Reviews, Guides, Anything PC Related & General Chit Chat
Joined: 12 Jul 2013
Location: Liskeard, Cornwall, UK
|Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:07 pm Post subject: AQUACOMPUTER AQUASTREAM XT USB 12v ULTRA PUMP...
Aquastream XT USB
So…. Today I’m going to have a look at yet Another Aquacomputer Pump….. Namely the “AQUASTREAM XT USB 12v ULTRA Version” & Just like their “Ehiems Aqualis Compact Pump 600 Ultra” It’s like no other pump I’ve ever used before for PC Water Cooling ….
But enough of the Idle chit chat & on with the Review…….. &……. It’ll come as no surprise that we’ll Start with having a quick Look at Packaging & what it reveals once we open up the Box …
Here we have the Top of the Box with a Label that jus happens to cover most the printing!!.. Although to be honest that is of very little concern as there is writing pretty much on every panel telling you what’s in the Box & what most of it’s specs are
Believe it or not….. This is actually what I’d call the front of the Box… This front panel lifts out towards you & up to open the Box…
This then is what I would say is the rear of the box…… You begin to see what I mean about the Box being covered in various pieces of information about what’s inside…
This is one end of the Box that I would have preferred that AC hadn’t placed a Label covering the comparison Chart for the Various Variants of this particular Pump…. Those being the “Standard”, “Advanced” & the “Ultra” Variant the Ultra being the Variant were looking at today…
The other end of the Box has some writing explaining about controlling the using the FREE Software “Aquasuite” But as this was all written in German I haven’t bothered to picture it…………………… OK…… OK………… I forgot to Photograph it…… There…. I’ve said it!!!.....
So!!.......... Quickly moving on lets get the Box open & have a look at what your well earned Beer Tokens are getting you …
When I first opened it up there on Top in a large Plastic bag are all the accessories & Instruction Manuals along with a couple various Cables, Which we’ll have a closer look at later..
On lifting out the Accessories Bag e.t.c we find a Dark Grey/Black fine Foam Packaging…
Lifting out that Top piece of Foam reveals our first glimpse of the “Aquacomputer Aquastream XT USB Ultra Pump” & can see straight off that it’s quite chunky little thing ….
But more on that in just a minute, Because I just want to show you Just how well this Pump is Packaged by reconstructing the packaging but outside the Box???...
I Know…. I know…. Your thinking “Nams lost the plot….. We want to see the bloody pump not the Packaging”!!!!.... But bear with me on this & see below……..
Pump sat in it’s comfy foam base…..As we saw it earlier above but inside the box..
As you can see It’s nicely sat in there… All the way round….
Now!!!!.... With the Top piece of foam fitted we can see that Whole Pump is now Completely Surrounded by this fairly Thick Fine Foam……
With the Bag of Accessories added on top you can also see how all the contents in the Box… Fit the Box very snuggly & That means that this is going to take a Fairly Hefty Hit for the contents to get Damaged….. I am finding it hard to think of anything PC wise that I’ve purchased over the years that have been as well Packaged & thought out like this…… Yeh…. I Know it’s hardly ground breaking…. But I do feel it’s worth pointing out..
On the quiet we can spend an awful lot of Monies on our PC & Cooling Addiction……. Ummmm Sorry…. HOBBY … & For one do like when I see that my expensive Purchased is more than likely going to reach me in one piece & working & see’ing Packaging like this means that is more than likely that your going to receive a working Expensive Product…….
OK… I’ve had my little moment…. Now lets get a closer look at this “Aquastream XT USB Ultra Pump”……
Here we have the top of the pump and that hole is the “Outlet” Port which I needed G¼” fittings for my particular Tubing.. These Fittings are Not supplied… You will need to buy these “Pump to Tube Fittings” adaptors separately… I’ll link to the Adapters I got further on in the review…
This is the “Inlet” Port which again you may need to think about purchasing a “Pump to Tube Fitting” Adapter….
On the opposite end of the “Inlet” port is where you find the Power, Aquabus, USB, Fan e.t.c Connections…. Under that Warning label that warns you about insuring that you Disconnect from the Mains before Connecting the USB…
Here’s a close up of the PCB end of the pump with the warning label removed…
Let’s now have a look at that Accessories Plastic bag & see what comes with the pump….
There are the Two mandatory Instruction Manuals that AC now put into each of their Packages (that’s been the case for all my AC deliveries anyway )….
A bag full of goodies…… Which contains the following Items & Accessories….
1 x English Manual, 1 x German Manual & An Important notes Leaflet….
So here’s the accessories from one of the smaller plastic bags that you find inside the Main Accessories Bag.
Items in this bag consisted of:
1 x USB Cable
1 x Aquabus Cable (3 pin)
1 x Jumper (used for Factory reset & De-Aeration of the Pump)
1 x ATX Adapter for starting the a PSU without having to boot the PC….
