Swiftech Maelstrom Reservoir Review

Updated: November 30, 2012
Upper side view

Liquid cooling has always been something that many mainstream builders have shied away from and 10 years ago that may have been a solid concern for those who quite frankly did not know what they are doing, but with today’s technology liquid cooling has become the mainstream. Gone are the days when only the hard-core and elitist group of builders can build themselves a solid liquid cooled system with far less worries than ever before.  The thing is nowadays you have really great options to either keep it amazingly simple or go balls to the wall and custom design the cooling system of your dreams. For the easy route the modern Closed-Loop system can provide easy installation and in some cases excellent performance as well. For those with a more robust appetite you can either buy kits or individual parts to make up whatever your mind thinks of and can work. The skies the limit may not apply here, but there are enough options to keep any enthusiasts with a smile on their face, and an overclocked and well-cooled CPU, and/or video card in their killer rig.

Now the reservoir may not be the most vital part of the cooling system, it still has an Importance in your build and the type you use varies on taste and style. Some units just sit inside and have a plain look and are functional, while others mount in your cases drive bays and usually offer better looks and various features not included on inside mounted units. Enter the Swiftech Maelstrom:

The Swiftech Maelstrom 51/4 Dual Bay Reservoir not only has good looks for the custom system builder it also offers real-time temperature readings as well as lighted window that allows the color of your coolant to be seen while the system is running. When we built my Rosewill Red Dawn Extreme we used Red Coolant so the bay lights looked red just like the inside of my system, which was way cool, excuse the pun. You also get the ability to have precise coolant level monitoring and the ergonomics of an extra larger fill port opening with finger grips to make adding coolant a spill free adventure.

The Maelstrom features an Anti-Vortex/Anti-bubbles system that eliminates both the formation of a vortex by way of using various size openings in a tube that that surrounds the pumps inlet and traps micro-bubbles in an open cell sponge that gets rid of them before the enter the inlet.  The Maelstrom ships in five variations: without pump, or with built-in single pump, or built-in dual pump. Or just pump housings so that people who already have their own MCP350, 355, or DDC can install it. In their systems as well

If you’re a builder who wants to use Multi-Loops with your reservoir using the Maelstrom up to 3 return lines can be installed for loop parallelization. This can be very useful in systems using multiple radiators or pumps to cool off multi-CPUs or different system parts. For the ultimate in compatibility the Maelstrom works with all existing G1/4 Fitting and can be used in conjunction with built-on kits like the High-End ASUS motherboard have recently been sporting.

Installation is very straightforward and requires only basic mechanical skills to install providing you can follow a few simple instructions with are included in the users guide. The unit comes with a single UV-LED included within the box, but has an additional 2 3MM pre-drilled holes for adding more luminance to the reservoir for those wanting to really make the Maelstrom stand-out. I personally have used the Maelstrom on 3 custom builds so far and have been happy with all aspects of the product as it does what it says and it has those few extra little features that give just that extra something that sets it apart from the competition.

Obviously Swiftech did not re-invent the wheel here or find a cure for cancer, but they did take a seemingly simple idea and turn it into a viable product that steps up the bar for reservoirs in today’s modern PCs.  Since most reservoirs are about exciting as a glass of water and some offer better than average looks, The Swiftech Maelstrom has those same looks, but ads a dash of functionality that earns it An Editors Choice Award in the Cooling category. Thanks for reading, more cooling stuff coming soon!


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