When you look at the Thermaltake Aquarius III cooling system, you will need to ask yourself whether you want quiet or cooling performance. If you have the desire for standard cooling with nearly silent operation, then you will be well pleased with this water cooling kit. If, however, you want performance like standard water coolers, you will be in for a disappointment.
When you start talking of alternative cooling solutions, it is generally a given statement of fact that you're wanting cooler temperatures to give you the ability to push your enthusiast rig further. With water, the expected result is to have the processor temperature about the same temperature as ambient. I was unable to reach anywhere close to this level of cooling performance with the Aquarius III.
Now I can't complain about the noise levels. I found a happy medium with noise and temperature when running the fan speed at about 4600-4800RPM. This produced some fan noise, but not enough to be any louder than my case fans. The higher speeds were a little better for temperatures, but not enough so to warrant the large amount of noise this 80mm monster puts out at full blast.
I still feel that with just a little thought into design and application, this could be a very solid competitor by doing nothing more than adding a larger reservoir and a higher capacity water pump. There is certainly enough room within the external housing to accommodate this, but it just wasn't to be. Hopefully in the future we can see this rig with those modifications and we'll see where it stands then.
Bottom line...If you're after a quiet cooler and don't really care about overclocking and hardcore gaming, then get one of these water coolers today. But if you're looking for better than air cooling for aggressive clock speeds, then you'll want to either look elsewhere or build your own water cooling rig.
Springs in hose assemblies
Shut-off valves for easy disassembly
Carrying case for LAN events
Too little water throughput
Reservoir too small
High fan speed is still loud
Results not in line with other water cooling systems
Rating - 7/10
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