We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Let’s test the Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme, a sealed liquid cooling system with a 240 mm radiator, two 120 mm fans, and USB interface. Check it out!

The WATER2.0 Extreme is the top notch member of the WATER2.0 family, which also includes the WATER2.0 Pro and the WATER2.0 Performer, which we’ve already tested. The block and fans seem to be the same on the three water coolers, but the radiator of the Extreme is 240 mm long, supporting two side-by-side 120 mm fans.

Like its brothers, the WATER2.0 Extreme is made by Asetek.

A unique feature of the WATER2.0 Extreme is the USB interface. The block should be connected to a free USB header on the motherboard, and an application controls the pump and fan speeds, in manual or automatic modes.

Figure 1 shows the enormous box of the WATER2.0 Extreme.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 1: Package

Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: the radiator-block set, fans, manuals, CD with control software, and installation hardware.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 2: Accessories

This water cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.

[nextpage title=”The Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme”]

The sealed radiator-block system is shown in Figure 3. The radiator has room for two 120 mm side-by-side fans.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 3: Sealed system

Figures 4 and 5 reveal the radiator of the WATER2.0 Extreme.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 4: Radiator

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 5: Radiator

[nextpage title=”The Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 6, you can see the cables that come attached to the block. There is one connector that goes on the motherboard CPU fan header, two male connectors where you must plug in the fans, and one USB connector that you must plug in on a free USB header of your motherboard.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 6: Block wires

Figure 7 shows the top of the block.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 7: Block

The base of the block, which is made of copper, is revealed in Figure 8. The thermal compound comes pre-applied.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 8: Base

Figure 9 illustrates the two 120 mm fans that come with the WATER2.0 Extreme. The fans have four pin connectors, which means they are compatible with PWM speed control.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 9: Fans

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

In Figure 10, you can see the backplate for use on Intel CPUs. You must insert the four nuts into the backplate before attaching it to the solder side of the motherboard.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 10: Backplate

Before installing the WATER2.0 Extreme, you must assemble the frame with screws on the block, as shown in Figures 11 and 12.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 11: Frame assembled

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 12: Frame installed

The last step is to install the system inside the computer, attaching the block on the CPU and the radiator on the top panel of your case.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 13: Installation finished

Figure 14 shows the main screen of the control software. You can choose one of three operation modes: Extreme, Silent or Custom. We repeated our tests on both Extreme and Silent modes.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 ExtremeFigure 14: Control software screen

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We tested the cooler with a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with 1.3 V core voltage (Vcore). This CPU was able to reach 4.8 GHz with its default core voltage, but at this setting, the processor enters thermal throttling when using mainstream coolers, reducing the clock and thus the thermal dissipation. This c
ould interfere with the temperature readings, so we chose to maintain a moderate overclocking.

We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)

We compared the tested cooler to other coolers we already tested, and to the stock cooler that comes with the Core i5-2500K CPU. Note that the results cannot be compared to measures taken on a different hardware configuration, so we retested some “old” coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read on the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that comes with it.

Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.

During the tests, the panels of the computer case were closed. The front and rear case fans were spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler use on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top opening of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the full speed.

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Speed Core Temp. Temp. Diff.
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 18 °C 50 dBA 2850 rpm 69 °C 51 °C
Corsair A70 23 °C 51 dBA 2000 rpm 66 °C 43 °C
Corsair H100 26 °C 62 dBA 2000 rpm 64 °C 38 °C
EVGA Superclock 26 °C 57 dBA 2550 rpm 67 °C 41 °C
NZXT HAVIK 140 20 °C 46 dBA 1250 rpm 65 °C 45 °C
Thermalright True Spirit 120 26 °C 42 dBA 1500 rpm 82 °C 56 °C
Zalman CNPS12X 26 °C 43 dBA 1200 rpm 71 °C 45 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 Max 20 °C 51 dBA 1700 rpm 62 °C 42 °C
Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition 22 °C 50 dBA 2400 rpm 65 °C 43 °C
SilenX EFZ-120HA5 18 °C 44 dBA 1500 rpm 70 °C 52 °C
Noctua NH-L12 20 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 70 °C 50 °C
Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme 21 °C 53 dBA 2550 rpm 71 °C 50 °C
Gamer Storm Assassin 15 °C 48 dBA 1450 rpm 58 °C 43 °C
Deepcool Gammaxx 400 15 °C 44 dBA 1500 rpm 60 °C 45 °C
Cooler Master TPC 812 23 °C

