Koolance PMP-500 Pump

Posted: December 13, 2012 in Pumps
Tags: , , , , ,

Welcome to my review of the Koolance PMP-500, a new monster pump from Koolance with really impressive pressure specs.    I was instantly interested in getting my grubby little hands on one of these ever since I saw it come out just a couple of months ago.  Pumps and hydraulics has always been more fun for me than thermal testing, so I was naturally interested in this new beast of a pump.  While we do already have several great options, the competition between pumps is somewhat limited compared to other water-cooling products.  This one per the specs looks very interesting, so the question is, how does it size up in terms of size, pumping power, cost, and noise relative the other popular options like the PMP-450.

A special thanks to Tim from Koolance for sponsoring the parts used in this review.


Manufacturer Description & Specifications

The Koolance PMP-500 offers a high flow rate and very high static head pressure at just 12V. A mounting bracket is included.

  • Maximum Flow Rate: 16L/min (4.2 gal/min)
  • Maximum Head Pressure: 7.5m (24.6ft)
  • Motor: Brushless DC
  • Power Consumption (at max): 32W
  • Voltage Range: 6 to 12 VDC
  • Maximum Temperature: 60°C (140°F)
  • Electrical Connector: 3-pin fan header with tachometer speed signal
  • Hose Connections: G 1/4 BSP Threads
  • Noise: Less than 50dBA
  • Weight: 454g (1lbs)

Please note, the CTR-SPD12X2 and TMS-205 are unable to support this pump due to power constraints. For compatible speed control theCTR-SPD1224 is available.

Weight 1.20 lb (0.54 kg)
Dimensions 2.80 x 2.40 x 2.40 in (7.11 x 6.10 x 6.10 cm)
Max Flow Rate 16L/min (4.2GPM)
Max Power 32W
Max Static Head 7.5m (24.6ft)
Max Temperature 60°C (140°F)
Native Hose Connection G 1/4 BSP Threads
Speed Knob
Tachometer yes
Type Magnetic Centrifugal
Voltage 6-12 VDC

So, the specs are mighty impressive for sure in terms of pressure head.

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  1. Anthony says:

    Good to see you back, Martin!

    Waiting for more posts 🙂

  2. Brechan Fraser says:

    Welcome back Martin, we missed you (and of course, your in depth reviews), anxiously awaiting for the rest of the review 🙂

  3. chris says:

    Make sure to compare noise levels! This seems really intriguing, but if it’s loud, I have no interest.

    • chris says:

      And as always, thanks again for everything you do 🙂

      • Martinm210 says:

        Thanks guys!
        I will make sure to include some noise testing. It is surprisingly very good though for the amount of power. The impeller is very balanced and I think less vibration than most pumps.

        It looks like minimum start up voltage is around 5v.

        Any preferences for voltage curves in addition to 12V?


        • chris says:

          5v and 7v would be awesome, because those are the easily done molex mods that don’t require controllers.

          • Martinm210 says:

            Will do although 5v is a little iffy on the min start up. I have had it require 5.1v a few times to start but I’ll do the minimum 5 or 5.1, 7, 9, 12. That should cover the range well enough. Thanks!

  4. Punk Nugget says:

    Can’t wait to see the full review and tests on this pump. I’d also like to see the new Koolance CPU–380I As I am going to be picking one up as I saw another review that did what seemed to be very similar and thorough test like yours; but more so like Skinneelabs’ reviews:


    You know when it really comes right down to it (and I’m only referring to watercooling stuff) Koolance, Swiftech, EK, etc. seems to always put out great products. When you’re talking about a degree or two of difference with these newer waterblocks, then it really just becomes a matter of aesthetics. That’s just my two cents as I’m growing into that knowledge since I’ve been building PCs over the last few years.

    I’ll give you a perfect example, I purchased the Koolance RP-402×2 (with 2 x PMP400’s) and replaced with the new Swiftech Malstrom unit (with 2 x MCP35’s) and only shaved a degree off with the newer unit. Aesthetically, I like the Koolance unit much better; more industrial and tougher looking – just plain solid!

    What I’d REALLY like you to get a hold of (and wish they would sell this separately) is DigitalStorm’s Cryo-TEC waterblock. Now that waterblock by itself costs $1,200 (I found out last year from one of the sales reps). If they could bring this down to $800, and sell it as a SEPARATE unit, then I believe they would have a ton of sales. To me it’s a cross between watercooling and phase cooling in one.

