My how things have changed. Today, I cringe at the noise produced by most systems and wonder how much hearing loss I suffered at the hands of my old workstation. Of course, I haven't gone completely soft. I still drool over high-performance systems overclocked to their limits, but I prefer a stealthier approach to cooling that shuns fan-infested full tower cases in favor of smarter and quieter designs.
This fascination with quiet cooling started out innocently enough, but it's rapidly blossomed into an obsession as I try to integrate PCs into other rooms in my home. In the Benchmarking Sweatshop, I can deal with the inevitable hum associated with processor activity. However, that hum becomes a distracting annoyance in the living room and bedroom, leading me to seek out a completely silent cooling solution.
My search for silence led me to Zalman's Reserator 1 fanless water cooler. Standing nearly two feet tall, the Reserator cuts a mean profile on the horizon, but can the fanless radiator keep a processor cool in the steamy confines of the Benchmarking Sweatshop? And more importantly, can it do so while barely making a sound? Read on to find out.