System Testing
The Thermaltake SwordM water cooling system was tested on a red-hot, dual-core Presler 955 CPU.  And to keep things interesting (and consistent with previous testing) I included the NVIDIA 8800 GTX video card into the loop.  The ambient room air temperature was maintained at 23C 0.5C.  The CPU was loaded by running multiple instances of CPUBurn and the GPU was loaded by running Real-time HDR IBL (rthdribl.exe) at 1600×1200.

•    Thermaltake SwordM water cooling system
•    Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe nForce4 SLI Intel edition motherboard
•    Pentium Extreme Edition dual core 955 (3.46 GHz at 1.22 Vcore)
•    SilverStone Olympia 750 watt PSU
•    (2) Corsair CM2X512-8000UL  DDR RAM
•    NVIDIA 8800GTX 768 MB 575/900 video card (Zalman VGA waterblock)
•    WD1200JD SATA HDD
•    Sony 16X DVD
•    Windows XP Pro with SP2

The SwordM water cooling system was tested with all fans operating on 12 VDC and tests were conducted with and without the VGA waterblock in series.

For comparison, I have included the results from previous testing with a Aquaduct 360 XT, Koolance CPU-330/VID-282 system, Zalman Reserator XT, Reserator 2, Koolance PC4-1025, and the Thermaltake Kandalf liquid cooling systems.  The following data is presented for comparative purposes only.  Your actual results may be different depending on the variables unique to your system (CPU, GPU, overclock, ambient temperature, case air flow, temperature monitoring, etc). 

Thermaltake SwordM Water Cooling System - Part 2 - Cases and Cooling 30

Thermaltake SwordM Water Cooling System - Part 2 - Cases and Cooling 31

Amb – Ambient air temperature measured with a thermocouple
H2O – Reservoir water temperature (digital thermometer)
Tc – Temperature obtained with calibrated thermocouple attached to IHS
Delta T – Fully loaded Tc temperature rise above ambient air temperature
dBA – Sound pressure level recorded 3’ away (background 29 dBA)

Note: The Reserator 2 and Koolance PC4-1025 systems were tested with 7800 GTX video cards instead of the 8800 GTX so I did not include them in the next two video card tables.  The Thermaltake Kandalf system was also excluded as it was originally tested without a GPU in the loop.

Thermaltake SwordM Water Cooling System - Part 2 - Cases and Cooling 32

Amb – Ambient air temperature measured with a thermocouple
GPU – GPU temperature reported by Everest utility using onboard sensor
Mem – Video RAM temperature reported by Everest utility using onboard sensor
Env – Video card environmental temperature reported by Everest

Loading both Presler cores with multiple instances of CPUBurn, while using the stock Intel HSF, resulted in significant thermal throttling of the CPU to prevent core meltdown.  However, with the SwordM water cooling system, the CPU cores ran much cooler, so no thermal throttling was necessary and the processors were able to run at a constant 100% load. 

The performance of the Thermaltake SwordM WCS was good but not outstanding.  Several of the other high performance water cooling systems we have tested recently produced better overall cooling results, especially when cooling both the CPU and a video card.  It appears this new Thermaltake CPU waterblock is rather restrictive, which can limit the overall system flow rate and performance when used with other waterblocks connected in series.

With all five case fans and the two radiator fans operating on 12V (1,300 rpm) the noise level measured 3’ away from the SwordM enclosure was only 39.4 dBA.  Not bad for seven 120mm fans but also not silent.

The 8800 GTX video card ran noticeably cooler with the SwordM water cooling system as compared to the stock air cooler but again, not as cool as when used with some other high performance water cooling systems.


« PreviousNext »