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Thermaltake Bigwater SE Versus Zalman 9500

Last response: in Overclocking
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October 4, 2006 8:20:38 PM

Hi all,

I currently have a Zalman 9500 cooling an overclocked E6400. At 3.36 GHz, 1.335v the CPU idles at 44C as measured by Core Temp. Both cores loaded to 100% take the temperature up to around 58C. I applied Arctic Silver 5 a few days ago and have run the system for about 10 hours since then. I understand that I can expect temperatures to decrease slightly after 200 hours or so. That would be great.

I'm thinking about moving up to the Thermaltake Bigwater SE. The reviews of the SE versus the original Bigwater have all been favourable yet I hear that some people slam this kit still. I can buy the kit for about $120 CDN which seems like a pretty good deal. I know that there are better kits out there but I'm on a tight budget. Given the price of the Thermaltake Bigwater SE, is it still a truly bad system or is this just the opinion of watercooling snobs (no offense intended towards anybody) who dis < $300 kits?

Lastly, is the relative gain not worth the expense? Should I wait until the AS5 has cured?
October 4, 2006 9:42:59 PM

watercooling snob? lol I've never been called a water cooling snob before!!

Here's the thing about the BigWater kits. There isn't much room for upgrading beyond the original components. The different parts for the BW were designed to function with that kit. It'll do fine I suppose but, I think that it is overpriced. If you go on ebay, you will see that there are always about a zillion of those kits offerred up for auction. People are always trying to get rid of them. I think that your situation, as it is now, is just fine. You'd truly be better off saving your money and getting a proper water cooling kit in the future when your components demand better cooling. For now, though, I'd wait and see how things turned out.
October 4, 2006 11:24:56 PM

Performancewise it cools better, but the pump and hose dia is too lite...
now I have the Bigwater 745 which is a more robust and refined entry level system... even running it with only the larger radiator... albeit for a few more dineros
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October 5, 2006 2:51:38 AM

Sorry - poor choice of words! Maybe "aficionados" would have been better!

Your advice rings true. I'm a firm believer in the "You Only Get What You Pay For" school of thought. That's why I'm getting the facts before I decide on anything.

The only time that my CPU gets above 52C is when I'm hammering it to see if it's stable at one speed or another. It is solid at 3.36 GHz and the Zalman is relatively quiet at 2100 RPM, where I like to keep it.

I'll take your advice and will invest a little time to put together a proper watercooling system.
October 5, 2006 4:01:04 AM

One thing I'd like to point out, though, is that I've not used all variations of the BigWater series. I know that there are several variations of it. From all my research of the kits, their progression was based on correcting or upgrading certain aspects. To this end I'd much rather defer to other people like RichPLS as he has more realworld experience at using them and can actually let you know of any issues any of the kits may have.

My advice, though, is still the same in that I feel if you are going to be involved in overclocking, a decent air cooling solution would benefit you whilst you work towards a water cooling system that has more specialized components and is upgradeable.
!