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Old 09-25-2012
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Default Thermaltake Water2.0 Extreme Review

MaadDaawg's Maad Review of ...
THERMALTAKE Water2.0 Extreme CPU Cooler UPDATE

Ok People, the Thermaltake Water2.0 EXTREME is now on the market, and the MaadDaawg got his Maad little hands on one to review. Rather than start from scratch, it only seemed natural to integrate it into Review of the Water2.0 Pro to maintain the reference points. As you will see, the Extreme version does not disappoint!
So, there will be some repeat for those of you who read the first review on the Water2.0 Pro, but everything new for those who didn’t.
First – what are the major differences between the EXTREME and the PRO?
- The Extreme has a 120 x 2 sized radiator
- Instead of push/pull PWM controlled fans, it has two fans controlled by a fan controller cleverly hidden inside the pump/water block assembly.5
- Only two fans are provided, despite the fact that the packaging indicates FOUR were accounted for in packaging design
- The Fans are software controlled, with the controller attached via an internal USB 2 connector To me not an optimal design, but they fortunately give you sufficient black cable to route it out of the way and out of sight.
The same test bed and parameters were used to test the Water2.0 Extreme .
I’ve been water cooling for a long time, so I took to these new self contained water cooling units with a little skepticism. Yeah, they looked nice and easy to install and maintain, but come on… cooling an over clocked processor with less than a custom loop and high priced water block… nonsense!

But then came the 1156 socket, and the matching CPUs that ran fast on ambient temps and the equation changed. Lately, I’ve been playing more with various high end air coolers than I have with custom water loops. A whole lot easier, and a whole lot cheaper.

So, when the time came to review the Thermaltake Water20 cooling solutions I was really looking forward to see what it could do matched up against some of its high end siblings!

Out of pure coincidence, I had recently completed a build using another manufacturers similar water cooling device, so some of those insights may also play a role in this review.

TEST BED

All tests were run on an ASUS MIVE P67 V3 MB with an i7 2600k processor, a 1200watt PSU, an AMD 5870 Video Card, 16GB of Samsung low profile 1600Mhz RAM, and a WD Raptor with Win 7 Professional 64bit installed. All this sits on a Banchetto 101 Bench table for easy disassembly.

COOLING SOLUTIONS TESTED

- Thermaltake Frio OCK
- Thermaltake Frio Extreme
- Themaltake Water2.0 Pro
Thermaltake Water2.0 Extreme



METHODOLOGY

Each cooling solution was measured with the CPU at stock clocks of approx. 3.8Ghz, and overclocked to a modest 4.4Ghz. Speed Step remained enabled, which is why you don’t see more temp variations at idle.

Core temperatures were monitored using Real Temp. The HOTTEST core temp was recorded, which means the results indicate the high spikes, of any given core, not a weighted average of the temps over the time of the tests.

Each solution ran IDLE, SuperPi 1M to completion, SuperPi 32M to interation 8, 3DMVantage – CPU tests only, Prime95 for 10 minutes.


RESULTS – STOCK CLOCKS

3.8Ghz………...................Idle......SPi 1M.....Spi 32M....3DMV......Prime96
FRIO OCK......................35C.......42C.......... 43C.........51C.........53C
FRIO EXTREME...............34C.......43C.......... 44C.........51C.........52C
WATER2.0 PRO…..………....35C.......41C.......... 44C ........50C.........52C
WATER2.0 EXTREME…..….31C………39C………….. 39C…………45C…………46C



RESULTS – OVER CLOCKED

4.4gHZ...................Idle......SPi 1M.....Spi 32M....3DMV.....Prime96
FRIO OCK................36C.......45C...........47C.... .....61C..........63C
FRIO EXTREME.........35C.......45C...........46C....... ...60C.........62C
WATER2.0 PRO ….....34C.......42C...........46C.........57C..... ....58C
WATER2.0 EXTREME…33C…….42c……………..43C………..55C…………57C

I’m thinking another 2 fans in push/pull would have resulted in better temps with the CPU over clocked since the variance between stock clocks and over clocked are so dramatically different… IMO of course. A question to address on another day perhaps.



OBSERVATIONS


If you’ve had the pleasure of installing any of Thermaltakes newer cooling solutions, you know that they are a breeze to mount to the 2011 socket. Moving down to a lower pin count socket does increase the complexity some, though not to the extent that even I could would not be able to figure it out.

Of the three tested units, the FRIO OCK was the loudest (by far), although this may not be fair as I had the fan controller on high whereas the other two units I let the PWM control fan speed. BY FAR, the Water2.0 Pro and Extreme were the most quiet with the 2 PWM or software controlled fans and the whisper quiet pump. The FRIO Extreme ran somewhere in the middle on noise.


