On the bench in the DreamStation.cc lab this time is the Aqua Turtle hard drive water block from Cooler Master. The Aqua Turtle is for water cooling systems that use .250 water lines. Will the Aqua Turtle keep our test machine hard drives cool or will we be making Turtle soup?
The Aqua Turtle from Cooler Master is part of a new line of DIY water cooling products. Cooler Master is know for their passive air cooling units and now they are making their way into a little more extreme water cooling. Cooler Master did come out with the Aqua Gate last year, but it was CPU only with no other water blocks available.
The Aqua Turtle is made up of a solid copper base that mounts next to the hard drive for better cooling and heat transfer. The top of the Aqua Turtle is made of a see through acrylic so you can see the coolant flowing through it. The Aqua Turtle is a perfect fit on any 3.5 hard drive, but it also comes with 5.25″ drive bay rails. The Aqua Turtle measures 5.75 x 5.75 x 1.5 inches (146 x 146 x 40 mm) and weighs 1.3 lbs (600g).
The Aqua Turtle comes with a small fold out manual. It was in six different languages but this isn’t rocket science and we think anyone can do this job even without the manual if they take their time. The manual for the Aqua Turtle was very simple and straight forward. Take hard drive out, turn hard drive over peal off the protective film off pad on back of Aqua Turtle, bolt to bottom of hard drive with four screws (do not over tighten the screws or you may crack the Aqua Turtle case), replace hard drive and run water lines.
To test the Aqua Turtle we will be using a Cooler Master Aqua Gate. Before we started we took a couple of readings with a Raytek Raynger ST temperature gun to get a base line temperature at idle and full load. The hard drives being tested are Western Digital Raptors 10,000 RPM in Raid 0. The temperature was 96.4 degrees and at full load it was 100.2 degrees. This was the same temperature for both hard drives, there was a 120mm fan blowing across them at the time as well.
We were using a Cooler Master Stacker case and the hard drive and cooler fit in the 4-in-3 module in the case. The only bad thing about this is that you loose a hard drive place in the 4-in-3 bay with two hard drives and coolers mounted in it. Not a big deal that we lost a space for a hard drive when we use the coolers. It’s either loss a space for a hard drive or let the hard drives get hot. We will take the cool option.
Once we ran the water lines from the Aqua Gate to the Aqua Turtles we let everything run for six hours before taking any readings. This is so everything can get settled in and stable. Running the water lines we’re very easy to do. Measure and cut tubing to length, make sure the tubing is long enough so there are no kinks in the water lines and connect the water lines to the small connectors on the back of the Aqua Turtle. Push water lines on to connectors and place metal clamp over water line and connectors. We are going to take readings just like before with the Raytek Raynger ST temperature gun at idle and at full load. The full load temperature will be taken after running Sandra 2005 for one hour. The idle temperature was 82.3 degrees, at full load it was 84.5 degrees. This was definitely an improvement over air cooling.
The Cooler Master Aqua Turtle did a fine job cooling down the Western Digital 10,000 RPM Raptors. It’s great to know someone is taking hard drive speeds into consideration and cooling with water. There is also the added bonus of them looking good and functioning just as well. We didn’t really care for the metal clamps that connect the tubing to the Aqua Turtle. This didn’t seem to be a good idea seeing you are working around water and electricity. The .250 tubing did a fine job cooling the Aqua Turtles but we wouldn’t put a lot more water blocks on the cooling loop. The Aqua Turtles are highly recommended and did a great job cooling and looking good as well.
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