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Thermal Performance

I had a typical problem of liquid cooling systems in my tests – the chipset would overheat. That’s why I don’t publish chipset temperature data on diagrams of the systems from 2 through 5. Under load the chipset temperature would quickly reach 65°C and continued to grow, so I had to install an additional fan to cool it because I didn’t want to risk damaging the mainboard.

So, here are the results of the first system:

These results are predictable and rather good for an air cooler working at that speed. There’s nothing to comment upon, except that the Big Typhoon is a solution that cools the CPU voltage regulator and the chipset heatsink besides the CPU. The HDD temperature in Burn HDD mode is what you can expect from your hard drive if it lacks any cooling. The noise is acceptable. The Big Typhoon has one of the quietest fans in its product class, so the working system was not audible at all in a closed system case.

System 2:

That’s disappointing: the liquid cooling system equals the performance of the top-end air cooler but creates more problems than it solves. The CPU voltage regulator and the chipset heatsink are left without any cooling. It’s up to you to decide if this suits you. The chipset temperature is 42°C in Idle mode. The noise level is the same as of System 1 at 1200rpm. The other two modes should not be used: there’s a very small performance growth at 1550rpm while 2400rpm is just too noisy.

System 3:

These numbers are much better! The addition of a second large radiator improves performance greatly. The only downside is the larger radiator’s lack of fan speed management, so the speed is always constant at 1300rpm. The result is excellent, but don’t forget that the external radiator must be placed somewhere. The chipset temperature is 43°C in Idle mode; the noise level is somewhat higher than with System 1.

System 4:

This performance is no less impressive than that of the previous system. The addition of a HDD water-block helped reduce the CPU temperature by 1°C more under load. That’s natural because the combination of a copper plate with an aluminum piece can’t but affect the temperature of the coolant. The HDD temperature is very low under load – the AquaBay M4 boasts highest efficiency. I had even thought the temperature sensor might be located near the electronics card, but it was not so. The casing itself was barely warm. The noise level didn’t change in comparison with the third system – the HDD water-block is perfectly noiseless.

System 5:

There’s not much to comment upon. The additional amount of liquid increased the system’s thermal inertia by half, but didn’t affect the resulting temperatures. Considering the dubious functionality of the AquaBay M3, this reservoir is not really needed, especially when there is the new pump with an excellent expansion tank. The chipset temperature was 42°C in Idle mode; the noise was the same as that of the fourth system.

Conclusion

This is going to be one short conclusion. The recent update of Thermaltake’s liquid-cooling systems is definitely a success. It’s now up to the customer what to buy and for what purposes. On my part, I can say that if it were not for the radiator, Thermaltake’s products would stand among the industry leaders’. Especially tempting is the opportunity to buy everything described in this review, and even more, separately. This way you can assemble a unique system for your particular needs.

As for the radiator, I can remind you that Thermaltake’s pumps used to be of mediocre quality, too. So, perhaps we should just wait for the next update?

 
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