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Appeared on: Friday, November 18, 2005
Thermaltake Silent Water


1. Introduction

Thermaltake is one of the better known manufacturers of PC cooling solutions and for PC case moding, among other things. Even though the company was founded in the late 90's, 1999 to be specific, it has managed to become one of the top brands in cooling solutions with a range of products that provide cures for "thermal" problems.

On this occasion, we received a rather interesting cooling system from Thermaltake, the "All in one CPU Liquid Cooling - Silent Water". From the name, you can discern that it is a water cooled device. It is a high performance radiator with a 120mm fan, a copper base and water tank with a pre-filled coolant. All this justifies the "All in one" title.

Features

- Applicable to Intel P4 LGA775/478 and AMD K8/K7
- 120mm Radiator : High performance radiator with a 120mm silent VR fan (1300 ~ 2400rpm)
- Brazing Copper Water Block for maximum heat conductivity
- Brazing Copper Water Tank enhances the thermal efficiency
- Silent and powerful mini 12V pump with superb reliability
- Using industrial-grade rubber tube with Epoxy to minimize liquid evaporation
- Coolant pre-filled

The parts...

1.

120mm Radiator with a VR fan 1300 to 2400RPM

2.

Brazing Copper Water Tank

3.

Powerful Mini 12V Pump

4.

Brazing Copper CPU Water Block

5. Fan Speed Controller
6. Special rubber tube with EPOXY (ID 5.0mm, OD 8.5mm)

Specifications

Product name CL-W0065
Water Block Brazing Copper water block
Application for Intel P4 LGA775, 478 and AMD K8, K7
User friendly installation
Pump DC 12V
65 (L) x 38 (W) x 25 (H) mm
Pump speed : 72 L/Hr, 3400 rpm
Life expectancy : 40,000 hrs
Coolant Operating temp. range : -10 ~ 100oC
Anti-freeze
Anti-rusting
Tank Brazing Copper water tank
Radiator 160.8 (L) x 120 (W) x 35 (H) mm
Aluminum fin with copper tube
Fan 120 (L) x 120 (W) x 25 (H) mm
Fan speed : 1300~2400 rpm
Noise level : 17~21dBA
Fan speed controller included
Weight
1.8kg

As Thermaltake declares, the "All in one CPU Liquid Cooling - Silent Water" can fit in many platforms.

Intel P4 socket 775
Intel P4 socket 478
AMD socket K8
AMD socket K7

 

The retail package also includes an installation guide which will take you through the steps for installing the "All in one CPU Liquid Cooling - Silent Water".

For detailed information regarding the installation procedure, move on to the next page...


2. Installation

The first thing to keep in mind before proceeding to buy a new CPU cooling system, is how easily the new cooling system can be installed into the existing setup. In the case of the "All in one CPU Liquid Cooling - Silent Water", you need to have adequate space in your PC case to house the 120mm radiator and fan. According to Thermaltake, 163 (L) x 121 (W) x 35 (H) mm of space are required for this.

There are various installation options...

Placing the radiator at the back of the PC case where there's usually a place for an extra fan, requires a little more space than just for a 12cm fan.

In our case, we didn't have enough space at the rear, so we placed the radiator as shown below...

The retail package for the "All in one CPU Liquid Cooling - Silent Water" includes all the appropriate components to install with 775, 478, K7 and K8 sockets.

We will be trying it with 775 and 939 based motherboards...

Before placing the Silent Water onto the 775 and K8 CPU, you'll have to screw one of the two large mounting brackets onto the Brazing Copper CPU Water Block, as shown below...

Brazing Copper CPU Water Block with the bracket

In the case of a 939 socket, remove the stock plastic base in order to install the "All in one CPU Liquid Cooling - Silent Water". Note that there is no need to remove the motherboard from the PC case.

The 939 socket with the stock mounting system
...remove the plastic base...

Attach the Brazing Copper CPU Water Block and install the original mounting screws into their previous position. Simple...and fast.

...just reseat the original mounting screws...

In the case of a 775 socket, things are much more complicated, mostly because the motherboard has to be removed from the PC case, something that requires time. So...

Place one of the two large mounting brackets and the four long screws onto the back of the 775 based motherboard :

...one bracket and the four large screws from the back...
...and tighten the four screws from the front...

As soon as you have done this, place the Brazing Copper CPU Water Block with the bracket onto the CPU and use four

You are now almost finished. The only thing that remains, is installation of the fan speed regulator. The regulator will also add to the look of your case. It only requires a slot at the back of the case, which means a PCI slot will be relinquished.

The black/red wires have to be connected to the small connector found on the cooler's base, as shown below:

The Silent Water cooler has a white coloured insulating tube (1) which includes two connections, a pair of wires coloured black/red for the power supply (2) and one single yellow with a pin connector for fan speed monitoring (3).

We then install the Silent Water radiator and fan in our PC case and it is ready for action.


