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Thermaltake is one of our familiar brands when we talk about PC case, PSU, CPU cooler and etc. Today let us bring you an awesome CPU cooler to you; Contac 29 which is just being sold at 29USD; absolutely tempting for such high quality 120mm tower CPU cooler with dual fan supported. Without further delay, let us expose this product in detail.
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.
- High compatibility, no extra cost for future upgrading CPU
- Low noise for user's comfort
- PWM function fan automatically adjust the fan speed according to the CPU temperature
- Including 2 sets of anti-vibration soft mounts allow users to upgrade the second 120mm fan
- 3pcs of 8mm heat pipes with direct contact processed provide sufficient heat dissipating power
Package & Contents
Thermaltake Contac 29 is being targeted for entry and budget market but it is still packed very nicely; even better than other more expensive CPU coolers. The cardboard box is a plain white box which looks elegant and able to deliver the messages clearly. Some highlighted features are printed on the box clearly with some diagrams for easier understanding.
Besides the outer cardboard, Thermaltake Contac 29 is also packed with another more compact box and same with our previous review on Thermaltake SpinQ VT, two manuals are included for Contac 29; one is user's manual while another one is Thermaltake's concept manual; 3 spirit. Other mounting accessories are segregated inside two re-sealable plastic bags.
Here are the mounting accessories for Thermaltake Contac 29 where they are AMD mounting brackets, Intel push-pins, thermal compound and additional four anti-vibration soft mounts for second add on fan. Based on the mounting equipments, we could know that Thermaltake Contac 29 comes with pretty simple installation methods which are quite similar with stock coolers.
A Closer Look: Thermaltake Contac 29
As we know Contac 29 is a totally new budget CPU cooler from Thermaltake but it is definitely not an entry cooler because based on its specifications, we strongly believe it has the chance to keep up and even outperform some of those expensive high end coolers. In term of compatibility, Thermaltake Contac 29 is a universal tower CPU cooler which support both the latest and existing sockets such as Intel LGA1366/1156/775 and AMD AM3/AM2+/AM2/939/754.
The overall heatsink dimension of Thermaltake Contac 29 is 120 x 50 x 159 mm (L x W x H) and the total weight of Thermaltake Contac 29 including the 120mm cooling fan is 558grams; pretty light weight. The heatsink of Thermaltake Contac 29 is pretty slim; ideal for space constraint case and basically both sides of the heatsink are identical as it is able to support dual 120mm cooling fans.
Same with other high end CPU coolers, Thermaltake Contac 29 is constructed with plenty of aluminum fins which are in wave-shaped so that the dissipation area is increased significantly to maximize the cooling performance. All these aluminum fins are connected with each other firmly and neatly so that these fins will not be damaged so easily.
One of the most important points for getting Thermaltake Contac 29 is this three Φ 8mm heat pipes. Such Φ 8mm copper heat pipe does make some differences compare with Φ 6mm heat pipe as it comes with greater heat transfer rate between the processor and the aluminum fins. These copper heat pipes are not nickel chromed so oxidization may happens after some time but it isn't a major problem at all.
If you have no idea what is direct touch about then Thermaltake Contac 29 will be a good example for you to understand it. As you can see all these three copper heat pipes are exposed at the base without another layer of material underneath them hence it increase the cooling efficiency significantly. Since Thermaltake Contac 29 is a universal cooler, some manual mounting installation setup is needed.
Although Thermaltake Contac 29 is able to support dual 120mm cooling fans but in order to keep the product cost as low as possible, only a single 120mm fan is included. TT-125 is a 12V/0.3A DC PWM fan with seven orange fan blades. The specifications of TT-125 are 29 ~ 72 CFM air flow, 800 ~ 2000 RPM fan speed and 15 ~ 33 dBA noise. The notches on the fan blades are used to increase the air flow and reduce the noise at the same time.
In order to secure or mount the 120mm cooling fan on the heatsink of Thermaltake Contac 29, Thermaltake has chosen anti-vibration L-shaped soft mounts to reduce the operation vibration noise. However we feel that such soft mounts are much harder to be installed and removed so maybe a fan clip is a better choice to replace it.
Installation, Testing & Performance
For the installation and testing of Thermaltake Contac 29, we have chosen an Intel socket 755 system since it is the most common socket than others and its installation method is slightly complicated than AMD sockets. First of all, these four push-pin clips need to be installed on the base with proper mounting holes as there are two types of mounting holes; one set for LGA775 while another set for LGA1156/1366. These push-pins need to be turned in counter-clockwise direction in order to release its retention.
Basically there shouldn't any issue for such push-pin installation method as this is the most basic and simple installation method for Intel socket. However somehow we felt that the push-pin of Thermaltake Contac 29 is not that perfect as some locked clips will be bounced back when we tried to fasten other push-pin clip. Anyway this is not a deadly issue where it still can be solved by fastening them carefully. Besides that please be extremely careful when fastening Thermaltake Contac 29 on the motherboard as the aluminum fins are pretty shape where it could accidentally hurt the user.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3 (Gigabyte G31M-ES2L)
Heatsink: Thermaltake Contac 29
Memory: Kingston HyperX DDR2 8500
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: Galaxy GeForce GTX260+
Casing: In Win Maelstrom
PSU: Aerocool V12XT-800
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 results of Thermaltake Contac 29 and we were a bit shocked when we looked at the performance comparison with other high end CPU coolers that we have tested so far as Thermaltake Contac 29 is not even able to keep up with them but also outperforms some of those expensive & famous high end CPU coolers; Thermaltake R&D did a real good job here. In term of noise, Thermaltake Contac 29 is slightly noisier than other silent CPU coolers that we have tested but since Thermaltake Contac 29 comes with PWM fan where the fan speed will be spinned accordingly to the CPU loading so it will be alright as we don't think anyone will have their PC full loaded all the time.
At first we thought Thermaltake Contac 29 is just a mainstream CPU cooler since it is being targeted for budget market but after tested out this cooler completely, we have to changed our mind as it is not just a budget cooler but also a decent performance cooler with great potential; dual 120 fans are supported. Besides that Thermaltake Contac 29 is also able to support both new and existing Intel/AMD sockets which are important for those always upgrade their system. Other advantages of Thermaltake Contac 29 are easy installation method, light weight and of course its super low MSRP which is just being sold at 29USD.
+ Decent performance with great value
+ Support multiple Intel/AMD sockets
+ Support dual 120mm cooling fan
+ Light weight & appropriate dimension
+ 3 Φ 8mm heat pipes with direct touch method
+ Simple installation method
- Aluminum fins are bit too shape
Thanks to Thermaltake for providing this sample for us to review.
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