Thermaltake W3 3

Thermaltake W3 Review

Value & Conclusion »


After the initial installation the waterblock was immediately removed and the contact area was inspected. After loosening the screws that hold down the block, there was a suction between the block and the chipset, but with a very little twist it came off

The fact that the thermal paste was spread out is an indication of good contact.

For the overclocking tests, I used the latest version of SysTool.

The thermal diode integrated in the nForce4 core was used to obtain temperatures, temperatures were read using Systool. Load temperatures were measured after one hour of SysTools torture test, idle temperatures after one hour of Windows desktop.

The DFI motherboard’s chipset varies its fan speed, I set it to 100% for all air tests.

The waterblock was tested with the following water loop:
  • Eheim HPPS Plus
  • Black Ice Xtreme II with 2 Sunon 7W fans
  • Alphacool Nexxxos CPU block
  • Thermaltake W3 block
The fans were controlled by a Zalman ZM-MFC1. During testing, fans were set to their maximum speed.

Because I used Arctic Silver Ceramique, I gave the paste three days of gaming in order for it to settle and achieve maximum performance.

I also lowered the LDT and CPU multiplier, put the memory on a divider, and raised the CPU voltage to make sure that I would not be limited by the CPU or memory.

nForce 4 SLIMaximum ClockTemperature LoadTemperature Idle
Stock cooler, 1.6V347 MHz 46°C38°C
Stock cooler, 1.7V353 MHz 51°C44°C
Stock cooler, 1.8V358 MHz 55°C46°C
Thermaltake W3, 1.6V360 MHz 40°C40°C
Thermaltake W3, 1.7V365 MHz 41°C40°C
Thermaltake W3, 1.8V366 MHz 43°C40°C

I was also interested in the effect that adding a chipset block would have on CPU temperatures. Interestingly, the rise in CPU temperatures was minimal – only about 3°C.

The graphs above show that the W3 helps lower chipset temperatures. It is interesting to see that the stock air cooler provides better cooling at the standard voltage. This might be because it has better contact, or because the chipset sensor is reporting inaccurate temperatures.

I was also interested to see the restriction of this waterblock. In order to obtain flow readings, I used a Siemens Megatron 2 flowmeter. While its accuracy is not ideal, it does give some sort of idea about flow rate.

Flow without block 0.182 m³/h
Flow with block0.087 m³/h

From the results we can see that the block decreases water flow by about 50%. I was surprised to see this result, I thought that due to the size and tubing used, the block would be much more restrictive.
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