Now remember earlier I mentioned about needing to purchase separately a couple of “Pump to Tube Fitting” Adapters…… I needed a connection for my 7/16” x 5/8” G¼” fittings…..
Those of you with sharp eye’s will notice that the Aquastream XT Pump end of these Adapters have two different thread sizes!!!...... Why…… I have no Idea???...
The above pic shows the G¼” thread end of the Adapters….
And then here we see the different sized threads that the Aquastream Pump Inlet/Outlet uses…. The one on the right is for the Pump Inlet & the One on the left for the Pump Outlet…
As I said earlier…. Why they have two different port sizes on the Pump I have no Idea & I can’t think of a reason of the Top of my head either……….… But no surprise there I guess ….
The Pump now with the Adapters fitted……
As you can see the Outlet Adapter has the smaller pass through port than the Inlet Adapter…. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation as to why it’s that way, But I don’t know what it is….
That’s it really for the pump, apart from connecting it up & giving it a run through a Fairly restrictive Test Loop, Which I’ll List now :
The Aquastream XT USB Ultra Pump is feed by an Aquacomputer Aqualis XT 450ml Reservoir…. & Then blocks e.t.c in sequence as follows…
3 x 460GTX AquagraFX Full Blocks
1 x XSPC 240 Slim Rad
1 x Alphacool 120 Slim Rad
1 x AC High Flow Meter
1 x AC MPS Flow Sensor
& At least 15 x 45° Fittings…..
So a reasonably restrictive loop for the Aquastream XT to push the Mayhems X1 Fluid through.
I ran the Tests at Various power (Mhz) settings and took the flow readings from the Aquacomputer Flow Meters, As shown below in a quick screen shot I snapped..
I have to say now, that, When I turned the PC on to do this test I thought the Aquastream Pump wasn’t working…. But on closer inspection & after sticking my head more or less inside the case…. I could just make out a slight Hummmm from the Pump & then saw that the fluid was indeed flowing as I noticed the “cough..cough” Fountain effect in the Res….. So all was indeed well…… It’s very quiet this pump….
This New Aquastream pump is the completely redesigned successor to the well-proven Aquastream Rev. 3.5. Aquacomputers have worked hard to try & achieve an absolute peak of development and performance in the area of practically silent pumps for water cooling systems. But this pump is not only a pump which has functioned flawlessly so far as a Pump, But also provides a highly integrated microprocessor-controlled measuring and control system, Which enables you to put this in your cooling system with complete peace of mind…
Compared to previous models, the functionality has increased massively. All versions of the Aquastream now have a USB port, allowing monitoring and control to an Aquaero with or without a connection. The control functions are controlled Via the Aquasuite2013 which is the FREE Aquacomputer Windows Software from their WEB SITE.
Depending on the unlocked software version of the pump, a fan output, temperature sensors, and a connection for a flow sensor are also available for the first time. In its maximum configuration, all important monitoring and control functions for a water cooling system is already integrated into the pump.
Below I’ve put in a table of the different Features between Pump Variants….
- Based on the proven technology of the Eheim 1046 pump, specially adapted to the requirements of Aqua Computer
- Full ceramic bearing of the pump rotor
- Pure 12V pump - it will not generate higher voltages
- Low power consumption of typically about 5 W
- Microprocessor control with optimized control of the pump running and USB interface for communication with the PC
- Continuous measurement of supply voltage, power consumption and the received line
- Tachometer signal output with parameterized functions and alarm function
- Venting program
- Aquabus interface for connecting to other Aqua Computer devices
The new features include turning detection and automatic maximum frequency so that reliable operation is ensured even at maximum power. In contrast to previous models, the control board is integrated into the pump housing of the Aquastream, without affecting the original Pump housing Size…
Another great Option of this pump is that, Even if you start of Using the “Standard” Pump from the Above chart, You then decide to change your Loop or cooling needs & need the pump to have more functions, You can simply UPGRADE the Pump Via Purchasing an Activation Key from Aquacomputers, Enter that number into the Aquasuite 2013 & Hey Presto!!.... You have the same Pump but it will now do more for you…
Another words… You start off with a Standard Pump because your not running any fans e.t.c….. You then decide to add a New say 360 Radiator along with 3 x Fans for that Radiator……. Go to the Aquacomputer Web Site & Purchase a Key to upgrade your Pump to an “Advanced” Aquastream which then gives you full Manual configuration control of those Fans…. Need the Pump to do more…….. Then Just Purchase the “Ultra” Variant Key & you get the Full blown Thing… ……. A real great Option I think… Nice Move AC…..
So now lets move on to some flow rate figures….
