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Thermaltake Big Water 735 Liquid Cooling Review

When someone buys a liquid cooling system for their PC, it’s for one or both of two reasons. The first is for cooling; Keeping hot computer parts cool under stress. The other reason is for silence. Respectively, there are very different designs for both applications. You’ve got your really big systems with no fans, and your compact systems with a big loud fan to keep the liquid cool. Both types of systems, in my experience, keep the system at about the same temperature. The Thermaltake CL-W0075 is the latter.

Unlike a system like the Zalman Reserator which has everything built into one unit, Thermaltake’s system has the pump, reservoir, and radiator separate. The obvious downside to having the system all apart is the fact that you need more hoses running to achieve the same effect, and you have to find a place for each item, instead of only having to find a spot for one.

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On the upside, however, this allows the system to fit into smaller areas, like inside your case, for example. You can mount the pump and reservoir on the bottom of the case, and the radiator in place of the stock 120mm fan in the rear of your case. Keep in mind that if you have a MID ATX case, you may run into some room constraints, as I did. In a FULL ATX case scenario, you remove the 120mm fan from the rear of your case, and mount the liquid radiator in its place.

The problem with mid XTX cases is that the radiator hangs down about another 50%, meaning the expansion slots block it from fitting correctly. In that case, you mount it in the same place on out OUTSIDE of the case. The problem with mounting it on the outside of your case is the fact that you then have to run tubes outside of your case to connect to the radiator, taking up an expansion slot. In addition to that expansion slot being used, you have to use another empty expansion slot to hold the fan speed controller knob, and using 2 free expansion slots on a mid ATX case is ambitious in itself, considering most gamers have a video card, sound card, and possibly network cards, capture cards, etc.

Performance-wise, however, is where this system really shines. Compared to other systems I’ve tried, this system pumps more liquid faster. The CPU water block which is included perfectly fits nearly any type of CPU (in my case LGA 755), and cools it more than sufficiently. The fan mounted on the radiator is a quality Thermaltake unit, so you can trust that it’s powerful and quiet. The tubing included is hard plastic, which has its ups and downs. This allows for a lower chance of leaking, since the tubing is harder to pierce, but also means the tubing is harder to maneuver than similar silicone tubing which other systems offer.

As far as asthetics go, this system is the best I’ve seen. Not only do you have the normal black and silver fare, but the tubing and coolant are UV reactive green, and the CPU block and liquid pump have blue LEDs built in, lighting up your liquid like radioactive waste (and who doesn’t like radioactive waste?). In addition, the CPU block has a clear acrylic surface, so you can see the liquid pass over the copper block as it’s cooling the processor.

As far as actual cooling goes, this system is outstanding. I was able to overclock my Pentium D 805 2.66GHz to 3.8GHz with no heat problems, even at full load for long periods of time. Although I personally didn’t, you can purchase additional VGA blocks or hard drive coolers to add onto the system to expand its use. The only real problem I ran into while installing this system was its lack of CPU fan plug integration. The LED for the CPU block I mentioned uses the CPU fan’s plug, but only one of the plug’s four pins, which are used to allow the system to control the speed of the fan, so that if the heat goes up, the system can cool itself off, and if the heat goes down, it can turn the speed down to save power and noise. Without this plug, however, the system BIOS gives an error every time I power the system on. Even with these small flaws, this system is one of the best liquid cooling systems for those in need of powerful cooling for components which demand it.