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Thermaltake Tide Water Tackles GPU Heat

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  • Memory
  • Heat
  • Graphics
  • Thermaltake
Last response: in Memory
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April 13, 2006 10:59:43 AM

Graphics processors have passed CPUs in terms of both transistor count and heat dissipation, making a proper graphics cooling solution a must-have for enthusiasts. We tried Thermaltake's self-contained Tide Water to see how well it kept things cool.

More about : thermaltake tide water tackles gpu heat

April 13, 2006 1:35:38 PM

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On the flip side, there are several issues that we need to point at. First, we would not trust the claim of 10,000 hours of maintenance-free operation, because evaporation of the liquid coolant through the skinny rubber tube walls is an issue. (This is the reason why high-end liquid cooling system consist of large diameter rubber tubes.)


I've always read that big tubes are for better flow. Besides, larger tubes of the same rubber will evaporate more coolant, not less.
April 13, 2006 2:08:21 PM

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I've always read that big tubes are for better flow. Besides, larger tubes of the same rubber will evaporate more coolant, not less.


Evaporation is a result of surface area, so larger tubes will vaporize more water. Of course, the surface area to volume ratio is less with thicker tubes which leads to a smaller percentage of water available for evaporation.

A larger diameter tube leads to greater flow because fluid resistance is inversely proportional to the raduis^4.
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April 13, 2006 2:31:28 PM

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For its cost, this product should be a must have for any tech enthusiast.


If you can't overclock more than a stock cooler, and you have MUCH more maintenance than a fan, why exactly is this a must-have?

At least I can monitor if my fan dies with the stock drivers/air cooling. I don't have to crack open my case every 4 months to check it, either.

If I wanted something quieter than my fan, I'd go with a diesel Heat Pipe solution for $75 that would probably give me similar results.

Yeah, it's a decent mid-range budget OC solution for maybe a 10%-20% GPU OC, but calling it a must-have....that's a stretch. You can get a really good quality water solution for < $200 that fits into any ATX form factor, with USB connectivity. At the mid-range, for an extra $100 you can just upgrade to a better video card and get much better results without reducing the life of your card thanks to excess memory heat.

Are you guys getting paid to write this stuff?
April 13, 2006 2:32:55 PM

After owning 2 of these 1 cooling a 7800GTX and the other on a 7800GT, I have not seen any reason on either card to have ram sinks. In games under full load I have monitored Ram temps and non peaked levels of concern. For the most part they have never been over semi warm.

I give this product a thumbs up and would recommend it for higher end solutions, for the Nvidia side as they already run cooler and the Tide Water just helps it out that much more to get those Super high OC levels.. I get between 28% - 42% on my OC levels...
April 13, 2006 3:38:53 PM

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... Tide Water's street price of approximately $80 does not leave much room for the manufacturer to deploy a high-quality pump.

The company's North American website ("Tide Water" CL-W0052) specs the pump Life Expectancy at 40,000 hours. How does THG define a "high-quality" pump? Cause 40,000 hours sounded pretty good to me.

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It is a mystery to us why Thermaltake does not provide video memory heat sinks, since such heat sinks are extremely inexpensive to add to a $75 product.

I absolutely agree! Especially since the Tide Water's other model ("Tide Water Plus" CL-W0086) DOES include memory heat sinks. What were they thinking?

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You likely will not be able to use two Tide Water units for dual graphics solutions, because there simply won't be enough space, nor two adjacent PCI slots available.

True enough, but this is where the CL-W0086 comes is, as it is designed for dual graphics solutions, and takes up no more space than the CL-W0052. (Is there a review of the CL-W0086 on the horizon??)

I'm surprised these last two points weren't mentioned by the reviewers. :oops: 
Later.
April 13, 2006 4:43:01 PM

Hmm... This dual card unit might be nice for a dual 7900 gtx setup, I would love to see a review like that. Especially the cards that come pre-OC'd from the likes of BFG, EVGA, XFX etc...

