The Watercool Heatkiller Tube series is a unique beast in that it alone does not ship as a complete system (unless you are planning to use double sided tape to install it, which I strongly recommend against). The version I received, the Heatkiller Tube 200 D5 costs €89.95 (inc. VAT) in Europe directly from Watercool with the basic mounting kit costing another €14.95 (inc. VAT) and the long stand at a slightly lower cost of €9.95 (inc. VAT). As such, I will consider the net minimum cost of the product at €99.95 (inc. VAT), and this exact combination of the reservoir + long stand costs ~$105 to 110 from Performance PCs and ModMyMods in the USA as of the date of this article. In terms of relative pricing, it is thus more expensive than most other D5 top reservoirs of length 200 mm or above but this was to be expected considering this includes those with acrylic tubes as well. Among those reservoirs with glass tubes only, the XSPC Photon D5 270 costs $160 but includes the D5 pump, and $70 as a standalone for the 270 mm version whereas the Aquacomputer Aqualis 150 D5 starts at $47 with no longer version available but extrapolation would be in favor of Aquacomputer. So overall the Heatkiller Tube is the most expensive and thus will lose some points for pricing.
Packaging also could have been better- at the very least add in some more pieces of foam around the reservoir. This aside, there is not much to fault the product. From build quality to finish to customization as a result of the modular nature, the Heatkiller Tube is one of the best reservoirs I have laid my hands on. I do appreciate also the decoupled installation options available, and also this attitude of going all aboard the high end, high quality product train that Watercool is driving lately. It does mean that some of their products, including this one, will be hard to justify budget wise for many a builder however. For those who want something different looking as far as a reservoir goes, and let’s face it- aesthetics is why people choose higher end reservoirs to begin with, this will do the trick and then some.
[Update: December 14, 2016- Watercool has addressed some of my concerns, and wish to share their thought process with the readers. I feel the absolute least I could do is share it here as well:
“Packaging: Initially, we put the res in a foil-tube and wrapped it in bubble wrap. But, on some rare instances, there were chemical reactions with the acetal (POM) which led to discolorations in the POM where it had touched the foil. We couldn’t recreate the effects in our shop, so we guess that it had something to do with climatic conditions either at the shipping of the individual items or with the storage conditions at the resellers. But to better be safe than sorry, we decided to protect the POM with the silk paper. Your suggestion with the additional foam cushions is great, however, we need to check if the packaging dimensions allow for that and will probably do that.
LED strip placement: We prototyped a version of the tube with the LEDs in the bottom, but this came with uneven illumination and stability problems. As you know, we are all for quality, so we waived that idea, and instead made use of the aesthetical pleasing struts. If a customer feels that the illumination is to uneven because of the placement in only one strut, you can put a comment in the checkout step of our shop and request a second strut with the cutout (instead of one regular one). We are happy to assemble the res accordingly and deliver it with two cutout struts for no additional fee.
RGB LEDs: we would have LOVED to do RGB strips. But RGB strips are another 2mm wider than regular ones, so we would have to make the struts 2 mm wider in square. This would have made the whole res WAY to bulky and screwed up the whole design. We are constantly on the lookout for RGB strips manufactured in 8mm wifth, if we should find ones, we are more than happy to offer them! Sadly, it seems that no LED manufacturer has heard our call up until now…”
I can definitely understand some of their decisions better now, but it still remains that some of them- the second strut with cutout, for instance- is dependent on a custom order to be placed directly with Watercool than generally for the product available globally. Still, it does help alleviate some of my concerns and I appreciate the time they took to address them.]
The Watercool Heatkiller Tube 200 D5 gets:
As always, my scoring is based off a start of 100% with deductions for relative performance and noise, build quality and packaging, relative pricing and how well a product meets the intended application. Despite the score, the Heatkiller Tube series offers enough to distinguish itself in a positive way meriting a high recommendation to consider. If you would like to be kept up to date with all the reviews, do subscribe via the widget on side or on social media- Facebook,Twitter. If you would like to support or want to simply reach out, please use the contact page. Thanks for reading!