I used ATI Tool and 3dMark03 to find the highest stable overclock with each cooler set to high fan speed, the stock cooling, as you might have expected, ends up last.
It seems the Tide Water has an ace up its sleeve?
I must be honest with you, these overclocking numbers with the Tide Water were not obtained with the unit installed “as it should”, I placed the Tide Water outside the case:
With the unit installed inside the system the maximum stable overclock sat between the stock cooling and the VF900Cu, pretty much on par with the temperature results. Placing the unit outside the case gives it a very nice advantage as the fan is able to provide the radiator with cool air.
I left out the dBA value as it very dependant on where you place the unit, the further away the better of course. Performance is simply stellar as you’re no longer blowing hot air onto the copper radiator, almost a 30°C temperature drop compared to the stock cooling (at 25% fan speed)!Conclusive thoughts
The Tide Water has a lot of potential and it easily improves on the stock cooling of most VGA cards, offering better performance at lower noise levels. However it has some stiff competition from other third party VGA coolers, such as air cooled copper heatsinks with integrated heat pipes which are cheaper to manufacture.
If Thermaltake can find a way to cool down the copper radiator effectively without relying on a noisy fan I think they’ll have a winner on their hands, however, as it currently stands, the unit is just too noisy at high speeds and although at low fan speeds the unit is borderline silent, the water pump is still quite audible.
If you have a well ventilated case and don’t care that
much about noise the Tide Water will make a fine addition to your PC if you’re interested in taking your first water cooling steps.
I like to thank Annie from Thermaltake
for setting me up with the review sample.