Compatibility and Installation Tips
Thermaltake Bigwater A80 is compatible with all contemporary platforms including the newest LGA 2011. With the exception of the latter, all platforms require using the included universal backplate:
It is installed using screws and plastic bushes:
At the same time, the steel retention brackets need to be screwed on to the water block:
Now Bigwater A80 is ready to go into the system case. To properly accommodate this system, you case should have one slot for a 120 mm fan, where you will install a special plastic frame:
According to the manual, you have to insert the screws into the holes in this frame, which will hold the radiator on the back panel of your system case. However, this is where we discovered a problem: the retention screws from the Bigwater A80 bundle were shorter than needed and had a completely different threading increment than the retention holes in the radiator. Therefore, we had to use the retention screws from the retention kit that came with a similar system from Antec:
Using the longer screws we successfully installed the radiator with a fan onto the back panel of the system case:
The photo above shows the situation when the fan is installed behind the radiator, although Thermaltake’s manual recommends installing the fan so that the airflow would be pushed into the radiator and then hot air would be ousted out of the system case through the plastic frame and the back panel mesh. I have to say that we tested both possible installations and didn’t detect any noticeable differences in cooling efficiency in either case.
Once the radiator with the fan has been installed, all you have to do is place the water block onto the processor and tighten the screws evenly:
Now we are connecting the pump and fan power cabled to the mainboard and the system is ready to work. We are ready to proceed to the efficiency and noise tests in just a little bit.