Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer

Way back in 2004 Thermaltake released their original water cooling kits, with the Bigwater series.  Today Thermaltake has brought us their new Water 2.0 Performer, the first in their new series of all-in-one water cooling kits. With a market that already has a few all in one cooler’s available; we’ll see what Thermaltake has changed to make their Water 2.0 series stand out.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer

The Water 2.0 Performer is a single 120mm radiator liquid cooling system. The maintenance free design means you just install it and leave it alone. You never have to change the liquid or hassle with any of the stuff that users who run custom water cooling loops have to deal with. This makes this type of cooler extremely appealing to those who want to try water cooling out without having to completely assemble an entire loop. With the Water 2.0 Performer being priced at $68.50 shipped at the time of this article, it’s definitely aimed at the person who wants water cooling performance without the hefty price of a full water cooling loop.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Fans

The Water 2.0 Performer comes complete with two 120mm Thermaltake fans to work together in a push/pull configuration. The way this works is one fan pushes cool air over the fins of the radiator, and the other one pulls the warm air out the back of the case after it’s been used to cool the liquid inside the radiator. These fans are PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) and rotate at speeds of 1,200-2,000RPM and can move up to 81.32CFM at just 27.36dBA.

Main Features of the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer: 

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Specifications:

Socket Compatibility:


Unboxing the Water 2.0 Performer

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Box Front

The front of the box gives us a nice graphic of the Water 2.0 Performer and also gives us a glimpse at a couple features as well as socket support.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Box Back

The reverse side of the package shows a graphic of the Water 2.0 performer installed, as well as some of the features and a few more graphics of the cooler itself.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Box Side

Moving around to the side of the packaging, we get all the specifications on the unit as well as a chart showing the difference between the Water 2.0 Performer and the stock Intel Box Cooler.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Packaging

Once I opened the box, I was greeted with an inner cardboard tray that housed everything.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Accessories

Once all of that stuff is out of the tray, we are able to see that we have a manual, two fans, and all the needed mounting hardware for the various sockets.

Looking closer at the Water 2.0 Performer

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Radiator

Taking a look at the radiator for the Water 2.0 Performer, it seems like a pretty standard 120mm water cooling radiator.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Pump

This is the pump and waterblock for the Water 2.0 Performer. You can see that it has a standard 3 pin connector, for connecting to your motherboard’s fan header. You can also get a glimpse of the mounting notches that the Water 2.0 Performer uses.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Pump Height

Here is a look at exactly how tall the pump/waterblock combo is. Without the plastic cap protecting the base of the water block, it would be right at the same size as the included 120mm fans, which are 25mm thick.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Pump Base

The base on the water block is flat, and comes with pre-applied thermal paste.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Fans

Included are two 120mm fans, both of which feature a PWM 4 Pin connector.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Fan

Here you can get a closer look at one of the fans that are included. They are both the exact same, and are model PLA12025S12HH-LV, which appear to be specific to Thermaltake’s heatsink lineup.

Installing the Water 2.0 Performer

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Backplate

The first step when it comes to mounting the Water 2.0 Performer is to get the appropriate backplate. Since I’m using an Intel LGA 1155 setup, I’ll be using the LGA 775/1366/1156 backplate since LGA 1155 and LGA 1156 share the same mounting systems.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Backplate Installed

The backplate comes with double sided foam tape so that you can stick the backplate on and then reinstall your motherboard to simplify the installation process.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Mounting Clip

The second step is to take the Intel mounting ring and snap the screw guides on so that you’re only able to insert the screws one way.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Pump Base

Next we will take the Intel mounting ring and place it over the pump, then snap the pump retention ring around the pump so that the pump can’t move around once we get it installed.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Mounted

The last step for installing the pump/water block combo is to take your screws and screw the pump down onto the CPU. From here it’s as simple as screwing on the fans!

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Installed

Now we’re done installing the Water 2.0 Performer and we can move on to testing!

Intel Core i5 2500k Test System

Today we’ll be comparing the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer against a few other coolers that we’ve previously tested.

Core i5 2500k Test System


Processor  Intel Core i5 2500k 
Motherboard Asus Sabertooth P67 
Memory  Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600MHz 
 Video Card EVGA GTX 470 
 Hard Drive Curcial C300 64GB SSD 
 Case  Cooler Master HAF 932 
 Power Supply BFG Tech EX-1000 
 Operating System                Windows 7 Home Premium X64


Core i5 2500k Test Specs

Here you can see the clocks and voltages that the system will be using for the overclocked tests.

For monitoring all temperatures I am using RealTemp. For idle temperatures, the computer was left unused for 15 minutes at desktop allowing it to settle. For load temperatures, prime95 was used, and ran for 20 minutes using the default “blend” setting. The CPU was tested at stock speeds with turbo enabled. Our overclocked tests were run at 4.8 GHz using 1.46v to maintain stability. All tests are done using Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal paste.  Temperatures shown will be the average of all four cores. For those who are curious, the ambient room temperature is right at 74 degrees Fahrenheit or 23.3 degrees Celsius.

Testing Results

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Stock Chart

With our test system at stock settings you can see that the Water 2.0 Performer out performed every air cooler I’ve tested so far with the exception of the Thermaltake Frio OCK. I was quite surprised that an air cooler was able to outperform the Water 2.0 Performer. So surprised that I remounted and ran my tests two more times just to make sure it wasn’t an error on my part. That’s not to say that the Water 2.0 Performer didn’t perform very well, coming in at just 47 degrees Celsius under full load is very respectable. The thing that blew my mind was the virtual silence coming from the Water 2.0 Performer. I wasn’t able to hear the fans or the pump over the rest of my system!

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Overclocked Chart

With the Intel Core i5 2500k processor overclocked to 4.8 GHz we see that the Water 2.0 Performer still did very well in our tests. With temperatures coming in at just 71 degrees Celsius under full load, I think it’s safe to say that it was more than able to handle the heat of our overclock. Again, the Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer was only outperformed by the Thermaltake Frio OCK, which is a very large and, at times, a loud air cooler. As it was during the stock speeds temperature testing, the pump and fans were both silent. I can only imagine how this little cooler would perform if we were to put some much louder and faster fans on the radiator!

Conclusions and Final Thoughts

In this day and age, computers are becoming more and more advanced and the cooling products we need have to do the same thing. The days of small air coolers are behind us, and Thermaltake has recognized that and brought forth a worthy solution with the Water 2.0 series. Without being large and loud this cooler is able to come within just a few degrees Celsius of one of their largest air coolers to date.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Pump

The low profile design on the Water 2.0 series means that you’re able to install the cooler in virtually any environment without fear of having to accommodate for large heat spreaders on RAM. In my case this is exceptional, as I use Corsair Vengeance sticks which have some pretty hefty heat spreaders on them.

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer Installed

I think it’s safe to say that Thermaltake has made a solid product, which is more than capable of handling the heat of modern processors. Coming in with a price point of $68.50 shipped, it puts the Water 2.0 Performer right in the middle of the price range of the higher end cooler market. With this being the base cooler I’m eager to see what the potential is for their highest tier cooler, the Water 2.0 Extreme, which is set to be released sometime in July.

Legit Bottom Line: The Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer takes the all-in-one water cooling solution and delivers with exceptional cooling, ease of install, and excellent build quality.