Thermaltake Bigwater 780e 3U liquid cooling system review
Thermaltake Bigwater 780e 3U liquid cooling system review:
Several things are apparent that you should keep in mind if you buy this system:
- length. The unit is very long. If your computer case is shorter than 18.5", then you will not be able to fit it in (because of the power supply cables and the system hoses and wires)
- 2u unit is probably sufficient. Unless your case has an insane number of 5.25" bays, occupying 3 bays does not leave much bays for other uses.
- dripping. Even though the hoses are quick disconnect with valves, do not disconnect over your motherboard or any other computer components. When you disconnect, some of the liquid will drip out that was present inside the quick connector itself. It is just a small amount, but do not get any on electronics.
- black color only. Keep in mind if your case is another color.
- GPU and northbridge waterblocks are not included, nor is there any mentioning of them (although you can buy the waterblocks and obtain more info from Thermaltake website). I have not yet connected the GPU and northbridge waterblocks.
- top must be mesh, and bay front must not be obstructed. This is a very serious limitation. If your case does not have a vented/mesh top, do not buy this system.
- The system is far from silent. A primary reason for most people to go to a liquid system is too many loud fans, not because of the temperatures. However, this unit is far from silent! Most likely, it will be as loud as if you had your original fans running.
Many more issues develop over medium to long term use. They are:
Dust collecting INSIDE the radiator that must be blown away regularly
Some kind of junk (algae) collects inside the tubes and waterblocks (when using their own coolant) and restricts the waterflow, eventually causing the pump to stop. You must periodically (quarterly) completely drain and clean the system.
The liquid level in the reservoir drops, and bubbles sometimes collect in the tubes. Make sure to check the liquid level periodically (every season). Note that this is somewhat hard to do, as the whole unit has to be carefully slided out of the computer case to get access to the liquid level and refill port.
You must also watch the waterflow indicator. If it starts to rotate slower than usual, you MUST immediately check the liquid level, tap the tubes and waterblocks lightly to drive out air bubbles, or if there is visible junk in the tubes, carefully (to not get any liquid on inside your computer) drain the system, reconnect everything, and top off the reservoir with clean coolant.
Manufacturer's product page: http://thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1436&ID=1615
My article: Software for Thermaltake Bigwater 780e
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Page last modified 23-Aug-11 19:09:01 EDT