    I really hope you can work something out with DigitialStormOnline.com to see if they’d be willing to give you that unit so you can test it, because then I’d think you’d see a HUGE difference when it comes to their Cryo-TEC waterblock and all the others. But again, I could be wrong. Let me know your thoughts Martin, thanks. Later… B)

  5. MorroW says:

    Around 7V and 10V maybe?
    Looks really intresting, waiting for review 🙂

  6. PepeLapiu says:

    Hmmmmm so far my favorite contender for my next buid has been the 35X but I can’t wait to see how this one will rate in the noise department.

    As always Martin, your work is extremely appreciated.

  7. RatDog says:

    Can you control this with an Aquacomputer poweradjust 2 USB ultra version?

    • Martinm210 says:

      Probably, but it would be close. It peaks around 32W wide open, but at 1.5GPM it is only 27W at 12V. The PA2 notes 24W continuous 48W peak but I never tested one myself, so I’m not sure what the limits really are. the PA2 is a passive sink, so I’m sure it depends on how much air flow is moving around the sink too.

  8. Luca T says:

    Really happy you came back!

  9. I had a dual D5 setup, marginally louder than a single D5. Recently had one pump die (sad day) and have been looking at a new setup. Thoughts on this pumps performance/sound/price vs buying yet another D5. The space savings would be nice, but the performance figures alone look very nice. Only sad thing is the lack of build in speed controller, any suggestions there on a decent one?

    Yet another great review. Might have just swayed me to grab one and throw the working D5 in another setup. Thanks, Martin!

    • And slightly smaller question. It appears the 4 screws up front are equal distance, are they and can the front be rotated to change direction of the out port?

    • Martinm210 says:

      Depends on your noise priorities. Two D5s will be about the same power as one PMP500 and probably about 7db quieter. Two of the same sound level should only add 3db. So 2x 38dbA = 41dbA d5s vs 49dbA PMP500 etc. Although the PMP500 would also have less heat dump.

      • Ordered one to check out for myself. With your confirmation of the specs it’s hard to pass up for the value. Only concern at this point is the noise. But it’s hard to tell, even from the videos, if it will be a deciding factor on keeping it. I’ve noticed one thing over the years that it’s not so much the db level as much as the tone/pitch of the noise itself. Wish they could have included a speed controller. Honestly not entirely sure how the one they suggests work without an adapter given the input/output types.
        Anyways, thank you again, Martin!

  10. Oddly enough, my pump just arrived (pretty quick I would say). But it does differ from yours. Mine only has the 3-pin power input compared to the one you tested that has the 3-pin and molex. Not sure why the change but I suppose that changes my plans a bit.
    For speed control, aside from not being able to reach max power, do you see any reason I couldn’t use a header from my fan controller (30w per channel)? I’m assuming they got rid of the molex to be more compatible with their CTR-SPD1224 but seems a bit silly.

    • Martinm210 says:

      I would try it and just watch temps of the fan controller. Might be just fine.

      I think my sample must have just been a newer model with the molex plug but either could be adapted either way easy enough. I think they went to the molex 4 pin to minimize the chance that someone may plug this into a motherboard which more than likely can’t handle 3Amps.

      Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

      • Will do, finally another use for the fluke infared temp gun again, lol. You wouldn’t happen to have any idea what temps would be safe for the lamtron FC5 V2 would you? Suppose I can just compare it to the fan setups.
        Yeah, using a mobo header would certainly be a no-no.
        Thanks, Martin. I’ll be sure to let you know how things go.

      • Cole Markusen says:

        Fan controller solution seems to work albeit less consistent than I would like, will likely just power it with molex via 3-pin adapter. Definitely not nearly as quiet as the D5 even when undervolted but certainly not overly loud though. Does yours have a higher pitched noise to it though? I don’t mind the db level but the pitch is slightly annoying.
        Performance is impressive though given the size and price point.

      • Ended up going back to straight 12v from molex. The fan controller is pwm and just was too inconsistant for my liking, you could hear the fluctuation in the pump speed. While the 12v is louder than I would like, it’s at least a consistent level.
        It’s not even that loud, it’s just the tone/pitch that’s annoying, lol. I’ve been spoiled by D5s. Performance is quite nice though.