This time we will be taking a look at one of the premium CPU Liquid Coolers from the Thermaltake. It is Thermaltake Water 3.0 Review. The cooling solution is based on Asetek design. This is a 120mm size cooling solution.

Besides the packed performance, the cooler features stunning ARGB lighting display on the CPU water block and the Pure 120mm ARGB fan. The lighting solution is compatible with the ASRock Polychrome, Asus AURA Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0, MSI Mystic Lighting using 5V headers. Not only that but they have also provided a dedicated lighting controller to cover the users without addressable header motherboard(s).

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Review

This is like all in one complete solution, taking care of everything a user might need. The cooler supports almost all Intel and AMD sockets including the LGA20xx and AMD AM4.

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Thermaltake Water 3.0 Specifications

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Specifications

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Packaging and Unboxing

The cooler comes inside a cardboard box. The contents of the box are placed inside the egged carton for maximum protection during the shipping.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Packaging

This side of the box has a TT premium logo printed in the center followed by the Thermaltake text. Water 3.0 120 ARGB Sync is printed below the Thermaltake.

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Thermaltake Water 3.0 Packaging box

This side has TT Thermaltake printed on the top left. There is a picture of the cooler printed in the main section showing the addressable lighting. Compatibility information with regard to the motherboard manufacturers is printed at the bottom left side.

ARGB Controller & 5V MB Sync shows that the cooler comes with the dedicated controller as well as compatible with the motherboard addressable headers using 5V. The cooler has support for leading sockets from both sides.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Packaging box backside

This side has salient features of the cooler printed in 11 different languages. A serial no sticker is pasted at the bottom side followed by a printed sticker of Part No, EAN, UPC codes.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 box

This side has the specifications of the cooler printed in a tabular format.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Packed box

This side shows the features of the cooler as well as detail on the ARGB lighting modes. For performance data, there is a graph comparing this cooler with the Intel stock cooler on i7 7700k at 100% load. We are not sure what load it was that they used to test the coolers and seems like the chip was tested on stock clocks but can’t confirm.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Unboxing

There is an egged carton packing for safety of the contents. The user manual and warranty policy pamphlet are placed on the top.

Thermaltake 3.0 Accessories

  • 1x 120mm Radiator
  • 1x Pure ARGB 120mm Fan
  • 1x Backplate for Intel
  • 1x Mounting bracket for AMD
  • 1x Mounting bracket for Intel
  • 1x Supporting Bracket
  • 4x Intel LGA115X/1366
  • 4x Intel LGA20XX standoff screws
  • 1x AMD mounting Pin and thumb screw
  • 4x Fan Long Screws
  • 4x Radiator Screws
  • 4x Washers
  • 1x Motherboard Sync Cable E
  • 1x Motherboard Sync Cable F
  • 1x Lighting Controller
  • 1x User Manual
  • 1x Warranty Policy

Thermaltake 3.0 Accessories

Thermaltake 3.0 Closer Look

Thermaltake is catering for all market segments by custom tailoring their products for each specific requirement. Their enthusiast thermal cooling solution in an AIO starts with the Floe RGB coolers. Their TT Premium edition line up now includes Floe RGB, DX, and Water 3.0 (Performer RGB) ARGB Sync editions. Thermaltake has sent for Thermaltake water 3.0 review. This is what Thermaltake has to say about this cooler.

“Thermaltake Water 3.0 120 ARGB Sync CPU Liquid Cooler comes with one 120 mm fan with a large surface radiator, high performance waterblock and pump for ultimate CPU cooling. The built-in Pure ARGB fan features compression blades, hydraulic bearing, and 16.8 million colors LEDs that is ready to sync with 5V RGB capable motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and AsRock.

Users can easily switch RGB lighting effects using the ARGB controller that is included in the packet, or by ASUS Aura Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light Sync and AsRock Polychrome software. Water 3.0 ARGB Sync Edition Series allows users to enjoy better cooling performance and greater CPU protection!” It is time to take a closer look at the cooler.

