First of all, I would like to talk about the price of Thermaltake PW880i liquid-cooling system, because it is the price that determines marketing success or failure of the liquid-cooling solution. However, when we were working on the article, we couldn’t find any info about Thermaltake PW880i MSRP. As for retail we only came across one single place where they sold it for $298. Since the previous Thermaltake PW850i Pro model was available for only $119, the current price on Thermaltake PW880i looks extremely high (although we do realize that we can’t really make any final conclusions according to one single offer).
At the same time, let’s recall the results obtained on Thermaltake PW850i Pro. Compared to them, PW880i is a significant step forward, because back in the days the liquid-cooling system was totally defeated by Thermalright SI-128 SE and today it runs neck and neck with Thermalright IFX-14 super-cooler equipped with two super-fans. In my opinion, this is very high efficiency for a mass production liquid-cooling system. Moreover, it has every chance of becoming even more efficient if you replace some of its components. We are going to return to this topic very soon in one of our new articles.
In conclusion I would like to point out some drawbacks of the new system. The pump is extremely noisy and I personally do not quite understand why the largest cooling solutions manufacturer can’t afford to design or order a quieter pump for their systems. No doubt that the default CPU water block bundled with Thermaltake PW880i needs to be replaced with PWB100, which needs to be equipped with reliable screw-on retention instead of plastic push-pin clips. I would also like to propose using a copper radiator instead of an aluminum one and including a VGA water block with the bundled accessories, but I am not sure that this will ever be done.
In conclusion I have to say that despite the drawbacks pointed out above, we should give Thermaltake due credit for universal design (i.e. compatibility with all existing platforms), for easy and convenient assembly and installation process with two possible locations for the pump and expansion tank unit, and finally for very high-quality fans.