Thermaltake Silent Water (CL-W0065) Liquid Cooling System Review
Here’s how I started out my review regarding the Thermaltake Aquarius III Watercooling Kit…
“There are many ways of cooling your processor. First, there is air-cooling, which is the most common approach. Second, there is Peltier-cooling, which is not commonly used yet because it requires massive power. Third, we have water cooling used extensively by the overclocking and computer enthusiast crowd. Water-cooling has gained popularity and looks to become mainstream soon, for even non-computer geeks have been talking about it lately. PC World mentioned it and if PC World writes about it, you know it’s catching on.”
Well that was written in late 2005 and many things have changed since then. But what I can tell you is that as of early 2008, water cooling has caught the attention of the general public but hasn’t caught everyone by storm. There are still those who remain unaware of water cooling (aka Liquid Cooling) or those who know about it but regard it as high end and high-maintenance. However, the popularity of liquid cooling continues to grow and is proven by the amount of companies making liquid cooling units for people, and for its products (ex. Apple G5).
Today I will reviewing the Thermaltake Silent Water and am curious to know what has changed since my Aquarius III review and indeed much has changed. Installation and ease of use has really been improved and is worlds apart since the Aquarius III. It no longer is complex as it was in the past.
The Silent Water was kindly supplied by the great folks over at ClubIT.com. Please check ClubIT.com for great deals on a wide variety of computer products.
The Silent Water can be installed in virtually every system minus the AMD AM2/3 system. So that means you can install it on your old Socket A’s to your new Intel Core 2 Duo 775. The CPU waterblock is a quality unit, it's quite heavy and has a semi-reflective flat base. However, there was a small notch on my unit. I don't know how it got there, but it could pose a problem, yet unlikely to make a big impact because it is not in the middle of the base rather near the top portion.
The Silent Water is an all-in-one liquid cooling system. What this means is that everything is contained in one package. You have one copper tank that houses liquid, one big aluminum radiator that dispels heat through a 120mm fan and one water pump. All four components are made into one system that can be mounted inside almost every PC case. All these components will supply the CPU waterblock with fresh specially formulated liquid to cool down your CPU. Thermaltake has taken out all the guess work for you because there is no need to fill up anything in the system, what you see is what you get to install right away.
Installation is worlds over the Aquarius III made you do. Before there were just too many steps involved in order to enjoy the liquid cooling system. Since the Thermaltake Silent Water is contained in one system that can be mounted in your PC case, there’s no tubing that needs to be fitted through the case, there’s no cable that needs to be connected to the unit. All you do is follow the instructions to install the CPU waterblock which is really easy to do and is standard install amongst Thermaltake products. It literally uses the same mounting system the Aquarius III and Thermaltake Big Typhoon uses via mounting brackets.
Afterwards you must decide where to place the unit. You have two options; mount it at the rear of your PC where normally a 120mm fan is, or just leave it at the front of your PC case. Thermaltake throws in a ballpark figure of space required to place the Silent Water inside your PC case being 163 (L) x 121 (W) x 35 (H) mm.
Results and Long Term
I’ve had this Silent Water running for about a good year and I can report on its build quality; excellent. There are no problems to report of because the way it was when I first got it was the way it is now. No leaks, no fan failures, nothing. Just keep it maintained by blowing the dust out of your PC and the Silent Water’s radiator.
The results I present you are the ones I recorded after 1.5 months using the Silent Water. Results really haven’t changed today. When it was installed, Arctic Silver 5 was utilized as the thermal compound. This being an AMD Athlon64 3500+ (Venice) system, the values recorded are overclocked figures. This CPU is overclocked to 2.68GHz up from the stock 2.2GHz. The CPU voltage is at 1.610v. Values were recorded through the use of SpeedFan and compared to the Big Typhoon at the same voltage which is the best air cooler I've tested.
The Silent Water is a silent unit when set to the low setting (~1300RPM) and has good performance that is comparable to the Big Typhoon but when on the high setting (~2400RPM) is louder (can be annoying for some but it doesn't whine) but performance is great. Your best bet is to set it in medium or however much you can tolerate. But it’s still perfectly capable at silent levels.
Pros and Cons