Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer and Water 2.0 Pro Reviewairman - July 10, 2012
Category: CPU Cooling
Price: $79.99 and $111.99
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It's hard to believe that it's been nearly five years since the first self-contained water cooling units were made popular in the market. These liquid cooling systems allowed users to achieve similar efficiency and low noise levels of the high-end custom water cooling systems. At first, these first-generation all-in-one water cooling units were regarded in performance as "not much better, if not even worse than air cooling". I know that I was one that made that statement years ago, but it was also true at the time. Over the past 18 months or so, these prepackaged water cooling units have seriously matured in performance. Thermaltake has had its toes in water cooling for quite some time, having this year released the cut to fit, semi-custom Bigwater 760 Plus. Now, we get to take a look at part of the latest lineup of water cooling from Thermaltake.
The Thermaltake Water 2.0 line includes three models from which to choose: the Performer, the Pro, and the Extreme, and go up in performance respectively. The Performer and the Pro both use a 1x120mm radiator, but the radiator core of the Pro is much thicker. The Extreme, which I won't be looking at, uses a 2x120mm radiator. From what I can tell, the Performer and the Pro are identical in their mechanical properties with the exception of the thicker radiator core on the Pro. In this article, I will provide a thorough evaluation of the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer and Water 2.0 Pro. This will include an up-close look of the units, a sharing of technical specifications and features, followed by a performance evaluation to see how these compare to other coolers available on the market. Let's get started!
When I first opened the package that contained these coolers and laid eyes on their respective boxes, I was unable to distinguish anything different between them. The boxes dimensions, graphic layout, and color are identical. The only separating factor is the different texts (Performer versus Pro) and the cover picture. Of course, the listed radiator dimensions (and as such, the weight) differ slightly — but that's it. In the pictures below, the Water 2.0 Performer remains on the left side and the Water 2.0 Pro appears to the right side.
The right side of the boxes are for our international friends, presenting the features in a multitude languages. Turning to the rear we find the features listed and explained in English, explaining the benefits of self-contained liquid cooling units, CPU socket support, their copper bases, and more. Here again, the packages are identical with the slight difference in the thickness of the radiators. Finally, the left side of these boxes provide the mechanical properties of the two liquid cooling units. The only difference, again, appears to be the thickness of the radiators and the overall weight of each unit.
Inside, we find a holding tray that contains each water cooling unit and protects them from damage during shipment. The arrangement of the contents of each box is again identical. The radiator is placed in the rear of the tray, which lays against the accessory/mounting parts. The two fans are present in the middle (one is in a cardboard sleeve, most likely to prevent scuffing), and finally the water block is laid opposite of the radiator. Overall, this packaging appears to be environmentally friendly with its low use of plastic baggies and recycled cardboard construction.
Finally, the last thing to share on this page is the included accessory/mounting components. The "packing list," as I'll call it, is not surprisingly the same between both cooling units. An Intel and an AMD backplate pair with one corresponding hold-down bracket, and what looks like OEM Intel-style push-lock hardware. I can't say for sure right away, but later on the next page I will share the installation process and my thoughts about its ease and user friendliness. Once out of the boxes and placed next to each other, the difference in radiator thickness is evident — the radiator on the Water 2.0 Pro is just short of twice the thickness of the radiator on the Water 2.0 Performer.
With both cooling units out of their boxes, I will now take a closer look at them, share my thoughts and perhaps share my opinions on certain features/design aspects.