Thermaltake has been in the water cooling business for quite some time now beginning with their Big Water series 8 years ago back in 2004. Today Thermaltake is still at it with their new Water 2.0 Performer series, a completely redesigned all-in-one (AIO) CPU liquid cooling solution. The series includes three models ranging in performance: the Performer, Pro and Extreme. In this review we will be looking at the Performer which is the smallest out of the group. Though it’s the last in line of the series, we expect to see some pretty decent numbers considering that this is still a water cooling system.
In a nutshell, this cooler features a 120mm radiator attached to a pump mounted directly to the CPU water block. Thermaltake has included two 120mm fans which allow you to use the push-pull method to get the lowest temps possible. Currently you can pick this cooler up for $64.95. Not a bad price for an all in one water cooler. But keep on reading…. more details on the next page!
Details and Specifications
Feature-wise, the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer includes pretty much everything you would expect from an all in once liquid cooling unit. The fans are PWM adjustable and since there are two of them, you should be able to move a lot of air through the Performer’s radiator. Below are a list of features and specs provided by Thermaltake.
- A Flexible All-in-One Liquid Cooler that provides Easy and Safe Installation. No Refill Needed.
- Dual Automatic Adjustable 120mm PWM Fans maximize the cooling performance and tranquility.
- Universal Socket Compatibility
- High performance Copper base plate accelerates the heat conductivity.
- High reliability low profile pump provides quick liquid circulation lowering the temperature.
- Pre-filled coolant reduces the liquid replenishment hassle.
- Low evaporation tube decreases the loss of coolant effectively.
- The high-tech sealed circulation system prevents leaking issue.
- Powerful fan blows the heat of radiator out to the chassis to maximize cooling performance.
- PWM control function fan (1200~2000rpm) automatic adjust the fan speed according to CPU temperature, minimize overheating possibility.
- Universal socket support:
Intel: LGA2011, LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155,
AMD: FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2
|Water Block||Material : Copper|
|Pump||Motor speed : 2800+-150 RPM
Rated Voltage : 12V
Rated Current : 220mA
|Fan||Dimension : 120 x120 x 25mm
Speed : 1200~2000RPM
Noise Level : 27.36dBA(Max)
Rated Voltage : 12V
Rated Current : 0.5A
Max. Air Flow : 81.32CFM
Connector : 4 Pin
|Radiator||Dimension : 151 x 120 x 27 mm
Material : Aluminum
|Tube||Length : 326 mm Material : Rubber|
|Compatibility||Intel LGA 2011
Core i7/Core i5/Corei3AMD FM1
AM3+ / AM3
Phenom II/Athlon II/Athlon/Sempron series
AM2+ / AM2
Phenom II/Phenom/Athlon/Sempron series
Core 2 Extreme/Core 2 Quad/Core 2 Duo/Pentium D/Pentium 4/Pentium/ Celeron D/Celeron
Now that we have a better idea of what we are dealing with here, lets take a closer look!
A Closer Look
The exterior is stylish and does a great job highlighting the features and other important information you may find interesting.
Most Thermaltake coolers we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing recently have had packaged together very well. However with the Water 2.0 Performer we were less than impressed with the overall packaging and protection level of this unit. Everything was just kind of stuffed inside this molded egg-carton material mold. components had some wiggle room and there was nothing to help with shock resistance. Needless to say, our review sample arrived in perfect condition despite the somewhat sketchy packaging methodology.
And here we have the cooling unit in all its glory. The overall construction is identical to most other all in one water cooling units. The base is basically a pump attached to the CPU water-block. In and out pipes carry the warm liquid to and from the base to the radiator, thus cooling the fluid and overall CPU temps.
The base of the CPU water-block is copper. It’s finish is not that mirror gloss finish we were hoping for, but overall pretty smooth.
Moving on to the radiator, there isn’t anything special to be said from what we could tell. Each side has screw holes so you can mount two 120mm fans on each side in a push-pull configuration which will obviously move the most air through the fins. This being the entry level series, the radiator is only 27mm thick. Thin my most radiator standards, but we’ll see how it holds up during testing. Below is a more detailed picture of the unit.
