A major problem I see with the performance of the M3 is the tiny tubing/fitting size. While 6.4/9.5 mm might be fine for the other watercooling components from Thermaltake, and some european systems, the hardcore people use bigger tubing - 1/2" (12mm). Reducing the smallest flow diameter from 12mm to 9.5mm (cross section=452mm² vs. 282 mm²) will reduce flow rate and cooling performance.
Mounted inside the case, the unit looks well, it doesnt matter which color the surrounding case is. The black smoked plexiglass gives it an elegant look without colliding with the color scheme.
What might be a nice addition for the modders, is some kind of lighting inside the unit. But this can be easily added by yourself.
When we tested the unit in a 6.4mm ID system, the CPU temperature did not change at all. On our reviewing system which uses 1/2" tubing we saw a CPU temperature increase of about 4°C - quite a lot if you consider how much people spend for waterblocks which improve their temperatures by 1 or 2°C.
Value and Conclusion
|7.9||The Thermaltake Aquabay M3 is a great accessory for users of Thermaltake water cooling kits. Its build quality feels very solid. I don't see the risk of any leaks, as long as its properly installed, which is very easy with the included instruction manual.|
Extreme watercoolers with big tubing sizes of more than 9.5mm should consider other solutions, because the flow rate might be severely reduced.