Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro LCS

Print

Product: Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro Liquid Cooling System
Provided By: Thermaltake
Price: $109.99 MSRP

 

Introduction:

It has been a long time since I've got to play with any new cooling equipment here at BCCHardware as Jason has become our "Cooling Expert".  It's been even longer since I got a chance to play with a liquid cooling system, so I was pretty excited when Jason was busy and I had to take a look at the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro LCS.  This kit marks Thermaltake's return to Liquid Cooling as their BigWater kits are getting a little long in the tooth.

Back when liquid cooling your PC was still new, there was a lot of debate regarding hose size, flow rate and radiators.  Today we'll see if an inexpensive All-in-One kit from Thermaltake has what it takes to turn heads and make you risk putting water inside your PC.  This kit is pretty universal and fits pretty much any modern CPU socket on the market today.

Once again, we're going to be testing it out on our toasty Core i7 920 CPU and see if it can handle the heat.

 

First Impressions:

The Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro comes in a pretty slick box and gives enough information to make it quite appealing if you see it on a store shelf.  Packaging isn't the biggest concern of ours today however.  Still, it's nice to get a good look at what this kit is about before you drop your cash on it.

Box Front
Box Front
Box Back
Box Back

 

The Water 2.0 Pro comes with absolutely everything you need to get this kit installed and running quickly and quite easily.  Although it only includes a single back-plate for Intel systems, it is pretty universal for 775, 1156 and 1366 systems.  Included in the kit are a couple of 120mm fans and all the hardware you'll need as well as instructions to get everything worked out.

Bundle
Bundle

 

As you can see in the pictures below, the radiator on the Water 2.0 is pretty impressive but the hose sizes are not.  I had a similar radiator back in the day but I always used larger hose.  This is a pretty impressive 120mm Radiator that is primed for one or two fans - intake and exhaust.  We'll test it later using both configurations.

Radiator
Radiator
Hosed
Hosed
Radiator Profile
Radiator Profile

 

The pump and waterblock are combined into a single unit and this is pretty slim compared to the pumps and waterblocks of yesterday.  This unit has a pretty decent finish and comes pre-applied with a TIM to make installation super simple.  As you can see in the image below, there are some machining marks on the block so if you took some time to lap this unit, you'd probably be able to shave a few more degrees off the temperatures. 

Water Block
Water Block / Pump
Block Side
Block Side

 

That's a good first look at the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro LCS kit.  In the next section we'll take a look at the mounting hardware then move onto some testing.


 

Features:

The information below has been pulled from the manufacture's site and posted here for your convenience.  If you have any questions or want all of the information, please always check the manufacturer's site.  In the meantime, we've included a handy little bit for you below.

No-maintenance operation
Traditional water cooling solutions require constant upkeep to prevent clogs or performance degradation. Thermaltake WATER2.0 Series of water cooling solutions are self-contained and proven to last.

Super quiet
WATER2.0 water cooling solutions offer the best of both worlds: performance and silent operation thanks to the highly efficient radiator and pump design.

Universal Support
Upgrading or switching between CPU platforms? No problem, WATER2.0 water cooling solutions are designed with universal mounting to support all available AMD and Intel desktop processors.

Smarter cooling
Users should not have to adapt to the tool they are using. Instead, WATER2.0 water cooling solutions all come with PWM-enabled fans so the cooling performance adapts to you. WATER2.0 Extreme also comes with software-based control system that allows the user to fine-tune performance parameters.

 

Powerful  and Robust Pump Maximizes the Liquid Cooling Circulation. No Refill Needed.

  • 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.

Thicker Radiator Benefits from the Larger Cooling Surface.

  • Powerful fan blows the heat of radiator out to the chassis to maximize cooling performance.
  • Dual Automatic Adjustable 120mm PWM Fans maximize the cooling performance and tranquility.
  • PWM control function fan (1200~2000rpm) automatic adjust the fan speed according to CPU temperature, minimize overheating possibility.

Universal Socket Compatibility
Universal socket support:
Intel: LGA2011, LGA1366, LGA1156, LGA1155
AMD:
FM1, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2

 

Specifications:

Water Block

Material

Copper

Pump

Motor speed

2800±150 RPM

Rated Voltage

12V

Rated Currentt

220mA

Fan

Dimension

120 x 120 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

149.9 x119.9 x 48.8mm

Material

Aluminum

Cooling Surface Area 3730 cm2

Tube

Length

326mm

Material

Rubber

Weight

1,060g

 


Installation:

Installing the Water 2.0 Pro in a system will vary a bit from system to system, but there are a few things that will remain basically the same.  Installation will require one of the metal retaining rings as well as the bottom ring to lock it into place.  It will also require either the AMD or Intel backplate.  Once you've figured out what CPU you're running, you can install the studs in the backplate support and them start putting it all together.

Adapter Ring
Adapter Ring
Mounting Hardware
Mounting Hardware

 

With the top metal retention ring, there are a lot of little plastic bits to put together to keep everything stationary.  The parts feel a bit flimsy before they are installed, but once they are installed, the retention ring seems to stiffen everything up.  I was a bit skeptical about the quality of the mounting system, but after it was all assembled it felt pretty decent.

All Ready
All Ready

I do like the idea that the screws are recessed inside a lip.  You can tighten the screws by hand of course, but if you need the extra power or reach of a screwdriver, it won't accidentally slip off and gouge your motherboard.  This is a nice touch that a few companies are doing.