Next we have the two fans that Thermaltake included with the cooler. Not a whole lot that stands out other than the fact that they have white blades which look kinda cool, especially when powered on. The model number for the fans is PLA12025S12HH-LV. These fans are manufactured by Power Logic and have a maximum speed of 2500 RPM. The maximum airflow is a not bad 101.6 CFM which run at 20-43 dBA depending on the fans speed. With two of these you should be able to move some serious air through the radiator.
We’ve highlighted the basics, now lets throw it in our test system and see how it does!
Installing an all-in-one liquid cooling system into your computer is not as simple as installing a typical CPU cooler. Given the odd shape and size, you are constantly faced with awkward angles, and sketchy balancing techniques to try to get the CPU block and radiator installed to where they need to go. Thermaltake did a pretty good job making installation as simple as possible. There are only a few parts to the mounting bracket so you don’t need to balance too many things all at once, and you don’t need to worry about smearing CPU thermal paste all over the place while doing it (which I tend to do).
The bracket assembly is simple. you basically have your backplate which is fixed on the back of the motherboard. Once that is installed, thread the metal notched looking bracket securely though the water block and place it centered over the CPU. Then all you need to do tighten down the four adjacent screws though the motherboard into the backplate and you are good to go! Our only gripe here was that the backplate could have been a little bit higher quality. The plastic is not the strongest which may cause issues due to wear and tear if you are one who frequently removes and reinstalls their CPU cooler.
The Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer was installed and tested in four different configurations: idle, load, overclock idle, and overclocked load. Temperatures were monitored and recorded using HWmonitor Pro. Load tests were recorded after one hour of testing. The program we used to tax the CPU was LinX linpack benchmark using all available RAM.
We tested the cooler using the following system configuration:
- CPU – Intel i7 930 (overclocked to 4.0GHz @ 1.2625v)
- Motherboard – EVGA X58 FTW3
- RAM – 6GB OCZ Gold 1600MHz
- PSU – OCZ ZX 850W
- Case – Cooler Master HAF XM
We will be comparing results with several other popular coolers, the Thermaltake Frio Advanced, the Thermaltake Frio Extreme, the Cooler master Hyper 212+, the Cooler Master TPC 812, and the Stock intel cooler. All of the coolers tested with their provided fans and were running max RPMs.
Overall we see pretty decent temps all across the board. This particular cooler definately took the cake when it came to idle temps but when a little heat was applied, it became a different story. Though load temps were outstanding overall, the clear winner was it’s heat-piped big brother, the Frio Extreme. Typically compairing water cooling solutions vs air cooling isn’t a fair fight, but since most people purchasing one will be upgrading from an air cooler we think it only fair to compair this cooler vs the common competition.
We were pleasantly surprised at how well the Water 2.0 Performer did during our tests. It’s little radiator held its own pretty well against the competition especially in overclocked scenarios. Mounting and installing the unit was a painless and the build quality overall was excellent asside from the motherbaord back plate mount. It was a little on the flimsy side which may cause problems down the line.
With the new Water 2.0 series it would seem that Thermaltake is back in the game with its watercooling lineup. It was hard trying to find something that we just didn’t like about the Water 2.0 Performer.
- Appearance – The Performer looks like your typical AIO water cooling assembly. We did like that the pump is pretty low profile and not large or bulky. Overall it did well in this category.18 /20
- Construction – Construction for this cooler was solid. The radiator did not feel cheap, and the tubing was strong and kink resistant. The same quality was found in the fittings, and the water block/pump assembly. 19/20
- Performance – We found the performance of the Water 2.0 Performer to be excellent, beating most other high end coolers with a similar price range. 19/20
- Functionality – It does what it is suppose to do, and does it well. We would have liked to see some additional fan speed controlls, however. 17/20
- Value – The Water 2.0 Performer is currently valued at $64.99 which is a great price for the performance you get. 19/20
- Overall: 92/100