Thermaltake Bigwater 760i Watercooling System
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 11-19-2007
Provided by: Thermaltake
Discuss: View Comments

Installing the Bigwater 760i water block was a relatively simple affair. Most of the socket types require using a proprietary backing plate that comes with the kit, however on AM2 boards you simply unscrew the factory retention module and attach the water block in its place using the longer included screws. One thing I did not like about this mounting arrangement however is that there is no fixed point for the screws to stop at. If your backing plate is like mine, the screws don't bottom out, you could theoretically keep going until either they started pushing out the bottom of the motherboard tray or cracked the socket and/or processor. I took a look at the other installation instructions and those use a similar screw and nut arrangement that also does not provide a point of reference so you know when to stop. What I ended up doing was merely tightening the screws by feel, gauging the torque I was applying to the screwdriver and stopping when I began to notice deformation of the mounting clip. Installation of the Bigwater unit itself was uneventful, simply remove two blank 5" plates, attach rails and slide it in place. In my full-tower case I chose to install it where there was an empty bay both directly above and below it for maximum airflow.

I connected the fan/pump power to an available +12v molex and plugged the fan speed signal connector into the CPU header on the motherboard. Thermaltake put a rheostat inline on the fan power wire which can be used to adjust the fan speed. It is not labeled as to which direction is which, however like most pots it turns clockwise to increase fan speed and counter-clockwise to reduce it.

The in/out tubes that come pre-attached to the Bigwater unit are already quite long, only a few inches of the several feet of included tubing is needed to reach the CPU block. The tubing is pushed onto the barbs on the block and then the nuts can be threaded down. On the opposite end, quick disconnects and spring clamps attach the tubing to the 760i. That's it then, you're done. Just unscrew the cap from the resevoir and use the squeeze bottle to fill it with the coolant.

Now, as we read earlier, Thermaltake recommends performing a system leak test outside of the PC case so that no components are damaged in the event of a coolant spill. However what I do to jump-start the pump without turning on the whole computer is remove the main ATX connector from the motherboard and then cross the green wire with an available ground. It's hard to tell on this power supply connector since all the wires are the same color, however the two pins you want should be the third and fourth positions in from the left on the clip side of the connector. Now when the power supply main switch is flipped on the back, the Bigwater fires up and begins to operate.

Allow the fluid to circulate and continue to add coolant to the resevoir until most of the bubbles have made their way through the system. It helps to jiggle the tubing to work the air along. I also noticed that the pump was quite noisy until the system had purged itself of most of the air, then it quieted down to a near-silent level. I went through almost exactly half of the 500mL of coolant, so there's enough left over for one complete fluid change, which Thermaltake recommends every six months.

The coolant/tubing is supposed to be UV reactive, unfortunately I don't have any UV lights in my system. The radiator fan has LED's, which shine through the grill opening in the front. I did not notice any air moving through this grill, I assume because I left an empty bay both above and below the 760i so it gets plenty of airflow. Presumably if you installed the 760i at the top of your case or directly below an optical drive it would be pulling some air through here.

Just ahead, testing and conclusion.

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