Closed-loop liquid cooler roundup: 9 AIO coolers reviewed

  • Published in Cooling reviews

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme

Thermaltake's Water 3.0 Extreme S is a familiar looking cooler - as it shares several design sensibilities with Corsair's H105 and NZXT Kraken's X61, just to name a few.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 - Liquid AIO

The AIO shares so many similarities with the NZXT's and Corsair's offerings because Thermaltake's Water series was built by OEM manufacturer Asetek, who's also responsible for many other branded all-in-one coolers available on the market.

 

Radiator

The 270 x 120 x 27mm radiator is built out of aluminum, and has the same thickness as Coolermaster’s Nepton 240M. It can accommodate 2x 120mm fans and has a tightly packed layout, with a fin-per-inch count of 30FPI, and 11 channels.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 - Radiator

There doesn’t seem to be any refill coupler present, either on the radiator or the pump / waterblock, and there are no other options expandability options available.

Tubing

Thermaltake / Asetek employed the use of ultra-low permeable rubber-based tubing, more flexible than FEP, but with a similar temperature / chemical resistance.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 - Fittings 

It doesn’t look much better than the FEP tubing, but it’s thick enough to prevent kinks or blockages. Its max length is 326mm, which should allow you to attach the radiator with ease on the enclosure.

Pump & waterblock

Thermaltake’s Extreme3.0 S uses Asetek Gen 4 low-profile pump, released back in 2012. It has an expected lifespan of 50.000 hours, or almost six years of continuous use.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 - Corners

The cold-plate features a densely packed skived surface area, for the coolant to pass through.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 - Copper base

The copper base is polished to a mirror-sheen and comes with a circular patch of pre-applied thermal paste. 

Fans

Thermaltake uses two TT-1225 120 x 120 x 25mm PWM fans, with a rotation speed of up to 1000-2000RPM and an airflow of max 99CFM. The internal design is based on a sleeve-bearing construction, and has a reported noise-rating of 20dBA in operation.

Installation

The Asetek Gen 4 pump has a small form-factor, which means that there should be enough clearance space even on the smallest / tightly packed MOBOs you could use to custom-build your PC.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme - Installed

Water 3.0 Extreme S comes with a massive installation map – each step thoroughly detailed for AMD and Intel based machines. The Ikea-style chart is easy to follow, though it will cause some minor head-aches when fitting the water-block to the CPU:

1. Use the Intel / AMD backplate – by sliding in the standoffs into position. The double sided foam strips provided enough friction to keep the standoffs in the holes.
2. Slide in the mounting screws onto the mounting bracket until they snap in;
3. Align the bracket onto the block and close the retention ring;
4. Press down the copper base and secure it via the large thumbscrews;
5. Connect the pump 4-pin connector & the fans’ 4-pin connector to the appropriate header;

On paper, the installation is simple. It’s not hard to follow, and you get how it works quite, even without the manual. If there’s one problem, I’d say its backplate – since the sliding mechanic isn’t 100% accurate, and the standoffs don’t keep their position.

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