Gigabyte 3D Mercury Water Cooled Case
Written by David Lin in Enclosures on 14 January 2008. Page 6 of 7. 1 Comment


To test this system, we put it up against Thermalright's Ultra 120 Extreme, one of the best air coolers out on the market. This test system included an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 running at 3.60GHz with 1.325V, Gigabyte X38-DQ6 motherboard, 2GB of OCZ Flex XLC memory, and a Gigabyte GeForce 8800GTS 640MB graphics card. At its silent speed with the 3D Mercury, the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 would idle at 35°C and under load (running Enemy Territory: Quake Wars) would spike to 71°C. When the 3D Mercury was running at full speed, it's idle was also 35°C while its load temperature had dropped to 65°C. In comparison, the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme had idled at 37°C but under load it was cooler at 61°C.

Since this is a low-tier water cooling system, the Ultra 120 Extreme actually outperforms the 3D Mercury water cooling at full speed and even the silent speed. Also, at almost any speed higher than "silent," the noise is unbearable. Push-pull configuration fans tend to be loud if not properly matched. We also noticed that the pump tended to generate a lot of vibrations on the case. This could have been remedied by using vibration dampeners between the pump and the case, but Gigabyte seems to have forgotten this detail. This should not be too much of a shock because the low tier water cooling systems usually perform around the realm of high-end air coolers. Dual or triple radiators along with more powerful pumps and more efficient water block designs make a huge difference in water cooling.

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