3. Performance

Lets have a brief look at the CPU and motherboard we used for our tests...

The well known AMD 3500+
and the ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard

To measure the CPU's temperature, we used for one more time, the SpeedFan v4.26 utility which provided us with real time monitoring and created a graph of temperature over time. In the following measurements, we used AMD's 3500+ with stock cooler and the "All in one CPU Liquid Cooling - Silent Water". In both cases, we used Thermaltake's thermal compound, included in the package.

We started WinXP SP2 and after 5min we started the Speedfan utility. Room temperature at the time of our measurement was around 22 °C.

Beginning at 35 °C and reaching 52°C when running Prime95.
While the fan speed ranges from 3130 to 3180 RPM.

The temperature at the beginning of our tests was 35 °C. We let the system run for a while, approximately 5~10min, and then we started the stress test with the Prime95 utility. Immediately the temperature started to increase until it reached 52 °C where it seemed to stabilize after approximately 10min. At the same time, the speed for the fan ranged between 3130rpm to 3180rpm. After a while, the fan's rotation speed stabilized at 3125rpm, including when the temperature had reached maximum.

We shut down the system and repeated the same task with the "All in one CPU Liquid Cooling - Silent Water" this time. First, we tried it with the fan speed set to minimum from the regulator and then to maximum.

Min Fan rotation
SpeedFan reported 30°C minimum and 44°C maximum...
...with rotation speed at half that of the stock cooler.

With the fan speed set to minimum, the performance is very good, better than the AMD stock cooler. The difference is visible even from the beginning of the test where the 30°C reported is 5 °C lower than the stock cooling system. After some time and under the stress of the Prime95 test, the temperature increased, as was expected, but the temperature difference in comparison to the stock cooling system was even greater. Silent Water managed to keep the temperature down to 44 °C maximum, when AMD's stock cooler was at 52°C. With this setup, the noise levels from the Silent Water were quite low and barely noticeable. Very good performance from the Silent Water.

Then we turned the fan rotation speed to maximum and this is what we got...

Max Fan rotation
SpeedFan reported 29°C minimum and 39°C maximum!!!
...with fan speed close to 2300rpm...

The temperature at idle state was 29°C and under the stress test with Prime95, just 39°C!!! This is excellent performance from a compact water cooling system. The fan speed as reported by the SpeedFan utility was between 2310~2340rpm. The noise levels this time were high and we estimate it to be much higher than the 21dB that Thermaltake declares. To be honest however, with such performance, we didn't really care...


4. Conclusion

We have reviewed several cooling systems in the past but the "All in one CPU Liquid Cooling - Silent Water" seemed to us, one of the most interesting we have received. A compact CPU water cooler, with a huge radiator and a 120mm fan, made from very good materials for thermal dissipation such as copper for the base and the water tank, the pre-filled coolant and a regulator for controlling the fan rotation speed.

We expected this water cooling system to perform much better than AMD's stock cooler. The question was how much better. After the first tests, we found that even with the fan rotation set to the minimum available speed, the Silent Water cooler was an excellent performer. At 30°C, there was five degrees difference in temperature at idle state from AMD's stock cooler with 35 °C, illustrating just how effective the solid copper base and water are at dissipating heat.

During the stress test, the difference becomes even greater, up to eight degrees. 52 °C with AMD's stock cooler and 44 °C with the Silent Water with Thermaltake's system remaining very silent. Then came the tests with the fan rotation speed set to maximum. What was the result? Temperatures ranging between 29°C to 39°C. Excellent performance but with a compromise in noise, since it was more than noticeable. The performance is rather good for such a compact water cooling system which can fulfil most users needs.

Up and working...

The "All in one CPU Liquid Cooling - Silent Water" installation process consists of two parts, one for the radiator and fan, and one for the CPU copper base. The installation for the radiator is the same no matter what the platform and depends on the PC case. If you already own a Tt Tai-Chi, Kandalf, Armor, Shark, Swing, Mambo, Tsunami, Soprano or Lanmoto or even if your PC case has adequate space on the back for a 12cm fan, you won't have any problems at all. Alternatively, just like in our case with the Antec, you can place it towards the bottom front, which is also easy.

The next step is the installation of the copper base. If your motherboard is an AMD socket 939, all you have to bother with is just two screws. But in case of P4 socket 775, there's more. The major hurdle is that you'll have to remove the motherboard from the PC case, something that most people are willing to do since we are talking about a water cooling system.

At the time of the review, the price for the "All in one CPU Liquid Cooling - Silent Water" was US$118.

Pros:
-
Very Good Performance
- Good thermal reduction
- Easy installation for socket 939
- Low noise levels with fan speed set to minimum

Cons:
- More difficult installation for socket 775
- For optimum performance, the noise levels are high

 

Performance:
Features/Design:
Installation:
Value for money:

 



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