Radiator

Thermaltake 3.0 radiator

The dimension of the radiator is 151x120x27mm where 27mm is the thickness or height of the radiator. It is a slim radiator. With 25mm fans, the total height would be 52mm. The total thickness of the unit when assembled was 53.50mm (approximately) as measured with a digital caliper. This is due to the thick heads of the fan screws.  The radiator is made of aluminum hence it is lightweight. FPI count is 20 on this radiator and fans with high airflow and high air pressure would make sense here. The edges of the radiator are angular.

Thermaltake 3.0 Closer Look

The far chamber is relatively thinner which is what we see on almost all AIO coolers. There is 105mm of spacing between any two mounting holes on the radiator housing. The total length of the fins area is 120mm approximately. The length of the radiator is 151mm. There is no protective plating under the mounting holes on this radiator so take care while installing the fans on it as long screws could easily damage the fins that would least impact the performance or worst leakage from the radiator.

Thermaltake 3.0 detailed sticker

There is a sticker pasted on the side confirming that the Asetek is an OEM of this unit.

mf120

This cooler is using flexible rubber tubing with no sleeve. The length of the tube is 326mm. The tubes have OD of 9.72mm as measured with a digital caliper. Barbed fittings can be seen from the above picture.

Water Block

Let’s take a look at the water block of this cooler.

cooler master mf120

The pump housing is made of the plastic. There is a lid on the top of the block with a white diffuser in a circular design.

cooler master masterfan mf120 halo

There is a TT premium brand logo in the middle of this circle followed by the Thermaltake text. All these have frosted white diffusers underneath that light up when powered on. The complete block is in circular shape finished in the matte black color. The front, left and the right sides of the pump housing are solid surfaces without any branding. There are two cables coming out from the left side of the block. These are:

  • 3-pin power cable for the pump measuring 282mm approximately.
  • Pump LED cable measuring 885mm approximately.

The pump’s power cable is flat while the LED cables are braided. One thing that I have observed is the extra-ordinary length of the LED cables on this cooler which makes the cable management task more challenging.

cooler master mf120 halo

The backside of the pump housing shows two 90° barb fittings. The tubes can be rotated as per requirement due to this 90  implementation and flexible nature of the tubes. There is a groove on the three sides of the pump housing between the upper chamber and the lower chamber. This area has housing clamping and this is where the Intel and AMD mounting rings are put in.

masterfan mf120 halo

I have had one complaint with this design which is there was no way for the user to lock the mounting ring/bracket on the block on its own and it makes the installation process tedious as the user has to hold the ring mounted block so as to ensure that ring does not displace.

This time around, Thermaltake has provided another plastic bracket which has 4 edges. The user will put the ring on the block and lock it by installing the plastic bracket from the bottom side of the block. This will secure the mounting ring/bracket and makes the installation convenient. Kudos to the Thermaltake for coming up with a simple yet effective solution!

The motor speed of the pump is rated at 3000 RPM. The pump is rated at 12VDC with a power input of 3.9W at 12V. The ARGB LED power rating is 1.06W at 5V. Please, note that you would need to multiply the RPM reported in the UEFI/BIOS with 2 to get the effective or true speed due to the bipolar motor.

thermaltake water 3.0

The cooler comes with the pre-applied thermal paste. In recent times, the coolers with Asetek as an OEM have come with much improved thermal pastes as the performance delta was observed to be marginal between the stock paste and the Noctua NT-H1. There is a transparent cover safeguarding the pre-applied thermal paste. The diameter of the copper base is 52mm approximately. It is secured by 8 screws to the pump housing.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Fans

Thermaltake has provided their popular Pure 120mm fan with this cooler.

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Fans

Let’s take a look at the specifications of the fan, first:

Variable Value
Dimension (mm) 120x120x25
Speed (RPM) 500~1500
Static Pressure (mmH₂O) 1.59
Air Flow (CFM) 56.45
Noise dB(A) 25.8
Voltage (VDC) 12
Power (W) 1.44
Connector Type 4-Pin PWM
Power Cable Length (mm) 930 (approx.)
LED Cable Length (mm) 900+100 (approx.)
LED Cable Power 5V, 1.60W

The Pure 12 features compression blades, hydraulic bearing, and a 16.8 million colors LED ring with 9 addressable LEDs that is ready to sync with 5V RGB capable motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and AsRock. It has a black color frame.

