal changes or upgrades to the products. This time it was an upgrade of beauty, power, and performance.

Recently we have seen a lot of change in the water cooling market. More people are prepared to push their system. Even at CeBIT we were seeing some water-cooled stuff, and a lot of attention to Vapochill’s. When you look at the old OverclockersHideout water block, it looks dated and 'kinda' old looking, but it isn’t. It is still a mean object.

I got this block earlier today, and I have been playing with it since. Overall it looks a lot more robust, being bigger and stronger. It even has 2 50mm fans for backup in case something should fail. The main problem that people had with the old 'Blizzard' Unit was fitting it. The unit itself is a lump of copper;] (heh sorry for being so blunt).

New Next to Old.. (Who is the daddy!)

This new one is a refined copper CNCed lump. It has interfaces with aluminium and a new mounting system. The fact is, the Ziff interface isn’t up to scratch, it isn't strong enough to apply the needed pressure to the motherboard, you need more than just a single arm across it, OCH have developed a way of using all of the clipping features on this interface. I also got the new metal cylinder from them (for holding the water) and it is a work of art too.

Currently you have to buy the block on its own. They haven't developed a package with it built-in, but I have no doubts if you contact them they will sort a deal for you on a block and a complete system. If you want anything different they will do it for you. Their main aim is service. If you wanted it wrapped in pink paper I believe that they would do it to keep the customer happy.

As I said before the setup on the unit used to be hard to put together. It was difficult keeping the stack together and making sure that the cold plate and stuff interlinked properly. It would move around and perhaps damage the core on your CPU.


With this new unit it has a new fitting system. It is very simple to use: you push down on each side (it has a slider) and clip it on to the motherboard. Don’t worry, it is easy when you are doing it. I was worried about trying it out due to the weight, but being the hardened overclocker I am, I simply put it on my Duron 900 and didn’t even worry about the CPU.

The unit itself has a main copper part, which is CNCed (worked from a solid lump in to the current configuration). It has dual Water channels, and also fans on the side for safety (should the pump fail it will cool the block as a normal heatsinks. I didn’t fit these as they didn't like my Abit KT7 motherboard (Which is in my test rig). The unit attaches to the tubing via aluminium connections.

Specs of the new Block ;-
50mm fans are "optional" and are available on this page in 10mm and 20mm thickness
Most motherboards will accept the 10mm fans and some may accept the 20mm fans.
Overall width of the reactor with dual 50x10mm fans is 72mm(7.2cm)
Overall width with of reactor is 92mm(9.2cm) with dual 50x20mm fans.
Overall height of the reactor without the fittings is 55mm(5.5cm)
Height overall with fittings is 80mm(8cm)
Easy installation with Side mounting hardware - Will mount on any motherboard
Reduced reaction between parts
Dual Water Passage for enhanced heat transfer.
Stainless steel medical grade mounting hardware. Will not break, rust, or corrode.
Optional" side mounting fans for protection in the event water flow is interrupted.
CNC machined, USA built, " lifetime guarantee on parts."

Since I live in the UK it is cold and wet. It isn’t nice weather so the room temperature was just over 17 degrees C. when I was using this system. The water was at a meer 22degrees. The CPU was tested by putting it under load for an hour or so with 3DMark 2001, and also doing some Si-Soft testing. The actual system was an Abit KT7 running a Duron 900 @ 1.2 Ghz. (12 * 100).

As you can see this system is large but does it live up to the performance needed? Well, running the system with a Thermoengine we were running at 28 Idle and 33 under load. With a GlobalWin CAK38 we were running at 24 degrees Idle and 31 under load (unclocked) with a Duron 900. With this unit we were at 17 degrees under full load, and 13 degrees idle. I was very surprised.

We decided to test the unit without Peltier fitted. The reason for this is that PELTIER can produce WATER, therefore be very careful. Also they make heat on one side, yes HEAT. Just make sure you test it and put the cold Side on the CPU side please... A lot of you won’t want to run this system with a peltier therefore it is a better judgment of performance.

OCH have been making heatsinks for a while as well as specialist water cooling kits. This unit is very spectacular.

- Good Support - Very helpful people
- Good Block, in fact Exceptional Block.
- An Excellent Mounting System - Much improvement over the older one.

This unit is complete and ready to be used by end-users and also pros. The block is an upgrade on there blizzard block. They also support you very well! I also like the idea of the Peltier, yes a 20$ component being ready to rock and roll!

Thanks to the new mounting system, this unit is even easier to mount. The system is easy to maintain and use. It is developed to be used as Install and run easily. You still need to be aware of the dangers - this kit is using water. Sometimes leaking might occur, but it won’t tend to with this kit. Also ICE could build up on the CPU, and of course condensation. This stuff can be serious system killers. If you forget to turn the pump on this could cause the system to overheat and go pop, so PLEASE don't forget to do this! You can use this system with a Peltier or without.

Overclockers hideout has done it again, they have brought out another quality unit to the overclocking market. As you guys are used to, Hexus got you the review first. The entire range of products from them is quality and the service is superb! I was told 3 days ago this had been shipped. I Was disappointed it was Easter, but it was well worth waiting for. at the moment this isn’t part of a bundle or a system but you can bet your dollar that they will make one or they will design a kit for your needs. For example you could add Chipset coolers, or even graphics card coolers. How can someone give these poor marks?

I didn’t think I would say this, but it is an excellent upgrade for the Overclockers Hideout Blizzard kit. This block gets 9 out of 10. It is a smart looking unit and it works very well. The overall setup is complete now, the aluminium reservoirs, and this block. All they need now is some flashy radiator which fits in a drive bay (Hint).

I love these blocks, they are big and heavy duty, and OCH tests all the blocks. Well done guys ;)