Thermal and Acoustic Performance
First of all let’s check out the CPU thermal diagram:
What can I say here? Big Typhoon almost blew away Big Water. 14°C advantage of Thermaltake Big Typhoon 120 VX over Thermaltake Big Water 760i in quiet mode speaks for itself. I can only guess what could have happened if the systems had been installed inside a closed system case. Of course, the efficiency of the liquid-cooling solution increases dramatically as we raise the fan rotation speed, which indicates very weak radiator, which efficiency has been sacrificed for the sake of compact size.
As I have already mentioned above, we checked out the system performance with differently positioned processor cooling block, however, it didn’t affect the end result in any way. Moreover, we replaced the water block with a pretty efficient Zalman ZM-WB5 and at first the temperature readings were really lower. However as time went on, the temperatures hit the same numbers as with Thermaltake’s original block. So, we can state that the CPU water block has nothing to do with low cooling efficiency.
Supposing that the overclocked quad-core processor based on older core stepping is too hot for the Big Water 760i cooling system, I replaced the CPU with Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 (2.13GHz) and the mainboard with Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6. However, it only dropped the temperature difference between the competitors down to 10°C, which is hardly acceptable for a liquid-cooling system competing against an air cooler. Moreover, the maximum CPU frequency when cooled with a liquid-cooling system equaled 3.45GHz, while with the Big Typhoon 120 VX air cooler it clocked to 3.62GHz.
In conclusion let’s check out the noise diagram:
Big Water 760i stays quite noisy even at minimal fan rotation speed, because of relatively noisy pump (in fact it was the pump noise that we registered at 39.4dBA at minimal fan rotation speed). At first, while not all the air has been ousted out of the system completely, the whole thing generates even more noise, but after 20-30 minutes it gets a little quieter. The pump is no longer distinguishable when the 120mm fan is running at its maximum speed of 2400rpm. So, unfortunately, we cannot consider any of the Thermaltake Big Water 760i’s working modes comfortable.