I have used a water cooling system from Corsair and GPU water blocks from Koolance and loved the temps I got and the ram on the cards were included into the waterblock design which was nice.

But potentially maint. free setup would be nice too. High performance water cooling requires a bit more fidgeting but who that water cools doesnt play with their hardware all the time?

/hardware junkie :D 
April 13, 2006 4:51:39 PM

Unfortunately you guys picked a wrong video card for review. You could of put a vapochill on that card and wouldn't go much further. The GPU just doesn't go further without more juice, IMO not the heat is stopping the card's OC.

You should of picked a new video card, where the heat is an issue like X1000 G7000.

I have an X1800XL that wennt from 500/500 stock speed to 600/650 with stock cooler and with this TideWater to 700/700 8O 8O 8O
April 13, 2006 4:57:54 PM

nice
8O :D 
April 13, 2006 5:19:33 PM

Hence my post about bumping almost 40% OC on my 7800GT :)  also want to note...

10,000 hours is 1.15 Years of constant usage... My pc is maybe on for 1/2 the day if that making it good to go for 2 years... and that’s before you have to maintain the fluid.. not pump.

Yes they say the pump has 40,000 hours of up time.... that is almost 5 years. If I still have this tower 5 years from now, I deserve to have it break on m :) 
April 13, 2006 5:32:14 PM

Tubing diameter is not the only factor in how much fluid will evaporate. Tube TYPE also plays a major role. My bud's 1/4" system with ~10 feet of silicon tubing evaporates about 10x more than my 1/2" system with ~15 feet of Tygon. I have not had to add fluid in about a year, in fact, the only thing I've had to do is brush the dust off my radiator and I don't expect this to change.
April 13, 2006 6:00:31 PM

So I guess its safe to say if you modify this thing with Tygon , you could increase the maint. free hours by 2x ? maybe?

might be good for something like a media center PC then. Since quiet counts and I never crack that thing open much, maybe every few months or so.
April 13, 2006 6:31:17 PM

I was thinking of getting (cl-woo52) it for my x800gto2 , because with the volt mod it cooks but would need to figure out something for the rams. The ram sinks that come with the cl-w0086 dont seem to hefty how much would they really help
I still like the tide water CL-W0086 but does not seem to be out yet. Even using it as a single card solution by capping the unused side might cool better? it looks like it takes up less space (pci slots) then the CL-W0052.
April 13, 2006 6:33:30 PM

Saw this thing a few weeks ago on Newegg. This is a nifty gadget the idea of a self contained water unit is very nice indeed, but given that it takes up 2 pci slots is just too much. And, if you plan to or already water cool your system, then this offers no advantage.

While I give it an "A" for the concept, I only give it a "C" for implementation. I lump this into the "only-good-for-bragging-rights" category and really don't see it as being all that pragmatic.
April 13, 2006 6:59:45 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be better to drop that extra $75-$100 into a better model card instead of a cheap water cooling solution?

You can air-cool OC a better card to be faster than a lower-grade card on this cheap liquid solution. Plus, you'd have a better card with more of the latest features (HDR, Pixel Shader 3, etc). You'd also spare yourself the hasle of maintaining a liquid-cooled solution.

As for OC's a GT or GTX, why would you choose a $75 card that takes up 2 PCI slots over a real water solution at ~ $200, that's probably better quality, that fits into a 5 1/4 drive bay, that you can also cool your processor with?

