Posts Tagged ‘Ultra’

Here we have another “Smart” pump for water cooling, and one that is built by Eheim and Aquacomputers, the aquastream XT. Not only does it pump, it’s the only pump capable of being manually or automatically controlled via software, monitor’s water temperature, and it can also control the speed of one 5W fan channel (or a poweradjust 2 for 25w).  While there are a few smart pumps that can control pump speed, this is the only one I’m aware of that incorporates a full software suite and control of so much.

A special thanks goes out to Shoggy of Aqua Computers for sponsoring this pump!

He included it as part of the Aquareo 5 package I’ll be reviewing soon following the pump in flow meter.

Packaging

Who doesn’t like un-boxing new products?  Perhaps it’s growing up celebrating Christmas, but to this day I still enjoy this and perhaps why I still like doing these reviews.  Besides the normal surprise element, I think it’s also important that products are packaged well and accessories can make a difference.    The Aquastream XT ultra comes in a nice 6″ x 6″ x 5″ color printed box with various bits printed on the exterior.

Below are the specs printed on the box:

The specs check out well, and I would take note of the “automatic frequency adjustment”, this is a rather unique feature of this pump that causes the pump to restart on occasion as it’s testing the restriction level and tuning the pump.  This is intended to ensure the pump operates at the best operating point which should ensure the pump can’t overheat and also turns up the speed when restriction is present.

And there are multiple versions of the pump, and those differences are fairly well outlined below.  The model I’m reviewing here is the higher end “Ultra” flavor.

The bottom five features are what really makes this pump interesting for me, since it does much more than pump.  These features basically makes it an advance fan controller.  You can hook up a flow meter, fans, external temperature sensor, and monitor/control it all including the internal water temp sensor using software.  That’s considerably more “Smart” that pretty much any other pump I’ve used.

Upon opening the box presents:

Pulling out the soft foam casing reveals the pump:

I’m impressed by the foam protection here, that’s probably the best protection I’ve seen on any pump reviewed before.

Pulling it all out gives the following contents:

The USB cable on the upper left, the RPM monitor cable upper right, PSU jumper lower right, and aeration jumper lower left.

There were several bits of paper, most of which are written in other languages, but there is an English manual that’s fairly detailed and nicely done.

So that’s the package, but before going too far you should know that you need this accessory.  It’s a shame it’s not part of the pump box package as you pretty much need this for standard water cooling use where G1/4 is the standard.  This adapter kit is necessary to convert the larger inlet and smaller outlet ports to standard g1/4 water cooling fitting size.  AC sent me one, but don’t forget it; it’s a must-have extra.

Impression of the packaging was very good although I think the adapter kit should be a standard part of the package.  The pump was extremely well protected and the overall presentation was done fairly well.  The user manual was also done well and a welcome and somewhat necessary addition since this pump does soo much more than just pump.


This thread will serve as my updated 120mm radiator based fan testing work in progress. While fan specs are helpful, like pumps they represent how the fan performs in an artificial open air and unmounted condition without any restriction, mounting vibrations, or undervolting effects. In addition there are many different mathematical methods in which noise levels are calculated (Removal of ambient noise) and measured making the task of comparing fans based on specs alone for a radiator application a best guess. In addition, those testing conditions do not include vibration created noises that exist once a fan is mounted to a radiator. Many fans also exhibit motor ticks or harmonics at some voltage levels other than 12V when using a fan controller. That brings me to the purpose of this test, to test in a more real world like radiator scenario without any adjustments to noise levels and record it for your own review.

This round will focus in testing and comparing 120mm fans on a Swiftech MCR120 radiator using a voltage based fan controller to evaluate a more real world radiator condition on a constant test platform.

First off, a HUGE thanks to the following sponsors. It’s been amazing how much support I have received in this so far..a real tribute to the community we have here:

This includes the parts/fans and the sponsors who have donated for this cause as well as some tabular results:
Click to enlarge:

I’ll start creating a new post for each new fan including the pictures and the data tables then link them back up in this main post.

MASTER NOISE vs CFM CHART

I’ll update this from time to time. Per my reading, it normally takes about 3dbA for most people to perceive a change in noise level…that’s about the spread of “Most” of the fans here. But if we’re splitting hairs…here is the chart for your viewing pleasure…

Just note this is NOISE LEVEL only. I think this is only half the picture, noise quality is what you get by listening which points out the things like motor tics, and other less that smooth sounds.

ALL FANS ALL LEVELS

NOISE LEVEL BAR CHARTS dbA @ X CFM

NOISE QUALITY (MOTOR TICKS/RESONANCE/SMOOTHNESS)
And last but not least, my completely subjective rating on noise quality. I suggest you listen to the videos to sort this out yourself, I think everyone will have a slightly different opinion on this, but this is what I came up with as a place to start. Noise quality has nothing to do with noise level. I made up my own scoring system by listening for motor type noises and resonance issues. If a fan sounded like very smooth air, it would get high marks. I also marked against resonance issues. If the fan had specific voltage ranges where it resonated, I marked it down. I rated quality in 3 steps and resonance in one field, and averaged them out. I wish there was some sort of scientific way to do this, but this was the best I could do. Again, I suggest rating this with the videos for yourself.

Generally anything with a 7 or better is really good and pretty tight. I just had a slight preference toward fans with slightly lower pitch and or smoother air noises.

Many fans below that were also very good in some areas, but may have had a small motor tick or resonance issue during the test. Resonance is one of those tricky things that may be specific to one test bed. I can only rate what was tested though, it would be impossible to see how the fan behaves in all situations. I’m also typically only testing one sample, and it’s very possible the one fan I test was flawed or less that perfect.

Bottom line, there is no replacement for trying out a fan yourself. Before you go buying 20 fans of the same type, I suggest trying out at least one sample for yourself and see how you like it.