The Intel backplate we used has a few options for 775, 1156 and 1366 sockets.  We used the 1366 platform for this review so we dropped the studs in those spots.  I find it interesting that they still support the 775 platform and not the newest Intel socket.

Multi-Bracket
Multi-Bracket

 

Once we've got the brackets all ready, we stripped off the stock cooling and got ready to bolt this sucker on.   If you have a new case with a hole in the motherboard tray, you won't even have to remove the motherboard.  The backplate manages to fit around the metal socket-stiffener on the motherboard so installation is quick and pretty easy.

Prepped for Install
Prepped for Install

 

Below is the image  of the system all installed and ready to go with the system installed on the Core i7-920 CPU.

 Installed

 

Now that we've got this cooler all installed and ready to go we will now move onto the fun part, testing!



Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro Testing:

Test Setup:

For Intel (LGA1336) testing we will be using the Intel Core i7 920 CPU, which produces 130 Watts of heat. This could be considered a mid-range processor, and while most Dual-Core processors produce ~50-80 Watts of heat, this should give you a pretty accurate estimate of what type of temperatures a cooler will provide you with.

For both AMD and Intel testing, we have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp v.0.99.4. CoreTemp takes a temperature from the CPU core, and allows for much more uniform results across different motherboard and CPU platforms. These temperatures may seem higher than other temperature recordings; because chances are they are taking temperature recordings using the diode underneath the CPU, which isn't able to be as accurate, and can really fluctuate between different brands of motherboards.

For all tests we are using the Highspeed PC Top Deck Tech Station , and we are using no additional cooling in our testing. All temperatures are recorded in a controlled environment that is set to 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) to provide fair results between coolers.

For all tests we use Arctic Cooling MX-2 High-Performance Thermal Compound (Paste), We use the same thermal paste in all our testing so that we can keep our results consistent. If a cooler is shipped with thermal paste pre-applied, it will be removed and we will re-apply it with Arctic Cooling MX-2 to provide fair results.

 

Intel Test System:

 

Test #1 - Fans on low speed setting

To start things off we will give the Water 2.0 Pro a run with the fans turned down low (~1200 RPM)

1 Fan Low
One Fan - Low Speed

 

 2 Fans Low
(Two Fans Low-Speed)

 

As you can see, running two fans helps us shave 12°C off of the load temperatures at low speed.  Clearly this radiator needs a bit more airflow than a single fan running slow.

Let's turn the fans up a bit and see what happens in the next section.

Test #2 - Fans on high speed setting

For this test we are going to run the fans at their highest speeds (~2000 RPM)

1 Fan High
(One Fan - High Speed)

 

 2 Fans High
(Two Fans - High Speed)

 

We again see that this system in designed for two fans.  The Water 2.0 Pro running two fans at low speed performs better than with a single fan at high speed by about 5°C.  Once we crank up both fans, the system performs remarkable well - but it is no longer an ultra-quiet solution.  There is enough wind noise coming from the system to be quite audible.  Still when running flat out on this chip and topping at 48°C, this is pretty impressive for a simple all-in-one LCS.

 

   

Test #3 - Comparison Chart:

Big Chart 

The only kit we've ever tested that competes with the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro is the Noctua NH-D14 and it's not cheap - and it's very large.   Now that we've seen how it compares to the rest of the competition, we'll head on into the final section and provide our final thoughts and award a final score.


 

Final Thoughts:

It's been a while since I took my turn with a cooling product and I've got to say that I'm impressed.  Thermaltake has made installation, setup and using this product very simple.  It's been even longer since I've taken a look at a water cooling system and things just keep getting better and better as well.  It's remarkable that the pump and hose assembly gets smaller and the performance is still very good.

The performance of the Water 2.0 Pro is very good for an all-in-one liquid cooling system and that is what we've come to expect from Thermaltake.  Obviously if you build your own kit out of parts and spend a lot more, you'll gain a few more degrees of performance but you'll have to figure out if this is worth the extra work and cost.


In our testing we used one of the hottest CPUs available and this liquid cooling system was able to handle it with ease.  We did notice that the cooler performs remarkable well with both fans and not-so-much with only one.  Even a single fan spinning at top speed only provides adequate performance.  You definitely want to keep two fans running on this unit.  While the Noctua NH-D14 can keep up to the cooler, you have to decide if you want the massive chunk of copper hanging off your CPU or if you would prefer to get things liquid cooled.

As far as quality goes, the only concern I have is the retention bits.  The plastic bits that you assemble into the top retention ring feel very flimsy, but once everything is in place it seems to feel better as they strengthen each other.  If you removed these clip pieces a dozen times, they'd probably break, but once they are installed, you'll never remove them - even if you switch the cooler to another system.

Installation is really quite simple, although I did have to consult that manual for the retention instructions.  After that, it's very simple.  Four screws through the motherboard into the stiffener plate and you're good to go.

At the end of the day I can easily declare the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro LCS a winner.  For a all-in-one cooling system that is simple to install and is maintenance free, this cooler performs and works very well.  It blows away most of the competition and we're pretty happy with how it cools down a toasty 130-watt CPU.  It has earned our Editor's Choice award.  If you have a hot CPU and need to tame the beast and do it in relative quietness, the Water 2.0 Pro should be on your list of considerations.

   

 

Pros:

  • Good Performance
  • Easy Installation
  • Quality Construction
  • Quiet performance with PWM fans

 

Cons:

  • Some mounting hardware feels flimsy

 

BCCRating 

Gold

I'd like to thank Thermaltake for sending over the Water 2.0 Pro for us to review.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.