I just don't see any real value to this other than a bolt-on cooling solution for someone who's trying to squeeze the most out of thier dying old video cards.
April 13, 2006 8:25:22 PM

ok correction:
who says you have to put this on a cheap card? This is what sapphire uses on there x1900blizzard
most people buy the cooling after they buy the video card.
so getting a better model card is out of the question. Its just an upgrade

And its not a hasle to maintain water cooling. Just like like cleaning your hsf from dust only have to check water level.
April 13, 2006 9:30:32 PM

The only reason I bought the cooler was to get my case cooler. The card was creating a bit of heat in the case. By adding the Tide Water my case's ambient temp dropped 7c which makes it a double bonus in my eyes.
April 13, 2006 10:58:51 PM

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The only reason I bought the cooler was to get my case cooler. The card was creating a bit of heat in the case. By adding the Tide Water my case's ambient temp dropped 7c which makes it a double bonus in my eyes.


No doubt! That's excellent. I looked at the Tidewater quite some time ago and sort of dismissed it, worried that the liquid/radiator volume might be too small. But being able to get the BTUs out of the case is always an advantage.
April 14, 2006 1:00:39 AM

Seein as how I just purchased a X1800XT with a honkin big ole loud cooler on it, I may invest in this. But not for alteast 6 months and until this thing drops alittle in price. Im not worried about dumping a little coolant into the thing in after a year of continous useage, provided its not too hard and the coolant doesnt have to be some wack job exotic expensive stuff.

But for now, its out of my budget but moreso my logic. Actually I could order one tommorow, at this point its largley logic thats keepeing me from droppin the dough.
April 14, 2006 1:23:02 AM

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be better to drop that extra $75-$100 into a better model card instead of a cheap water cooling solution?

Your forgeting that the 7900GT cards run very hot, and the MFGs OverClock the, so they overheat, hence, all the RMAs and the card not being avaliable.
April 14, 2006 1:46:00 AM

Quote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be better to drop that extra $75-$100 into a better model card instead of a cheap water cooling solution?

Your forgeting that the 7900GT cards run very hot, and the MFGs OverClock the, so they overheat, hence, all the RMAs and the card not being avaliable.

I think you swapped ATI heat for nvidia.
April 14, 2006 2:56:20 AM

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You should of picked a new video card, where the heat is an issue like X1000 G7000.


You have to be kidding. The x850 DOES have a heat problem. lol


Anyway, I'm suprised that Tom's Hardware kinda cheesed out on this test. Why did they not throw in at least 1 other GPU cooling solution like the Arctic Cooler NVxxx as a comparison. Then you would have had a $25.00 cooling system compared to a $75.00 cooling system. That would have been MUCH more helpful.

Still, i enjoyed the review.
April 14, 2006 5:41:14 AM

One thing you are forgetting regarding the Tide Water Plus CL-W0086 is that although it comes with ramsinks, it does not include a ramsink for the compositing chip on the crossfire master card. This chip must be actively cooled as well, but I suppose you can get just one ramsink and take care of it.

I have noticed many waterblock coolers forget about cooling the compositing chip for crossfire master cards and voltage regulators. Unless you fit ramsinks and maintain air cooling over these, they will get hot, especially if you overclock.

My personal pick for watercooling a newer crossfire solution would be a traditional setup using the DangerDen Tyee waterblock. This waterblock will cool the gpu, ram, compositing chip AND voltage regulator with a single device and just two hose connections.

As for tubing, Tygon is definitely the way to go to avoid evap issues. It is not totally impermeable, as all tubing is porous to a degree, but it will minimize time spent on maintenance and fill-ups. I would definitely swap out the rubber hoses with some Tygon ones right away. They also bend much better without the kink.
April 21, 2006 6:03:07 AM

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Your forgeting that the 7900GT cards run very hot, and the MFGs OverClock the, so they overheat, hence, all the RMAs and the card not being avaliable.


The 7900 GT isn't exactly mid-range (though it's not bleeding edge, either). Someone who can drop $500 on a video card should be able to drop the extra $100 for a decent water cooling solution over some cheap $75 solution. I wouldn't trust a $500 card on a cooling solution that didn't monitor temps / status.

Again, for mid-range, the $$$ is better invested in a better card. For high-end and bleeding edge, there's much better stuff out there for a relatively low cost.
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