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Thermaltake is one of the leading and famous thermal & cooling brand for computer peripheral especially for DIY enthusiasts. Today we are glad that our first Thermaltake review sample arrived on our doorstep which is SpinQ VT which is an improved model of SpinQ CPU Cooler. Let us have a deep dive review on this interesting unique CPU cooler from Thermaltake.
Started from the passion for the DIY (Do It Yourself) concepts and the desires to realize the goal of "Ideas are originated from humanity; Realizing ideas is our belief." Thermaltake Technology was established in January, 1999 and has been market to the world with "Thermaltake" brand name ever since.
Thermaltake became the number one choice for PC DIY enthusiast worldwide with its innovatively breakthrough product designs. The concept of "Quality", "Performance", and "Reliability" have been incorporated into the design of Thermaltake PC Chassis, Cooler and Power Supply to assure the components meet the highest standard.
- Universal Socket Compatibility & Easy Installation
Support latest Intel socket LGA1366 & LGA1156
- Excellent Cooling Capacity - supports 180W
3pcs U shape heat pipes ensure ultra high efficiency
Classic cylinder heat sink and spiral aluminum fins
80mm blow fan with brilliant Red LED
Premium thermal grease
- Optimized Structure & Smart Airflow Design
VR Fan allows the users to adjust the fan speed from 1000 to 1600 RPM
Dissipating the heat with Multi-direction
Package & Contents
Thermaltake is a well known brand and hence most of its products are well packaged; this is same for SpinQ VT too where it is packed with a black solid cardboard box. The cardboard box and unbreakable foams of Thermaltake SpinQ VT are pretty strong for ensuring such giant cooler is well protected against shock, vibration and other physical damage.
Other accessories that come along with Thermaltake SpinQ VT are thermal compound, user's manual, Key 3 Spirit label & notice and 3 sets of mounting bars for socket LGA775, LGA 1156/1366 & AMD AM3/AM2. Key 3 Spirit is the new Thermaltake's concept which is used for direct communicates to end users and aims at marketing the "Quality", "Performance" and "Reliability".
The user's manual of Thermaltake SpinQ VT is a Multilanguage user's manual where it contains step by step installation work instruction. Since Thermaltake SpinQ VT is a universal CPU cooler, it comes with three set of mounting bars. Both of the mounting bars for Intel socket LGA775 and LGA1156/1366 are quite similar but the length of LGA1156/1366 mounting bar is just a bit longer.
A Closer Look: Thermaltake SpinQ VT
Thermaltake SpinQ was launched in Feb 2009 and after six months later; Thermaltake has launched the newer version of SpinQ which is Thermaltake SpinQ VT. Basically both of these Thermaltake SpinQ coolers are quite similar in term of concept but the design layout is different as Thermaltake SpinQ VT is vertical cooler with red LED fan while Thermaltake SpinQ is a horizontal cooler with blue LED fan.
Since Thermaltake SpinQ VT is a vertical giant cooler, then its height will be one of the major concerns for the end users since such cooler is not compatible with slim casing. The exact dimension of Thermaltake SpinQ VT is 120 x 120 x 159 mm (W x D x H) and its weight is just 495g which is pretty light for such tower cooler and hence no back plate is required for installation.
For better understanding about the cooling structure and concept of Thermaltake SpinQ VT, here is the exact airflow movement in ideal condition. Basically the blower of Thermaltake SpinQ VT will draw the fresh/cool air from top and bottom of the cooler and blow toward the aluminum fins horizontally. Such cooling method is more efficient since the fresh air will be drawn from bidirectional but the disadvantage is the base and other motherboard components will be not cooled down at all; fair and square since there is no perfect solution.
Here are the top portions of Thermaltake SpinQ VT where there is a big hole in the middle of the cooler for placing the blower inside and such structure is not common maybe due to higher degree for producing such cooler. The blower is fastened on the aluminum fins with three screws which can be removed out easily for dust cleaning purpose.
Basically the blower of Thermaltake SpinQ VT is a symmetrical blower since it was designed to draw the fresh air from both directions; top and bottom. This blower is a 12V DC fan with 0.45A from Everflow and its fan speed is adjusted from 1000 to 1600RPM with maximum 28dBA noise. Another disadvantage of such blower is hard to get a replacement or upgrade to a stronger or more silent fan since it is totally custom made.
Now let us focus back on the heatsink of Thermaltake SpinQ VT where the cooling fins are made by aluminum since it is still one of the best heat dissipator with acceptable cost. If you see closely, basically the aluminum fins of Thermaltake SpinQ VT are not arranged in a properly way like traditional cooler and we believe such arrangement will help to enhance the cooling efficiency; at least for this cooler.
