August 10, 2014 - by NiKKTECH
With the introduction of the first 120mm AIO (All In One) Liquid CPU Coolers a few years back regular users/consumers could now enter the water cooling world without the extra cost and work required when purchasing a custom kit. Of course it may have all started with the two most well-known AIO manufacturers in the world (namely Asetek and CoolIT) which in turn rebranded their solutions for a number of companies like Antec, Thermaltake and Corsair but now even more have joined up making the battle much fiercer than what it used to be. Competition is always a good thing however and so aside lower prices this has also brought forth the introduction of 240mm and 360mm AIO liquid CPU coolers which in some cases even offer performance comparable to custom water cooling kits. Thermaltake just released the Water 3.0 Ultimate a massive 360mm AIO liquid CPU Cooler but until that makes it here we decided to check their Water 3.0 Extreme 240mm AIO liquid CPU cooling solution.
When we saw that the 240mm radiator used in the Water 3.0 Extreme was not as thick as the one used with its predecessor the Water 2.0 Extreme model we were quite curious as to what Thermaltake had done in order to make up for that. The obvious course of action would be to increase the density of the fins and use both a better pump and better 120mm fans which they did and so the end result is actually slightly better than expected. Of course half a degree Celsius is not what Iâ€™d call a breakthrough especially since the fans and pump product slightly more noise than the ones used in the Water 2.0 Extreme (strange since Thermaltake claims that these fans are less noisy) but whatever performance increase we can get for the same amount of money is always good. The thinner radiator of the Water 3.0 Extreme takes less space and that should appeal to people with midi towers who just don't have much space to spare. The Antec Kuhler H2O 1250 did outperform the Water 3.0 Extreme again by half a degree but it has two significant drawbacks, it's fixed fans and noise levels so no matter how you see it the Water 3.0 Extreme is a slightly better choice overall.
Price is also another plus for the Water 3.0 Extreme Liquid CPU Cooler by Thermaltake since it currently costs just USD99 inside the USA (Amazon.com) and 118.28Euros inside the EU (Amazon.de). Of course if you don't mind the mentioned drawbacks of the slightly better Kuhler H2O 1250 by Antec you can find it for even less but in the end that comes down to personal preference. The only really bad thing about the Water 3.0 Extreme is that it made us want to check out the latest Water 3.0 Ultimate even more but that's really not enough for us to keep our Golden Award away from it.
- Overall Build Quality
- Excellent Performance
- Thin Radiator (27mm)
- Fan Control Software
- Quad Fan Solution (Dual Ready)
- Easy Installation
- Price (For Some)
- Noise Levels (Extreme Mode - For Some)