Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate Water Cooling System Review

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate Testing

The test rig consists of the following parts:

Processor: Intel Core i7 3770K
Motherboard: Gigabyte G1.Sniper3
Video Card: EVGA GTX 690
Memory: Samsung Green MV-3V4G3D/US – 16GB
Power Supply: Enermax Maxrevo 1350W
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB raid 0 Running Windows 7 64bit
Cooling: Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe

As always testing was done using Intel Burn Test (IBT) with the AVX instruction set. The reason to use this instead of Prime95 with this setup is that it pushes our i7 3770K a whole lot harder. This gives us a better sense of extreme load temps. Most of the testing was done at the max memory setting for a single pass. While admittedly this in no way would qualify the chip as stable while overclocked, it gives us a realistic idea of what temps it will be hitting. Additionally we are going to run 3DMARK Fire Strike Extreme to give you a realistic idea of performance while gaming.

Our baseline was established using a bequiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 with the 3770K on stock settings:

Ambient temps: 22.22C/72F
Idle temps: 38.75C/101.75F core average
IBT temps one pass max memory: 63.5C/146.3F core average

And here are the results for stock settings for the Water 3.0 Ultimate:

Ambient temps: 20C/68F
Idle temps: 39.75C/103.55F core average
IBT temps one pass max memory: 55.25C/131.45F core average

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At this point the Water 3.0 Ultimate is giving us some mixed signals. While the stock idle temps are nothing to be excited about, the stock IBT temps are fantastic! In fact they are the best we have seen since switching to our new test rig. Feeling very intrigued, we proceed with further testing.

As opposed to simply going for a max overclock, we are simply going to shoot to hit 4.5ghz pass or fail. If the cooler will allow our 3770K to hit 4.5 ghz we note the temperatures and move on to test it on 3DMARK Firestrike Extreme. If not then back down to a more acceptable and stable overclock. Not as extreme, but slightly more consistent and far more analogous to normal use.

Here are our results for i7 3770K @ 4.5ghz with 1.248V vCore:

Ambient temps: 22.78C/73F
IBT temps: 71.75C/161.15F with one core hitting 76C


Those numbers are overwhelmingly positive for the Water 3.0 Ultimate! These are the best overclocking results we have seen on this chip barring pure custom water cooling. And even that is only a slight bit better.

With a completely passing results from IBT, we went ahead with a single run through 3DMARK Fire Strike Extreme @4.5ghz:

Ambient temps: 22.78C/68F
3DMARK: 62.25C/144.05F with one core hitting 64C


Far and away these are completely acceptable 24/7 gaming temps. I would run this chip with this cooler all day long jamming on my favorite MMO and not even run a temperature monitor. They are so astonishingly good, I feel that we have enough headroom to overclock possibly up to 5.0ghz! And on this Ivy Bridge chip that is saying something.

As well as throwing a first round performance knock-out punch, the Water 3.0 Ultimate is fantastically well behaved. Hooked up to PWM, the fans boosted up to a max of 1885rpm during our IBT run and yet were a barely registering an audible whooshing sound. Some of the best fans for noise I have used.