Some of the highlights I think put the Water2.0 a notch above their competitors;
1 – rubber hoses instead of articulating metal hoses
2 – the inputs actually pivot, so placement of the unit and the radiator is much easier.
3 – The PWM fans, a truly nice touch (white fans work nice too).
I’ve already listed above how the Water2.0 Pro and the Water2.0 Extreme different. All the comments below regarding the Water2.0 Pro packaging and installation are the same, except of course the fan connections on which I’ll comment later.

Packaging was Spartan, but effective in containing and protecting the parts. Unpacking was rather easy and it really wasn’t until I started assembling the mount for the 1156 socket that I ran into any troubles. The book is helpful, but not clear cut outright put peg A into slot B type. Thank God I had a magnifying glass so I could read which holes were for the 1156 ISO the 775 or 1366 sockets. Once I got that sorted the installation went easily and smoothly.

The unit installation once you get all the parts together is reminiscent of installing an old Swiftec GTZ, just screw down the 4 easy turn screws until they seat, then, you are done. I like the extra thickness of the radiator, and the entire unit goes together just right, feeling like a well engineered and put together system. Performance seems to bear this out as the unit clearly shines on the longer type computing you’ll run into every day.

I also commend Thermaltake on their price point, as this unit easily performs as well as competitors units costing considerably more.

What would I change? DON’T KNOW. Maybe an extra inch of tubing on each tube? Since I didn’t mount it into a case I don’t know if there would be any problem or not, though I guess there would not be with the unit being as well designed as it is.

In conclusion, all four Thermaltake offerings do an outstanding job keeping your CPU cool at stock clocks. When the CPU is overclocked, however, the Water2.0 solutions are clearly the solutions of choice.

I give Thermaltake a big TWO THUMBS UP on their cooling solutions, this Water in particular!

Water 2.0 Extreme specific comments:
As the tests pointed out, the Extreme version improves the cooling over the Water2.0 Pro version, so they get TWO THUMBS and a BIG TOE UP !! Pleasant looking with the white fans, and very quiet, in fact, I was not able to discern any difference in fan speed throughout the test. Personally, I think I like the PWM fans over the USB/Software controlled fans, but obviously the results indicate there may be a slight advantage to the new approach, though that could also be due to the larger radiator.
If it were me, I would have sold this unit with 4 fans as I can’t help but think it could only improve on the performance. I’m sure it’s a matter of price point considerations, but I ALWAYS use push/pull on my rads, though I have been accused of overkill on one or more occasions.
I imaging space considerations will drive most purchase decisions, but you can’t go wrong with either the Pro or the Extreme version of the Water2.0 cooling solution!!
Great work once again Thermaltake!




TWO FINAL THOUGHTS

While it’s viscerally satisfying to see the monster HSFs sitting atop the motherboards, they do occupy a lot of space. The pics above highlight this dramatically. If you prefer the looks of a huge HSF looking at you through the window of your case, then either of these two would do you good, but, if you prefer a nice clean look… the H2Water shines.

Second, when it comes to building and shipping gaming computers, shipping out a tower with a two pound massive HSF bolted to the motherboard scares the hell out of me! I have nightmares of UPS guys throwing the boxes around to see if anything makes a noise. With the H2Water that fear is completely GONE! The unit is lightweight, and more importantly, bolts to the MB and the case… no 100 lb gorillas waiting to wreak havoc on you build.

I can tell you for sure, the Water2.0 Extreme will replace the HSF that I had on this board. Even on a bench table it’s easy to mount, quiet, and efficient. Enjoy
Pic of extreme to be added prior to posting.





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Old 09-25-2012
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Nice work Daawg .............
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Old 09-26-2012
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thanks WD
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Old 09-26-2012
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Thanks for the review MD. Nice work. How long are the coolant lines?
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Old 09-26-2012
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nice review daawg
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Old 09-26-2012
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Nice work MD!
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Old 09-27-2012
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Thanks for the review MD. Nice work. How long are the coolant lines?
right about 12 inches Duke
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Old 09-27-2012
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Are they removable or is everything sealed? I was just wondering if they could be run through the holes that are punched out for coolant lines in a case.
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Old 09-27-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFDuke View Post
Are they removable or is everything sealed? I was just wondering if they could be run through the holes that are punched out for coolant lines in a case.
no not removable. it is completely sealed unit
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Old 09-30-2012
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Yeah Duke, you'd have to cut a hole large enough to fit the pump/block through to mount the rad on the outside of the case, which wouldn't be problem so long as the rad is hiding the hole after mounting
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