Manufacturer: Thermaltake Performer UK Price (as reviewed):£56.02 inc. VAT Performer US Price (as reviewed):$61.30 ex. Tax Pro UK Price (as reviewed):£92.36 inc. VAT Pro US Price (as reviewed):$81.89 ex. Tax
Thermaltake's Water 2.0 Performer and its Water 2.0 Pro are part of the company's new line of all-in-one water-cooling kits. Such kits have been on the market for a few years now, offering people the chance to invest in relatively cheap liquid cooling kits like the Corsair H80 that, as our cooling charts show, can best high end air coolers like Be Quiet!'s Dark Rock Pro 2 when it comes to keeping your CPU cool.
The two products here are actually made by Asetek, who used to make similar coolers for Corsair in the form of the H50 and H70. Corsair's latest all-in-one water-coolers are now made by CoolIT however, and the H80 and H100 are close competition for the Performer and Pro in terms of price points, so it will be interesting to see how these coolers fare against each other.
Click to enlarge
The Performer is the low-end cooler from Thermaltake's range, and it offers decent value for money being priced at just over £55. The larger Pro edition comes in at just over £90, and as such forms the mid-range product, with the predictably named Extreme (not under review), completing the trio at the high-end. Although £92 does make the Pro the most expensive all-in-one cooler we've looked at recently, it's still significantly cheaper than the total cost of the gear you'd need to make a similar custom liquid cooling loop.
We mentioned that the Pro was the larger (and consequently heavier) of the two kits, and in fact that's really the only difference between them. Both the Performer and the Pro feature the same copper baseplate with pre-applied thermal paste, as well as the same mounting mechanisms, fan setup and pump. The Performer's radiator is roughly double the depth of the Pro's, and as such still only requires a single 120mm fan mount in the rear or roof of the case to be mounted.
Click to enlarge
Two 120mm fans are provided with each kit, and are designed to be installed onto the radiator in a push/pull configuration and such that they exhaust air from the case. This is different to Corsair's H80, which is designed to operate as an intake, and means that the rest of your components are safe from the hot air that comes off the radiator. Sadly, no fan controller is included; instead fan control has been offset to the motherboard as the fans are PWM-capable.
The high fin-density on the radiators ensures that both kits have a large surface area for improved cooling, and naturally the Pro's surface area is significantly more than the Performer's. On each kit, the radiator is connected to the impressively compact pump via two rubber tubes, that we found to be pleasingly flexible whilst also remaining secure.
Click to enlarge
The instructions bundled with the coolers are clear for the most part. You'll need to clip together and correctly align some plastic screw holders into the appropriate mounting mechanism for your socket, which is probably the most fiddly part of the set up. The wonderful mounting mechanism of LGA2011 boards then allows you to simply screw the pump straight on. For other sockets, backplates with sticky pads are provided. Once the pump is tightly in place, mounting the radiator and fan combo is as simple as installing a 120mm fan. Thankfully, everything held together securely during our testing.
While the Pro obviously leaves less room in your case than the Performer, we found that both kits fitted easily into our relatively small SilverStone PS03 test case, and neither kit hindered the reattachment of our side panel. Users with their 8-pin power connectors on the top left of their boards will want to ensure that this cable is connected prior to mounting their radiator – our lack of foresight caused us to learn this the hard way.