There are gray color rubber pads on the mounting holes to reduce the vibration. The fan has 9 blades which are lightly frosted. The hub has black color sticker pasted on it with TT premium logo printed on it. The corner sides of the frame have downward sloped design. One side of the frame has two arrows indicating the direction of airflow and spin blade.

thermaltake - water 3.0 120mm

The backside of the fan has a sticker pasted on the motor hub with Thermaltake brand name and TT premium logo printed at the top. The fan is using DC Brushless motor. The fan is made in China. There is a 4-arm design holding and connecting the motor hub and the blades to the fan’s frame. The current rating is mentioned as 0.70A. One of the arms has a widened body with a clamp to secure the power and LED cables coming out of the hub. The frame has an identical design on both sides.

Water 3.0 RGB Lighting

This is an ARGB Sync Edition meaning that it is fully compatible with the Asus AURA Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0, MSI Mystic Lighting, and ASRock RGB LED lighting solutions on their motherboards. I have tested the cooler on the Asus Strix X470-F and the cooler’s lighting was synced successfully with the motherboard’s lighting solution. In case you don’t have such enabled motherboard, then there is good news as Thermaltake has bundled a dedicated lighting controller as well.

Water 3.0 RGB Lighting

The controller is in black color. It has a TT premium logo printed on the top. There is a blue LED indicator right next to the TT logo. There are three buttons on the controller:

  • Mode
  • Color
  • Speed

There are 7 LED modes using a dedicated controller which can be accessed using the Mode button on the controller. These are:

  • Wave
  • Full Light
  • RGB Spectrum
  • Off
  • Flow
  • Ripple
  • Pulse
  • Blink

Off is not counted as a mode hence 7 modes. There are 7 basic colors. The RGB color is only available in certain modes which are Full Light, Pulse, and Blink. The colors are:

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Teal
  • Blue
  • White
  • Purple

There are 4-speed controls using the dedicated controller:

  • Slow
  • Normal
  • Fast
  • Extreme

thermaltake water 3.0 120mm

The controller is powered by 5V SATA connector. The length of this cable is 460mm and it is braided as well.

120 water

The other cable of the controller is LED connector. Its length is 441mm approximately. It is also braided. The concept is simple. All the ARGB devices are to be daisy-chained (in a series) and connected to the controller using the controller’s LED cable. The maximum signal output for a single controller is 90 ARGB LEDs.

Motherboard Sync

If you wish to connect the ARGB devices to the motherboards’ ARGB lighting headers using 5V then there are two MB Sync cables included in the accessories. They are labeled as E and F.

thermaltake 3.0

The E labeled MB Sync cable is to be used for Asus, ASRock, and MSI motherboards as these motherboards are using 4-pin design for 5V lighting headers. The length of this cable is 900mm approximately and it is braided.

thermaltake ultimate 3.0 watercooler

The F labeled MB sync cable is to be used for the Gigabyte motherboards as these boards are using 3-pin design for 5V lighting headers. The length of this cable is 900mm approximately and it is braided.

thermaltake 120mm aio

Simply connect the fan and the pump LED cables to the respective MB Sync cable and connect the MB Sync cable to the motherboard’s 5V lighting header. You will have to use the motherboard’s respective lighting controlling software.

The pure 12 ARGB Sync Radiator Fan and the Pump pack stunning 16.8M colors light spectrum with some vivid lighting modes to make your day and to color coordinate the build to its full effect. The overall lighting effects are sublime and evenly diffused. They are not overly done which is a plus. Here are some pictures of the lighting on this cooler.

Hardware enthusiast, Gamer, Writer. I enjoy picking up games, putting them back down, and then writing about it.