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=TS=MaadDaawg

Thermaltake H2Water CPU cooling solution Review

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MaadDaawg's Maad Review of ...

THERMALTAKE Water 2.0 Pro CPU Cooler

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 H2Water, 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 H2Water

 

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

OCK.............35C.......42C.......... 43C.........51C.........53C

EXTREME.....34C.......43C.......... 44C.........51C.........52C

H2Water......35C.......41C.......... 44C ........50C.........52C

 

 

 

RESULTS – OVER CLOCKED

 

4.4gHZ........Idle......SPi 1M.....Spi 32M....3DMV.....Prime96

OCK.............36C.......45C...........47C....... ...61C..........63C

EXTREME.....35C.......45C...........46C..........6 0C..........62C

H2Water......34C.......42C...........46C.......... 57C..........58C

 

 

 

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 H2Water was the most quiet with the 2 PWM fans and the whisper quiet pump. The FRIO Extreme ran somewhere in the middle on noise.

 

Some of the highlights I think put the H2Water 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).

 

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 three Thermaltake offerings do an outstanding job keeping your CPU cool at stock clocks. When the CPU is overclocked, however, the H2Water is clearly the solution of choice.

 

I give Thermaltake a big TWO THUMBS UP on their cooling solutions, this H2Water in particular!

 

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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 H2Water is replacing the HSF that I had on this board. Even on a bench table it’s easy to mount, quiet, and efficient. Enjoy 

 

 

__________________

Edited by =TS=MaadDaawg

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As mentioned in the Water 2.0 Pro review, I had recently installed another brand of self contained water cooling into the gamer I built and sold on ebay. That one was a Corsair H80, a very nice unit but costing a little more than than the Tt solution.

 

What were the major differences?

 

Well,

1 - the Corsair had metal articulating tubing, which is great, but a little scary to bend in achieving the desired mount. The Thermaltake has rubber hoses on swiveling inputs that make it very easy to move the tubing as needed to effect your desired mount.

 

2 - The Corsair H80 has a fan speed controller built into the unit, on top of the pump that sits on top of the water block. Not a real practical place to put a fan controller if your board is going into a case. the Thermaltake unit lacks a fan speed controller, opting instead for 4 pin PMW MB connectors that allow the system to control fan speed as needed. Corsair should have saved us all some money.

 

3 - The Corsair dual 120MM fans plug into the pump controller, the Thermaltake fans plug into the MB. No biggy either way unless your particular layout makes one or the other more/less difficult

 

Those are the noticeable differences. Each has a 38mm aluminum radiator with push/pull fans and each has a water block mounted pump.

 

Both do a good job, but I think my preference is for the Tt unit.

Edited by =TS=MaadDaawg

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