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Home > Hardware Reviews > Cooling Systems

Friday, November 18, 2005
Thermaltake Silent Water

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...

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