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Thermaltake Aquarius III Water Cooling System Review - Testing

By: Mike Wright | CPU Liquid Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Dec 20, 2003 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 7.0%Manufacturer: Thermaltake



I ran this set of tests just a bit differently than other cooler tests that I have performed. This is because a water cooling solution is designed for those running an overclocked system. While this isn't always the case, it is most of the time from all the folks I've talked to concerning this type of cooling method.


That said, I'll be conducting a series of tests on a Barton core Athlon XP 2500+, which will be running at 2.2GHz throughout testing. The heat output will be a tad over 82 watts at a VCore setting of 1.65 volts.


Test System Setup


Xoxide modified Lian-Li PC60 Case (Supplied by Xoxide)


Soltek SL-75MRN-L Motherboard (Supplied by Soltek)


AMD Athlon XP 2500+ Processor


512MB OCZ PC3500 Platinum DDR Memory (Supplied by OCZ)


Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro "Ultimate Edition" (Supplied by Sapphire)


Western Digital 80GB Hard Drive


Arctic Silver III


Ambient temperature while testing is a steady 21C. Testing will consist of the three tests I generally use for cooling. This includes temperature monitoring at idle, after a healthy Deathmatch in Quake III Arena and a demo loop of 3DMark2001. For comparison sake I have included the same series of tests run on the Thermaltake Volcano 12 HSF.


As a final note, I have tested the Aquarius III at both minimum and maximum fan speeds. This will give a fair reckoning of its capabilities while silent and loud.


Temperature - Idle



There was surprisingly no difference between the temperatures when using different fan speeds. I double checked and allowed both fan speeds to sit idle again and the results were consistent. But regardless, the water cooling is beginning the competition with a loss to an air cooler.


Temperatures - Quake III Arena Deathmatch



We're seeing a difference between the fan speeds now, but the end result is still a bit higher than I would expect for a water cooled system. While the results are not totally unacceptable, they tend to be too high for an alternative cooling method.


Temperature - 3DMark2001 Demo Loop



This test resulted in temperatures nearly identical to the Quake III test. We still have acceptable temperatures, but the readings are just too high for water.


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