Thermaltake Bigwater SE Review - Thermaltake Bigwater SE Review


The kit comprises of four main components which I’ll cover in turn, starting with the reservoir. The reservoir is moulded from slightly cheap-looking semi-transparent plastic and sits inside a steel enclosure designed to be mounted in a free 5.25in external drive bay. Two short silicone rubber pipes sprout from the rear, each sporting a screw-lock connector on the end. The pipes run though a spring shroud which also helps to protect them against kinking.

At the front of the reservoir is a transparent section which serves as a water level indicator. This isn’t always easy to see and could have really used a little rear illumination.

On the top of the reservoir is a very narrow filler hole with a worryingly thin looking tin screw cap of the type often found on cheap, throw-away drinks bottles. Be careful where you put it while topping up as I doubt you’d ever get it back into shape if you trod on it.

On a more positive note, the filler hole has a slightly concave dished area around it to capture any wayward drips to prevent them running off into your case; a handy feature considering the lack of a funnel.

While the idea of a water reservoir that resides in a free 5.25in drive bay seems perfectly sensible, there are two caveats. The first is that you actually have to have a free 5.25in external drive bay, while the second is that unless your case uses some kind of quick release drive retention or drive rail system, you’ll need to release the fixing screws and slide the unit out about 3 inches every time you need to top up, which barring leaks should be every couple of months or so. Not a deal-breaker, but certainly an inconvenience. If you have one, a single thumbscrew is probably enough to hold the reservoir in place making things a lot quicker to get at later.

The radiator is a fairly efficient looking multi-pass aluminium affair, which means care needs to be taken to use the proper water additives. Copper and aluminium (the water block is copper) in the same system react chemically and so tend to corrode quickly if you use just water.

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