Zalman Reserator1 Fanless WC System

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ZM-GWB1 VGA Waterblock
Market Price
$29.95 at Sharkacorp (if purchased separately from the Reserator1 kit)

Image courtesy of Zalman

Included in our testing is the new ZM-GWB1 VGA waterblock. The VGA cooler is available as an optional add-on to the Reserator1 kit, or as a stand-alone item to be combined with non-Reserator water-cooling setups.

With the huge recent increases in the heat production coming from GPU's, the same logic that supports water-cooling the CPU also applies to the GPU. The Wattage of the newest VGA cards, such as the 100+ Watt Nvidia 6800 Ultra's, actually exceeds that of the majority of CPUs found in users PCs. If it makes sense to move the CPU's heat outside the case, then the same should be true of the equally-hot GPU.

More info from Zalman:


1. Pure aluminum base ensures optimal weight and heat dissipation.
2. Anodized product surface prevents corrosion.
3. Two types of water blocks provide support for virtually all types of ATI and NVIDIA VGA card. This product can be reused with upgraded video cards. (Note: This product is not compatible with VGA cards that do not have holes around the VGA chip)
4. RAM heatsinks provide effective heat dissipation.


1. Small - 1EA, Large Type - 1EA
2. RAM Heatsink - 8EA
3. Tube Clamp
4. Thermal grease
5. etc (O-ring - 4EA, Nipple - 2EA, Bolt & Nut - 1EA)

Small Block
35.6 x 66 x 27.5 mm
Large Block
35.6 x 76 x 27.5 mm
Small Block
Large Block
Waterblock Material
anodized aluminum
anodized aluminum 8pcs, 5g/p


Apparently Zalman got the bulk rate on the blue anodizing.

From a design standpoint, the ZM-GWB1 is about as elegantly simple as a waterblock could be. It is an anodized aluminum block milled straight through with a single 8mm hole. The design seems an excellent choice for inclusion in a low-flow system like the Reserator1. The straight, unobstructed water path is produces the least amount of flow restriction possible. To the water flowing through the system, the ZM-GWB1 is virtually the same as a few extra inches of tubing.

Note 1" EAR fan mount atop ZM-GWB1 base.

The mating surface is relatively smooth, on par with Zalman's heatpipe VGA coolers.

Aluminum ramsinks are included with the VGA cooler

8 non-blue-anodized aluminum ramsinks are included with the VGA cooler. They come with pre-applied thermal double-sided tape, and installation to the VGA RAM is a simple peel-and-stick affair.


Installation of the waterblock is simple for anyone familiar with Zalman's heatpipe VGA coolers and northbridge coolers, as it uses exactly the same mounting system. As with the heatpipe coolers, two different sizes of component are included to ensure compatibility with both Ati and Nvidia cards. That's a particularly nice touch, since it allows easy future upgrading from one card maker to the other, without worries about whether you'll have to buy a new waterblock to fit your new card. (And the extra waterblock could probably be pressed into service as a northbridge cooler; the mounting system and general size are the same.)

For testing the ZM-GWB1 was installed on a Sapphire 9500 VGA card. While no longer anywhere near the top of the AGP heat or performance heap, it does have a couple of points in its favor for our testing purposes:

Installation onto the 9500 went smoothly: Just matter of selecting the proper block, assembling the washers and thumbscrews, and sticking on the ram-sinks. Overall, a much simpler process than installing Zalman's heatpipe coolers (HP series).

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