Thermaltake send over an interesting product for review, a self contained water cooling system for use with a wide range of video cards.
The Tide Wave is quite compact, packing a pump, reservoir, radiator and fan in box that will fit well next to your video card.
The third party VGA cooling market has enlarged quite a bit past years, I recently roundup up several solutions in comparative test
. Striking a good balance between performance/noise/price/compatibility can be quite a challenge; manufactures are offering products which aim to take the top spot in one or more of these categories.
Making a compact heatsink is quite cheap compared to building a complete water cooling set that fits inside most PC cases, the Thermaltake Tide Water was priced $78 (Newegg.com)
at the time of writing, which is about $30 more expensive than alternative solutions from competitors like Zalman VF900-Cu
. The question I mean to answer in this review today, is the Tide Water worth the money? What are the advantages/disadvantages over conventional air cooling solutions?SpecificationsBrazing copper Water block - dissipate up to 120W heat.
The water block is quite compact, only a bit bigger than the core GPU of most video cards. The base is quite smooth, with little traces of machine lapping showing.
The whole unit can is rated to be able to remove up to 120W of heat, some of ATI’s latest X1900 series do come awfully close of that number.
Apply to nVIDIA and ATi GPU
Wide compatibility is provided by a well thought out installation system, it will allow the water block to be mounted on future video cards easily too, it’s very flexible.
All copper designed Radiator
Since the water block is made out of copper, in the long run, having a copper radiator will prevent corrosion but also benefit cooling efficiency, downsides of using copper in the increased weight and it’s more expensive.
Adjustable Fan (1700 , 2500 RPM /17 , 19dBA)
While the specifications look promising, I wonder how they recorded the noise level, as the fan at high speed is nowhere near 19dBA.
Black Powerful 12 V Tiny Pump – 40.000 hours (~4.5 years)
10,000 hours of maintenance free from liquid refilling (~1 year)
The reservoir of the Tide Water can be emptied easily by use of the small refill cap, the water level can also be checked on the side when the unit is installed inside a case, however you’ll have to open up your case in order to see it the small “meter”.