Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Coelho on July 6, 2012
The WATER2.0 Pro is a sealed liquid cooling system from Thermaltake. It is a preassembled set of block, pump, hoses, and radiator, where the coolant liquid comes inside the sealed system. Let’s test its performance.
Figure 1 shows the huge box of the WATER2.0 Pro.
Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: the radiator-block set, fans, manuals, a Y-harness for connecting both of the fans to a single motherboard fan connector, and installation hardware.
This watercooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.
The sealed radiator-block system is shown in Figure 3. At the left is the radiator; at the right you can see the block. There is a cable on the block, which takes power to the integrated pump.
Figures 4 and 5 reveal the radiator of the WATER2.0 Pro.
In Figure 6, you can see the top of the block, where the pump that makes the liquid flow is integrated.
The base of the block, which is made of copper, is revealed in Figure 7. The thermal compound comes pre-applied.
Figure 8 illustrates the twin 120 mm fans that come with the WATER2.0 Pro. The fans have four pin connectors, which means they are compatible with PWM speed control.
In Figure 9, you can see the backplate for use on Intel CPUs. You must insert the four nuts into the backplate before attaching it to the solder side of the motherboard.
The second step of the installation is a little tricky and may be puzzling for some users. You must mount the frame with the pieces shown in Figures 10 and 11 according to the socket of your CPU.
Then, install the frame on the block, as shown in Figure 12.
The last step is to install the system inside the computer, attaching the block on the CPU and the radiator on the rear panel. (You must remove the rear fan of your case, if it has one.) Both fans must be installed as exhaust.
We tested the cooler with a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with 1.3 V core voltage (Vcore). This CPU was able to reach 4.8 GHz with its default core voltage, but at this setting, the processor enters thermal throttling when using mainstream coolers, reducing the clock and thus the thermal dissipation. This could interfere with the temperature readings, so we chose to maintain a moderate overclocking.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)
We compared the tested cooler to other coolers we already tested, and to the stock cooler that comes with the Core i5-2500K CPU. Note that the results cannot be compared to measures taken on a different hardware configuration, so we retested some “old” coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read on the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that comes with it.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.
During the tests, the panels of the computer case were closed. The front and rear case fans were spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler use on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top opening of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.
Operating System Configuration
We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the full speed.
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.||Temp. Diff.|
|Cooler Master Hyper TX3||18 °C||50 dBA||2850 rpm||69 °C||51 °C|
|Corsair A70||23 °C||51 dBA||2000 rpm||66 °C||43 °C|
|Corsair H100||26 °C||62 dBA||2000 rpm||64 °C||38 °C|
|EVGA Superclock||26 °C||57 dBA||2550 rpm||67 °C||41 °C|
|NZXT HAVIK 140||20 °C||46 dBA||1250 rpm||65 °C||45 °C|
|Thermalright True Spirit 120||26 °C||42 dBA||1500 rpm||82 °C||56 °C|
|Zalman CNPS12X||26 °C||43 dBA||1200 rpm||71 °C||45 °C|
|Zalman CNPS9900 Max||20 °C||51 dBA||1700 rpm||62 °C||42 °C|
|Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition||22 °C||50 dBA||2400 rpm||65 °C||43 °C|
|SilenX EFZ-120HA5||18 °C||44 dBA||1500 rpm||70 °C||52 °C|
|Noctua NH-L12||20 °C||44 dBA||1450 rpm||70 °C||50 °C|
|Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme||21 °C||53 dBA||2550 rpm||71 °C||50 °C|
|Gamer Storm Assassin||15 °C||48 dBA||1450 rpm||58 °C||43 °C|
|Deepcool Gammaxx 400||15 °C||44 dBA||1500 rpm||60 °C||45 °C|
|Cooler Master TPC 812||23 °C||51 dBA||2350 rpm||66 °C||43 °C|
|Deepcool Gammaxx 300||18 °C||43 dBA||1650 rpm||74 °C||56 °C|
|Intel stock cooler||18 °C||41 dBA||2000 rpm||97 °C||79 °C|
|Xigmatek Praeton||19 °C||52 dBA||2900 rpm||83 °C||64 °C|
|Noctua NH-U12P SE2||18 °C||42 dBA||1300 rpm||69 °C||51 °C|
|Deepcool Frostwin||24 °C||46 dBA||1650 rpm||78 °C||54 °C|
|Thermaltake Frio Advanced||13 °C||56 dBA||2000 rpm||62 °C||49 °C|
|Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition||9 °C||48 dBA||2100 rpm||53 °C||44 °C|
|Thermaltake Frio Extreme||21 °C||53 dBA||1750 rpm||59 °C||38 °C|
|Noctua NH-U9B SE2||12 °C||44 dBA||1700 rpm||64 °C||52 °C|
|Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro||15 °C||54 dBA||2000 rpm||52 °C||37 °C|
In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.
In the graph below, you can see how many decibels of noise each cooler makes.
The main specifications for the Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro liquid CPU cooler include:
The Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro is very similar to the Corsair H70 and the Antec Kühler H2O 920, since they are all manufactured by Asetek. However, the performance results demonstrate that they are not the same product.
The Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro achieved the same level of performance as the best liquid cooling system we tested to date, the Corsair H100, while maintaining a lower noise level.
The only drawback of the WATER2.0 Pro is the tricky installation, which can be confusing for most users. However, the manual is clear enough to guide you successfully through the installation if you have some patience.
Due to its impressive performance, the Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro receives our Golden Award.