Unboxing, Overview and Disassembly
Watercool does operate a web shop, however this came along with a few other products and thus let’s begin directly with product packaging to not make this page any longer than necessary:
Packaging is fairly simple, a white cardboard box with minimal writing on it bare that which helps identify the company and product. No seal, no flaps, nothing else here really. So there is nothing to identify an open box product from a new one here. Open the box and you see a piece of soft foam to give some protection to the contents inside. Below is a color printed manual which in typical Watercool fashion has instructions in both English and German. This is a much better written manual than any other, however, so I am glad to see this improvement. The manual covers the Heatkiller Tube series as a whole with accessories and mounting included. In terms of accessories provided, you get a D5 pump O-ring and 2 Allen keys to use with the various hex head screws that come with the reservoir. That is it, no mounting hardware included- more on this soon.
The reservoir itself comes wrapped in paper, and I am unconvinced that the product packaging is sufficient for a fragile item such as this. I understand and appreciate Watercool’s efforts to minimize non-recyclable packaging here but I am sure I am not the only one who would trade that for a piece of bubble wrap for some peace of mind. That said, this arrived here in perfect condition and removing the paper unveils the reservoir in all its glory. It is indeed massive coming in at 70 x 70 x 303.5 mm and weighing at over 900 grams. Much of this bulk is from the the glass tube itself, but adding to it are the 4 aluminum struts that go around the tube giving it a more squarish footprint. Add to this also the block of milled delrin in the top and bottom sections and now you see where we are at. The 4 struts are screwed in from the bottom and bottom giving a compression style seal to the glass- not possible to thread these easily. These struts are also available in red, blue and bare aluminum finishes as well.
The reservoir comes with a default fill top that is locked/unlocked in place by simply rotating it, and is part of a two-piece setup. This does mean there are no ports available to use on the top by default. There are a total of 2 ports as it ships, and both are located on the bottom- a designated inlet and outlet port being marked as such. This being the D5 version also has an integrated D5 top at the bottom.
The ports are a standard BSP G1/4″ and threaded perfectly- no loose strands from the milling process. The Heatkiller logo is laser engraved and has the telltale green hue when examined close up. The struts themselves appear as people have come to expect of brushed aluminum when again examined close up.
Watercool does make available a replacement multiport top with two threaded ports and stop plugs instead of the default one. To replace the top, use the provided larger Allen key and unscrew the existing top, then replace the internal O-ring on to the new top followed by screwing it in place using the screws that came with said replacement top:
Not shown above is the air packaging bag that was on top of the multiport top kit, so it’s not like they just threw it in the box and shipped it off. Do be careful as removing the top (or bottom) means the glass tube can slide out, this does mean it is a good opportunity to examine the reservoir components in more detail:
There is a stainless steel plate at the bottom with holes in it that helps separate air from the coolant when using the bottom return line. If using the multiport top, it comes with an internal tube that screws into the intended return line as so (now with D5 pump installed):
Installing the D5 top is fairly simple, once we saw that there is a 2-piece bottom as well. So simply use the provided O-ring, insert the pump through and navigate the outer piece over and around the pump followed by screwing in the 8 screws to hold it in place. Those considering the new Alphacool VPP755 would be delighted to note that it is fully compatible with the Watercool Heatkiller Tube D5 as well, and by extrapolation also the standalone Heatkiller D5 top.
Alright so what about mounting then? Watercool decided to go modular even here which in my opinion was not a good idea. They intend for you to purchase the mounting system you wish to have separately, and in doing so risk some customers getting upset by not having realized this and expecting some form of mounting included by default. Everything I have seen online from enthusiasts discussing this suggests that Watercool should indeed consider adding in a basic mounting kit at least. Speaking of which, this is their basic mounting kit:
To use this, you have to have the top (or bottom) off so you can slide the two mounts over the back struts like so:
These come with two threaded rubber padded metal screws with a male end that goes into the mount and a female end that you can use to screw through cases or other accessories:
The kit comes with 4 screws for this very purpose so you can align these where you want and then screw it down in place to hold the reservoir. This will help with the pump and reservoir not connected to the bottom of the case where any vibration related issues are more likely. In case you do not wish to drill through and would rather mount this on to installed fans/reservoirs instead, there are 120 mm and 140 mm fan adapters available for these basic mounts:
These too come with screws, although if using with radiators you should use these with the appropriate screws threaded for the specific radiator used. In this same category is also included an adapter for the Heatkiller MO-RA3 series of radiators:
This screws in place first on the radiator using the provided screws into the screw holes on the side of the MO-RA3:
Once done, use the provided holes to screw the mounts in place. I ended up just unscrewing the rubber padded screws from the basic mounts and using them directly through the adapter plate, and please note that the demo picture above is with just one mount in place and not two- do use both for a permanent installation!
If you do wish to have a mount that allows for the reservoir to be supported on the bottom, then go with the regular stand which comes in long or short options. Use the long one if using with a D5 that juts out further at the bottom, as I did:
The stands come with screws and also some soft rubber feet to help decouple it from the case, although it won’t eliminate vibrations entirely. There is one more set of accessories for the Heatkiller Tube, and this involves lighting. The astute reader may have observed that one of the struts is not like the others, and I am not referring to the Heatkiller logo on one of them either. There is one with a carved out opening facing the tube which has just enough room to fit a small LED strip, and this strut also has a hole below to push it though like so:
Watercool sells these LED strips in red, blue or white color options- no RGB here which is a bit of an oversight in 2016, the year of the RGB. On the other hand, this means less clutter and there is nothing proprietary here- you can use your own LEDs if desired. So I am okay with this. The cable is fairly short at 6″ in length, and needs a fan header for power, so you may end up needing an extension cable and this is a genuine oversight- these accessory cables should have been longer.
That said, they are extremely bright if this red LED strip is anything to go by:
That picture above is with water inside which does diffuse light, but it still means that there is one corner from where the light emanates which means it can look different viewed from different angles as seen below:
I would have rather the strip be located in the bottom or top in a circular manner similar to what EK did with their short lived EK-Res 4. But if lighting is not your forte, you can always go with a colored coolant:
This is again just distilled water with 3 drops of Mayhems blood red dye. It took up 515 mL of coolant so account for this when planning out how much coolant your need. The glass tube itself is of fantastic quality- very clear- and never did I have any concerns of shattering or cracking it during the top removal/screwing in. Just align the top with the struts and screw in a cross fashion for uniform pressure increase, and it will be just fine.
So we have here a high end reservoir with high end parts and accessories, with some questionable choices regarding the inclusion (or lack thereof) of mounting and packaging. Now let’s see how the integrated D5 top performed on the next page.