Pump Mhz Pump RPM Flow Rate
58Mhz (3450rpm) 84.4L/hr
64Mhz (3810rpm) 96.5L/hr
70Mhz (4170rpm) 114.6L/hr
75Mhz (4470rpm) 126.7L/hr
84Mhz (5010rpm) 150.8L/hr
So not too shabby at all really & As near to “Silent” I’ve heard from any Pump…. Your always going to get a certain amount of electrical hum from an electrical motor that rotates a pump… It’s the way it is…. But… This really is a very very quiet Pump at all the settings I tried above…
I also took some Notes of how the Pump Fan Amplifiers reacted to having a few Fans connected at Varying Voltages e.t.c…. See Below:
Fans Used where Scythe 120mm SP1225FDB12H 1900rpm 0.38A….
#Fans % PAT (Pump Amplifier Temps)
4 x 35% = 82°c
3 x 35% = 74°c
2 x 35% = 68°c
4 x 50% = 82°c
3 x 50% = 75°c
2 x 50% = 68°c
4 x 75% = 74°c
3 x 75% = 70°c
2 x 75% = 63°c
4 x 100% = 59°c
3 x 100% = 55°c
2 x 100% = 52°c
I did a quick run with the Fans set at 65% power and at that setting the Max temperature of the Fan amplifiers was 80°c…..
So…… Going by this I found I could run 4 fans fairly safely whilst undervolting them with the 4 fans @ 50% & 35% giving me a Pump Fan Amplifier Temp of 82°c…This is without any air flow from a fan cooling the rear of the pump e.t.c…. Shown below…
So I would expect with a fairly good air flow through the case or directed at the pump running 4 fans you’d probably not reach the 80°c threshold of the Default first alarm setting in the Aquasuite Pump Alarm Settings Fan screen as shown above….
Lets now take a look at the Manufacturers Specs & write up as taken from the Specialtech Web Shop before I go onto my conclusions & what I think of the Aquastream XT USB Ultra Pump…
Aquacomputer Aquastream XT USB 12V Pump-Ultra Version
The Aqua Computer Aquastream XT USB Eheim 12 Volt Liquid Cooling Pump was released in October of 2007 and has a significant increase in the range of its functionality compared to the previous model. The pump can interact with your computer using an internal USB cable and the Aquasuite software (downloadable via a link below). The pump can easily be monitored and controlled by your computer using the software suite. The pump report back temperatures from a thermal probe and even monitor a flow meter (probe and meter are not included) - all viewable through the Aquasuite software.
Among the new features is that the aquastream XT USB reports the pump rotation and automatically determines the maximum frequency so that reliable operation at maximum pumping capacity is guaranteed. All of the electronics circuitry is integrated into the back of the pump, including the power, USB, fan, Temp. probe and flow meter connectors. The pump chassis isn’t widened at all to accommodate the new electronics. Eheim’s proven mechanics still power the pump, providing reliable, smooth liquid flow that in unmatched by any other manufacturer. Compared to previous models, the aquastream XT has increased the head lift to 4.2 meters! This makes the XT one of the most powerful pumps on the market and it still remains virtually silent.
This performance increase is achieved through intelligent control of the unit using complex algorithms and onboard sensors that monitor rotor position, power consumption and input voltage (among other things) about 1000 times per second. The pump can operate at up to 6000 rpm! The pumping rate is automatically determined by the pump or can be controlled via the Aquasuite software. In either case, the optimum pumping efficiency is determined for you – though you can adjust it to your liking if you want less noise or more flow.
The computer receives a constant stream of data from the pump via the USB cable – this data is processed by the software and can be displayed on screen so you can check on your pump’s status at any time. Plus, the pump reports a fan-compatible tachometer signal to the motherboard so that your motherboard will automatically shut down your system in the event of a failure in the pump.
The pump features several internal temperature sensors and power level monitors that are all part of the pump’s intelligent protection functions. These programmed protection values protect the pump’s circuitry from potential damage and will trigger alarms in the software suite. If connected to the pump, a temperature sensor cable and flow meter can also trigger alarms – the software suite has freely configurable alarm thresholds and parameters.
The pump generates a fan-compatible tachometer signal that is sent to the motherboard using the included cable, allowing your motherboard to automatically shutdown in case of pump failure.
The pump circuitry has de-aeration program that can be activated by attaching the included jumper. Of course, de-aeration is best achieved by filling the liquidcooling system.
The pump interfaces with the Aquasuite software via an internal USB cable that connects to your motherboard’s internal USB header. All important data (operating mode, power consumption, voltage levels) is reported to and monitored by the software.
The pump has a number of automatic protection protocols including high temperatures, under voltage, low rotor rotation and more! The pump can even run with as low as 10.5 volts!
