Gigabyte 3D Mercury Case - Get Into Liquid - 3D Mercury - Q6600 Overclocking and Conclusion

Article Index
Gigabyte 3D Mercury Case - Get Into Liquid
3D Mercury - It is What is Inside That Cools!
Cooling System Closeup and Full Specs
Installation - Getting Started With The Merc
Installation - Waterblock, Hardware and More!
3D Merc. - Add Water, Test Setup and Info.
3D Mercury - Q6600 Overclocking and Conclusion

Testing Info: 

We used Core Temp to monitor our CPU temps and disabled all the thermal throttling and thermal management options in BIOS.  The test environment was kept at 23C ambient and the results will speak for themselves on the next page.  We tested the stock cooler at its default setting - set to maximum in the BIOS.  The Gigabyte 3D Mercury Pro was tested at "Silent" (1000rpm), "Normal" (1500rpm) and "OC" (2600rpm).

Idle temperatures were taken 1 hour after startup, and load temperatures were taken after running four instances of the Folding @ Home client for an hour.  Often with heatsink reviews, you can decrease the time between load tests, but a liquid cooled system takes a bit longer to heat up - thus the 1 hour run before temperatures are recorded.

Stock Cooler O/C Load
3D Mercury O/C Load
3D Mercurcy O/C Load
Stock Cooler O/C Load

 

We used the logging feature of Core Temp to log 5 minutes of temperature data for each core.  The results were averaged and displayed in the chart below.

Performance & Noise:

Before we talk about noise, take a look at the performance of this case with integrated Liquid Cooling.

Stock Temps
Stock Temps

__________________________________________ 

O/C Temps
O/C Temps

 

While the performance numbers won't blow you out of the water (pun intended) the Gigabyte 3D Mercury Pro does perform very well for a case in its class.  I have no other integrated LCS system to compare it to, but I do feel that there is a market for a case like the 3D Mercury Pro.  At stock speeds running idle, it keeps the CPU 9C cooler when in silent mode, 10C in normal mode, and 12C at full speed.  When we load the processor, we see a difference of 9C, 14C and 16C respectively.

 

When overclocking the gap widens even further as the Stock cooler can't keep up to the larger heat output.  At idle, the Gigabyte 3D Mercury Pro runs anywhere from 14C to 17C cooler than the stock cooler and when running full load we see a difference of 19C - 27C!

At full speed the 3D Mercury makes enough noise to be really irritating - and it a hurry.  Most people would probably run this case in the "Silent" and "Normal" range.  At these speeds, the 3D Mercury Pro is quite comparable in noise pollution to many other mainstream cases on the market.

 

Conclusion:

This case from Gigabyte is currently their flagship case.  Not only is it a very fine quality case, it also incorporates a decent liquid cooling system to provide better performance, cooler temperatures, less noise and a "l33t" factor that can only come from having water inside your computer case.  The case itself is very functional, roomy and very well built, not only that, it's one of the nicest classy cases I've seen in a while.  The liquid cooling system is not an extreme performer, but it is scalable through the use of built-in valves.  You have the option to add another external radiator to the system with very little trouble.

The question arises, "Is the Gigabyte 3D Mercury Pro really worth $400USD?"  I guess that depends on who you are and how much money you've got in the bank.  You can certainly build a cheaper system that may perform better than the 3D Mercury Pro, but there is something nice about being able to go to a store, pick up a case and install a system that is liquid cooled is less than an hour.  With the 3D Mercury Pro, you don't have to cut any holes, wire up any switches install a variable speed fan controller.  It's all done, and it's done well.

Pros:

  • Case looks very nice.
  • Liquid Cooling pre-installed for ease of use.
  • Very roomy to work inside.
  • Flowmeter
  • Low coolant alarm
  • Window in the reservoir
  • High-quality construction of all components.
  • Aluminum front bezel, sides, back and frame.
  • Decent cooling performance.
  • Comes with absolutely everything you need for multiple platforms.

Cons:

  • Fans are loud above 1500rpm.
  • Door hinge a little tricky.
  • Bottom valves in way of motherboard installation.

 

BCCHardware.com Rating
Quality:
10/10
Performance:
8/10
Accessory Pack:
9/10
Stability:
10/10
Features:
9/10
Value:
8/10
Total Score 9.0

Although I score this case a little low in the value department, if you're looking for an easy way to get into watercooling and want a sweet case besides, this is good value for you.

 Top Pick

I'd like to thank Gigabyte for sending over this case for us to review.  It has been a while since I've got hardware "wet" and it was fun to get back into the game.  If you have any questions, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.