Introducing the Thermaltake Water 3.0 Family

The Water 3.0 revision of Thermaltake's closed loop cooling line is, in an interesting turn of events, an opportunity for us to essentially test the stock, traditional versions of Asetek's closed loop cooler products. Companies like Corsair, NZXT, and Thermaltake (among others) will often take the existing radiator, pump, and waterblock loop and give it their own spin, either by including special software, adding fan headers, or just using higher quality fans to differentiate their products. We've been able to test the CoolIT versions of the 120mm and 240mm radiator loops thanks to Corsair, but the Asetek ones are very popular as well (and in my opinion preferable), and thankfully that's what Thermaltake opted to go with for their third series of closed loop coolers.

  Water 3.0 Performer Water 3.0 Pro Water 3.0 Extreme
Type 120mm 120mm 240mm
Dimensions (in mm) 151 x 120 x 27 151 x 120 x 49 270 x 120 x 27
Fans (Supported) 2 (2) 2 (2) 2 (4)
OEM Asetek Asetek Asetek
MSRP (NewEgg) $75 $95 $110

The variety of coolers is pretty simple: you're dealing with a traditional 120mm radiator in the Water 3.0 Pro, you get a double-thick 120mm radiator with the Water 3.0 Pro, and then you go back to standard thickness and double-length with the 240mm radiator in the Water 3.0 Extreme. What's unique to Thermaltake is that each of these coolers comes with two fans. Entry level kits typically only come with one fan (see Corsair's H60, NZXT's Kraken X40), but out of the box these should perform about as well as they can thermally.

As these are Asetek units, installation is handled using the same method I've detailed previously. Asetek uses a notched ring that's mounted through the mounting holes in the motherboard; from there, you line up the notches on the ring and the waterblock and slide it into place, then turn it so the notches on the ring lock the block. Twist the thumbscrews to secure the ring and you're done. It's very simple and as far as I'm concerned the easiest mounting system short of the one Cooler Master employs with their Seidon 240M.

It's important to remember, though, that the majority of these closed loop coolers employ aluminum fins in the radiator instead of copper and Thermaltake's is no different. A copper radiator like the one in Swiftech's H220 feels a lot heavier, but the fins themselves are also easier to bend due to the softer material. The copper also does a better job of dissipating heat; the 240mm H220 is essentially competitive with the 280mm NZXT Kraken X60 (itself an Asetek design).

Where Thermaltake diverges from the competition is that they opt to keep the packages as simple as possible. The Water 3.0 Extreme plugs into a USB 2.0 header on the motherboard and has the 4-pin PWM fan headers coming out of the block, and it benefits from software control essentially identical to what NZXT uses with the Kraken X40 and X60, suggesting even the software is a re-skinned OEM solution. That means three cooling modes: a "Silent" fan curve, an "Extreme" fan curve, and then a custom fan curve. Meanwhile, the 3.0 Pro and 3.0 Performer both rely on a PWM splitter connected to the CPU fan header on the motherboard to control fan speed; you'll need to plug the pump into a separate 3-pin header.

Testing Methodology
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Wetworkz - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    I do not remember where I saw this but some guy hooked his water cooler to his toilet. No, I am not kidding. He ran plumbing to the tank on the back of the toilet and every time his temperature began to climb he would flush the toilet and get a new surge of cool water. I am pretty sure you could find the article if you wanted to look it up, it was pretty entertaining to be honest.
  • EJ257 - Saturday, June 1, 2013 - link

    That's actually pretty brilliant. Was it this guy?
  • jkresh - Sunday, June 2, 2013 - link

    that could work depending on your usage, if you are always running at load (folding at home or something along those lines) it wouldnt help because eventually all the water would get warm (and without a radiator it would continue to heat up), but if you only run for relatively short periods of time (lets say an hour or two for gaming) then that might work. The most impressive system I saw, was someone ran a a server farm in his basement, with water running outside to copper pipes which ran deep under his yard, so he basically used geothermal cooling for his computers, kind of a crazy setup, but using the Earth as your heatsink has its advantages.
  • Adamantine - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    You didn't setup the radiator like people who do full PC liquid cooling setups do, which is going to perform better than how you did it. Fans need to be setup as intakes on the radiator, not exhaust. It almost guarantees the radiator will get the coolest air possible which isn't possible when setup as exhaust.
  • dwade123 - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    They should start making those compatible with CPU & GPU. Now that is truly a All-in-One design.
  • Galcobar - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Copyediting error in the second paragraph of the first page.
    "The variety of coolers is pretty simple: you're dealing with a traditional 120mm radiator in the Water 3.0 Pro, you get a double-thick 120mm radiator with the Water 3.0 Pro, and then you go back to standard thickness and double-length with the 240mm radiator in the Water 3.0 Extreme."

    That first "Pro" should be "Performer."
  • vishwa108 - Saturday, June 1, 2013 - link

    Whilst being prejudical is an unwelcome trait, being prejudicial on behalf of Truth is an asset all men strive for. Truth be told, "Thermaltake" might sound both Tojo-ish and English, but as all know, this beastie is but a mere pretender to "watercooling", mediocrity being its forte when it comes to watercooling. Not when "Asetek" is supporting one's watercooled butt, that is. After some Bavarian ariy-fairyness having levelled Ten on the religiosity crapola. That is what you'll get for mixing Taiwanese panda greeny-loony cutieness with sophisticated Western gender-bending taste.

    Even so, DNA being thicker than water, the same nonsense prevailed. LOUD and LOUDER. What is "entry-level" watercooling if it is not about lowering loudness? What? Eets about pandering to fairies and their pirouettes? This has to be some Choseness Frivolity & Nonsense masquerading as Sense & Sensibility. It looks like fashion has finally caught up with PC, Performance and Overclocking. Either that or the fairies have accidentally beached themselves on the PC Cloud Cuckooland. C'mon chuck, give us the other one will ya.
  • xaml - Sunday, June 2, 2013 - link

    What is this, if not an attempt at pooetry? Is it that your head case is the one thing in urgent need of water cooling? Thermal it. Take!

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now