51 dBA 2350 rpm 66 °C 43 °C
Deepcool Gammaxx 300 18 °C 43 dBA 1650 rpm 74 °C 56 °C
Intel stock cooler 18 °C 41 dBA 2000 rpm 97 °C 79 °C
Xigmatek Praeton 19 °C 52 dBA 2900 rpm 83 °C 64 °C
Noctua NH-U12P SE2 18 °C 42 dBA 1300 rpm 69 °C 51 °C
Deepcool Frostwin 24 °C 46 dBA 1650 rpm 78 °C 54 °C
Thermaltake Frio Advanced 13 °C 56 dBA 2000 rpm 62 °C 49 °C
Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition 9 °C 48 dBA 2100 rpm 53 °C 44 °C
Thermaltake Frio Extreme 21 °C 53 dBA 1750 rpm 59 °C 38 °C
Noctua NH-U9B SE2 12 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 64 °C 52 °C
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro 15 °C 54 dBA 2000 rpm 52 °C 37 °C
Deepcool Fiend Shark 18 °C 45 dBA 1500 rpm 74 °C 56 °C
Arctic Freezer i30 13 °C 42 dBA 1350 rpm 63 °C 50 °C
Spire TME III 8 °C 46 dBA 1700 rpm 70 °C 62 °C
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Performer 11 °C 54 dBA 2000 rpm 49 °C 38 °C
Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS 11 °C 45 dBA 2000 rpm 82 °C 71 °C
be quiet! Dark Rock 2 10 °C 41 dBA 1300 rpm 58 °C 48 °C
Phanteks PH-TC14CS 16 °C 47 dBA 1300 rpm 58 °C 42 °C
Phanteks PH-TC14PE 16 °C 48 dBA 1300 rpm 57 °C 41 °C
SilverStone HE01 (Q) 19 °C 44 dBA 1150 rpm 63 °C 44 °C
SilverStone HE01 (P) 20 °C 57 dBA 2050 rpm 62 °C 42 °C
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme (S) 17 °C 44 dBA 1250 rpm 52 °C 35 °C
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme (E) 17 °C 53 dBA 1900 rpm 50 °C 33 °C

In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme

In the graph below, you can see how many decibels of noise each cooler makes.

Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

The main specifications for the Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme CPU cooler include:

  • Application: Sockets 775, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, and FM1 processors
  • Radiator dimensions: 10.6 x 4.7 x 1.5 inches (270 x 120 x 38.2 mm) (W x L x H)
  • Block height: 1.1 inches
    (29 mm)
  • Fins: Aluminum
  • Base: Copper
  • Heat-pipes: None
  • Fan: Two, 120 mm
  • Nominal fan speed: 2,000 rpm
  • Fan air flow: 81.32 cfm
  • Power consumption: 2 x 6.0 W
  • Nominal noise level: 27.36 dBA
  • Weight: 2.54 Lbs (1.15 kg)
  • More information: https://www.thermaltakeusa.com
  • Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 140.00

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

After the excellent cooling performance shown by the WATER2.0 Pro, we were expecting that the WATER2.0 Extreme would barely reach the same performance level. But, even in “Silent” mode, it outperformed our former champion by two degrees Celsius. In “Extreme” mode, it kept our CPU four degrees Celsius colder than the WATER2.0 Pro, establishing a new mark to be beaten.

The Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme is amazing. It has an outstanding cooling performance even in “Silent” mode (when it is really silent). It is relatively easy to install and uses less internal space in the case than typical high-end air coolers. Its only drawback is the price tag. But if you are looking for the best, you will need to pay for it.