Here is the inner construction of Thermaltake SpinQ VT after the blower is taken out. Basically all these aluminum fins are cut off for the middle portion which we believe this is the reason why this cooler is being sold at around 75USD. For the heat pipe, Thermaltake SpinQ VT is paired with three 6mm Ø copper heat pipes which is nickel coated for avoiding corrosion issue. Such U-shaped heat pipes are great for heat dissipation since it allows bi-directional flowing rather than mono-directional in C-shaped heat pipe.
The base of Thermaltake SpinQ VT is made by copper material too which is great for heat conduction and it was nickel coated as well. The finishing of Thermaltake SpinQ VT is extremely fine; as shine as a mirror although most of the CPU coolers nowadays do not come with such fine finishing base. Thermaltake didn't apply the heat pipe direct touch on SpinQ VT which is one of the latest technologies in CPU cooler arena.
Most of the powerful or noisy cooler will come with a fan speed controller; either in PCI form or 3.5"/5.25" form. However it is pretty interesting for Thermaltake SpinQ VT because the fan speed controller is integrated within the fan power cable which is the most tiny controller that we have seen. The bad thing for such fan speed controller is less flexible as user have to open up the side panel of the case in order to ajdust the fan speed.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Installation for Thermaltake SpinQ VT is not complicated at all but it is still not as simple as some other CPU coolers because the mounting bars need to be manually installed on the cooler' base rather than come with a piece of universal bracket. Nevertheless, Thermaltake SpinQ VT is still a universal cooler since it can support most of the CPU sockets that are available in the market right now.
For the installation method, Thermaltake has chosen the simplest installation way for SpinQ VT which is exactly same with the Intel stock cooler and other entry and light weight CPU coolers. Basically the push pins are pre-integrated on the mounting bars where user just needs to push/fasten these push pins on the motherboard mounting holes without require any additional mounting accessories like back plate, mounting bracket and etc.
Although the installation is pretty simple but user needs to ensure the push pin is fully locked and to remove these push pin will require user to turn the push pin with counterclockwise direction before pull the push pin up to release the locking. Since Thermaltake SpinQ VT is not a giant horizontal cooler like Thermaltake SpinQ so we didn't encounter incompatibility issue without test system and we believe the whole installation process can be done within 15 minutes or even shorter.
Thermaltake SpinQ VT is a pretty nice and charming CPU cooler especially with its red LED fan lightning. The lightning will be stronger or brighter if the fan speed is reduced as more current is flowing through the LED; a very fundamental electronic knowledge. It's time to compare the performance of Thermaltake SpinQ VT with the rest of the coolers that we have tested.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3 (Gigabyte G31M-ES2L)
Heatsink: Noctua NH-C12P
Memory: Kingston HyperX DDR2 8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX260+
Casing: In Win Maelstrom
PSU: In Win Commander 750W
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Optical Drive: DVD RW
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Mouse: SteelSeries Ikari Laser
Mouse Pad: SteelSeries QcK+
HeadSet: SteelSeries 3H
Operating System: Microsoft XP Pro SP2/Vista Home Premium
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
Here are the performance benchmarks for Thermaltake SpinQ VT and other top CPU coolers. Surprisingly the performance of Thermaltake SpinQ VT is extremely outstanding as we didn't expect such blower cooler is able to keep up with other top tower CPU coolers. Besides that we are also impressed by the noise level of Thermaltake SpinQ VT because it is absolutely silent although the cooler is just right beside our ears; once again blower cooler has proven its great cooling performance with low noise.
There is no doubt that Thermaltake SpinQ VT is one of the most charming CPU coolers that we have seen. Despite of its awesome design, Thermaltake SpinQ VT still comes with decent cooling performance and low operating noise which is absolutely fantastic. Besides that other advantages of Thermaltake SpinQ VT are universal CPU cooler, simplest installation method, light weight and so on. However Thermaltake SpinQ VT is a bit expensive as its MSRP is around 59USD; not everyone is willing to spend for it. Anyway if you are looking for an awesome CPU cooler with decent performance then Thermaltake SpinQ VT is definitely one of your good choices.
+ Charming CPU Cooler
+ Light weight
+ Universal cooler
+ Easy push pin installation method
+ Comes with tiny controller
- Bulky with its height
- Fan is not replaceable
- A bit expensive
11 Sept 2009: MSRP was corrected from 74USD to 59USD
Thanks to Thermaltake for providing this sample for us to review.
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