Thermaltake Bigwater 760 Plus Reviewairman - April 16, 2012
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The Thermaltake Bigwater 760 Plus is a good looking water cooling system in a box. It's modular and doesn't require a case to have room for two 120mm or 140mm fans right next to each other like other water cooling units. However, I think the primary reason why I would recommend the Bigwater 760 to someone over a 2x120 water cooling unit is if there is a size restriction. Any case that has two adjacent 5.25" bays can fit the Bigwater 760 Plus, assuming enough room is on the other side of the 5.25" bays.
In my opinion, the water block included with this kit is the weakest link. I wish I had a nice LGA 1155 block that I could slap in the kit and see the performance difference, but I've been out of the water cooling game for two generations now. Compared to all-in-one units, the pump is much larger, and having a reservoir is a passive way to remove heat from the water. Aside from these limiting factors, I am afraid of the single, 3-pin connector powering the entire unit. I can't say for sure that the power source was the cause, but I did have some strange issues with hang-ups and other problems shortly after beginning the testing for the Bigwater 760 Plus while running it off of the 3-pin connector. After being scared by the 3-pin connector, I found a 3-pin to 4-pin Molex adapter and finished the remainder of the tests with that configuration. I couldn't recreate the issue.
Overall, the only real advantages to the Thermaltake Bigwater 760 Plus when considering it's higher price are that it's customizable and does not require a 2x120 footprint. The noise level isn't terrible, but is easily identifiable in a semi-quiet room. I wish Thermaltake had used a slightly higher-end water block in order to help remove heat from the processor more efficiently. Before anyone chimes in about it, I probed the reservoir temperature and it remained significantly cooler under load than the reported processor temperature. If the radiator was the weaker link, the water temperature wouldn't be so far off from the CPU temperature. All facts considered, the Thermaltake 760 Plus belongs to a smaller market of people who are into do-it-yourself projects and customization. Not having to deal with the stiff hoses from other water cooling units is a plus, and actually putting the 5.25" bays to use gives me a good feeling too.
- Does not require 2x120mm radiator footprint
- Adjustable fan speed knob
- Modular tube system, cut to length
- UV reactive hoses and fluid is neat
- More expensive than higher-performing units
- Open-style system may be prone to leaks
- Water block quality should be improved
- Powering everything from one 3-pin connector may be scary for some