Dimensions (LxHxW) : 112 x 72 x 52mm
Weight : Approx 485g
LPH : 300 - 500 Lph depending on frequency
Max. Head : 1.2 - 4.2m depending on frequency
Voltage : 12V Molex
Current : 4.5 - 8W depending on frequency
Weight: 1.90 kgs
Mnfctr Code 49046
Price: £ 79.29 , inc VAT 20%
My Take on the Aquastream XT USB 12v Ultra Pump
Can I just say that although I didn’t secure the Pump to my Case floor….. That’s right……… I just placed the Aquastream Pump Directly onto my Case Midplate & never used any screws or de-coupling to secure it.
There was NO Vibration noise or clearly audible Pump Motor Noise…. As I said above earlier, I had to literally put my head more or less inside the PC to hear it…. This Pump is very quiet…….. It might not be a Looker…….. But it is Very quiet.
You will need to Download the Aquacomputer FREE Software “Aquasuite 2013” to Operate the Pump But you don’t have to have an Aquaero 5 Main unit…
Once you set the Pump as you want it in the FREE Aquasuite 2013 Software it’s pretty much a Set & Forget type thing as it will Monitor numerous & varying sensor readings… As with pretty much all the Aquaero add on’s & Aqualis add on’s, You have two Methods of connecting them depending on whether you have an Aquaero 5 Main unit or as a stand alone piece of kit..
As always when connecting a New Aquacomputer Aquaero or Aqualis bit of kit you should first INSURE your PC is switched off and no power is going to the pump, Then connect it using the USB to your Motherboard Switch the PC or power to the pump on & check it has the Latest Firmware & to select the “Priority” of whether you plan on Monitoring/Controlling the Aquastream Pump Via the USB or Aquabus!!
The above screen shot is from where you can Check the Firmware #, Set which Control method your going to use, Beit Via the USB or Via the Aquabus….
I’ll be doing a more indepth Setting up Guide soon. But it’s not too hard to figure out to be honest… If your just using the Aquastream Pump as a stand alone Item then it’s a simple case of (after checking the firmware Via USB) Connecting the Pump Via the USB to your Motherboard USB Header, Connecting up any Fans to the Pump (Ummmm Don’t go mad with the Fans… Try a couple of fans first and see how the pump handles it…. (I’m not sure of the total amount of fans that the Pump can handle it depends on what the Fan power draw is of the Fans that you’re using?).
But for the little Test Run I did (Above), I put on 4 x Scythe 120mm 1900rpm 0.38A Fans & the Pump Fan Amplifiers Maximum temp reached whilst undervolting was 82°c.. (But this was with NO air flow over the pump).
The Pump PCB board will tell you how hot it’s getting from the Pump Alarm configuration Menu tab under the “Fan amplifier temperature” which has two Pre-set settings, one is set at around 80°c & the other set at 100°c before it becomes a problem and sets of an alarm (provided you’ve set up the alarm), But you can keep an eye on temps to see just how many Fans it will handle in total safely…
Setting the pump to Static Manual speed is simple as shown in the next screen shot…
It really is just simple case of moving the Highlighted Fan Speed Slider control to your desired setting.. ..
You can fairly easily set up an alarm if the Pump or Flow slow down or stop…. You can also set up an Alarm state where if the Pump stops it will shut down the PC straight away, But to do this you will need to connect a 3pin fan cable from the “Alarm” header on the pump to a Motherboard Fan header (usually the CPU Fan header) & then set up a shut down from the Motherboard Bios……
Because you are basically sending the RPM sensor reading down that 3 pin fan cable to the Motherboard Fan header which fools the Motherboard into thinking it has a CPU fan attached & if it fails, to shut the PC down…(this is providing your Motherboard has this setting in it's Bios... I believe most do?) All fairly simple to set up…
So…. You have a damn Good (near Silent) Pump all set up & that makes you happy & worry Free…….. As I said before…. This is very much going to be a MARMITE Type reaction to many I suspect . To some this may not be the prettiest pump in the world (there’s gonna be others that do like it though) But if your Looking for a Great Pump that gives you so many Monitoring & set up Options (& Maybe have a compartment in your case where you can hide it away a little ) Then you won’t go or get Much better than this apart from Maybe an Aquacomputer D5, but all that’s gonna give you is a little more flow…..
To be honest when I first set eyes on this Aquastream XT Ultra Pump I though…. Oh dear!!!... It’s not much of a Looker is it!!!......... But you know something……… It’s grown on me……… Yeh I know…… Aint life a funny old thing at times hehehe…. It really has grown on me & being so easy to set up, In various ways & being as near to silent as I’ve ever heard in a Pump….. I Now really Like this Aquastream XT Ultra….. I think many of you reading this & that do go out a buy one, will also get to Like the Aquastream XT USB Ultra…. Once you give it a try…..'…
Thanks for your time & All the best..
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