Thermaltake Bigwater 745 - Dual Rad cooling
Posted on: 22.04.2006 01:00:00

It would have been nice to use a dual-core Prescott for this test, just to see what it is really capable of.† However I can say that the dual radiator does get warm, I can feel the warm air coming out of it as it sits here on my desk if I play Counterstrike for an hour or so.

For testing this water cooling setup, I compared it to one of the leading air cooling heatsinks out at the moment, the Thermaltake Typhoon: a huge 6-heatpipe cooler with a 120mm fan.

TestBed PC

CPU

AMD Opteron 144 skt939 @ 2.7GHz. 1.55V

Motherboard

AN8-Ultra

From Abit

GFX Card

X800XL 256Mb

Sound

Onboard Nvidia NF4 sound

CPU Cooler

Under Review

Main Memory

2 x 1Gb G.Skill PC4000

Non-removeable Disks

1 x 80GB Western Digital SE, 1 x 120GB Maxtor SATA

Case

Nitro AX

From PC-Case

Monitor

Dell 2001FP

PSU

Liberty 500W

From Enermax

Case Fans

1 x 120mm in (front)

I compared temperatures of the CPU and the motherboard PWM while idle and under load conditions with both the coolers.†† I didnít see any need to have the fan on the single radiator turned up at all, so I ran it at itís lowest speed for all tests.

For Idle I just started up my PC as normal and ran Lavalys Everest to monitor temps, and left it for an hour.† For Load I did my normal test suite of Prime95 Torture Test, SiSoft Sandra CPU Burn in, and 3dMark2005 looping continuously for 1 hour.† Lavalys Everest was used to monitor temperatures.

The graph says it all really, water cooling will always be better for cooling a CPU, however it does take away some airflow from inside the PC which means some components on the motherboard are going to lose out.† At load the CPU is 4C cooler than this top end air cooler, but the PWM is 4C warmer.† This is always going to be the case for any water cooling setup, and there are water cooling kits for things like MOSFETs and RAM.

The kit runs very quiet too.† I can only do a subjective test, but the whole system is only slightly louder than the Typhoon on itís own, which had a silent Antec 120mm fan on it.† The two fans on the dual radiator are almost silent, so quiet that even on my desk I can hardly hear them over the rest of the PC.† The pump is quiet too, and the single rad fan can be turned from a bit noisy at full to totally silent at low end.

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