ThermalTake has been at the forefront of creating new and exciting products since 1999. That continues to be true today. Having used several ThermalTake products in the past I have always enjoyed the experience that came with them. Today we have the opportunity to look at one of their latest products, the SpinQ VT. The ThermalTake SpinQ VT is a CPU cooler that features multi-socket support, heat pipe technology and variable fan speeds, all for $59.99 MSRP. These and other features will be looked at more in depth as you read on today.
ThermalTake SpinQ VT Features
- Universal Socket Compatibility LGA 1366, 1156, 775, AM3, AM2+
- Excellent Cooling Capacity- Supports 180W tdp processors
- 3pcs U shaped 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 and Smart Airflow Design
- VR Fan allows the user to adjust the fan speed from 1000 to 1600 RPM
- Heatsink Dimension- 120.1mm diameter x 159mm tall
- Heatsink Material- 50 Aluminum fins, Copper and Aluminum Base
- 3x6mm heatpipes
- Weight- 495 grams
When you open up the SpinQ VT packaging you gain access to the accessory box which includes all the mounting hardware and thermal grease.
Below the accessory box is a piece of high density foam that covers and protects the top of the SpinQ. Once that is removed you get a nice top view of the ThermalTake SpinQ VT!
Taking a quick peek at the hardware that is required to mount the ThermalTake SpinQ VT, on the left is the retaining bracket for AMD platforms and on the right are the brackets required for Intel Platforms. ThermalTake has consolidated the brackets for socket 1156 and 1366 by using elongated holes for the push pins. That allows the pins to slide between the 77 and 80mm mounting positions. Also included is a small tube of thermal grease, mounting instructions and warranty information. The SpinQ VT CPU cooler is backed by a 2 year warranty.
The SpinQ VT, a closer look
Once out of the packaging you can see how impressive the design is. The 50 aluminum fins that are positioned in a spiral pattern give the ThermalTake SpinQ VT its unique look. I'm not one for flash, but I do like the look of the SpinQ VT, though.
Taking a look at the base of the SpinQ VT we see that it comes with a warning label that protects the finish on the contact surface. As many would consider the warning to remove this label common sense, I have seen them left on.
The base of the ThermalTake SpinQ VT isn't the smoothest finish I have ever seen. If you look closely you can see the tool marks left by the cutter during the manufacturing process.
The fan is an 80mm blow fan. It can be manually controlled with a range of 1000RPM up to 1600RPM. Maximum airflow is rated for 86.5cfm at a mere 19~28dBA.
The ThermalTake SpinQ VT mounts to the motherboard in the typical fashion on Intel platforms using pushpins. The pushpins are mounted in elongated holes to accommodate both LGA 1156 and LGA 1366 platforms. On AMD platforms a clip is placed on top of the SpinQ's base and latched to the motherboard using the existing bracket.
Here is a quick little video that Thermaltake made that also goes over the SpinQ VT that is worth a watch if you are interested in buying this Thermaltake cooler.
The Test System
All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit with all the latest updates installed. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. The Corsair DOMINATOR memory modules were run in triple-channel mode at 1440MHz with 8-8-8-24 timings. The ATI Radeon HD graphics cards were tested with 10.2 CATALYST suite drivers. The EVGA X58 motherboard was running BIOS version SZ27. The processor has been overclocked to 3.6GHz (180x20).
Intel Test Rig
|Processor||Intel Core I7 920||Live Pricing|
|Motherboard||EVGA X58 Tri Sli||Live Pricing|
|Memory||6gb Corsair Dominator 1600||Live Pricing|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Black 640gb||Live Pricing|
|Video Card||HIS Radeon HD5870||Live Pricing|
|CPU cooler||ThermalTake SpinQ VT||Live Pricing|
|Chassis||None - Open Bench|
The ThermalTake SpinQ VT and the Intel Reference cooler were both tested using Arctic Silver 5 thermal interface material. Idle temperatures were taken 30 minutes after loading Windows 7 and sitting idle. Load Temperatures were taken while running Prime95's Large FFT's for 30 minutes. Real Temp 3.4 was used to obtain the temperatures.
At high speed the ThermalTake SpinQ VT is a full 10 degrees cooler than the reference design.
When the system is overclocked the SpinQ VT further extends the difference over the Intel reference cooler. It is 14.25 degrees cooler than the reference cooler at the maximum fan speed. The idle temp is also notably cooler than the stock cooler, nearly 10 degrees!
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The ThermalTake SpinQ VT breaks away from the all too common tower design. If nothing else it will add a unique style to your computer; the red LED adds a bit of flare. Although, that is far from all it does. If you are like me though, style isn't the driving factor in your computer component choices. It's all about performance. The ThermalTake SpinQ VT is far from lacking in that department. When running the speed of ThermalTake 80mm blow fan at 1600RPM we saw a huge performance difference over the Intel reference cooler. At the default settings of the EVGA board that I use the ThermalTake SpinQ VT was 7.5 degrees Celsius or 19.5% cooler at idle. At full load the SpinQ VT maintained the 10 degree Celsius differential under the Intel reference cooler.
The ThermalTake SpinQ showed some great performance numbers at stock speeds. Though it excelled when we overclocked the system. Idle temperatures were 9.75 degrees Celsius or 21.5% cooler than the reference cooler. Load temperatures were a huge 14.25 degrees cooler than stock. For those of us used to using Fahrenheit lets put that difference into perspective. Imagine a nice hot summer day when it is 100 degrees out there. Now imagine walking into a nice air conditioned 74 degree house, that my friend is what a 14.25 degree Celsius difference feels like!
Despite the fact that the SpinQ VT cooled my I7 920 as well as it did, I do have a few minor issues. First is the direction of airflow: it goes everywhere. A lot of today's computer cases are designed to maximize airflow and cooling. With the ThermalTake SpinQ VT's multi-directional airflow, the airflow of your case may be disrupted. Most likely the difference will be negligible, but I felt it was worth mentioning.
As I said, I have a couple of issues, so here is my last one.
The way the brackets for the pushpins mount on the bottom of the base is my final concern. It may just be my paranoid ranting, but I worry about the screws coming loose. The spinning fan is going to cause vibrations which could cause the screws to loosen. I am not saying it will happen, just that the potential is there. If the screws come loose the SpinQ VT will lose contact and cause the CPU to overheat. A dab of blue locktite will remedy this situation.
Legit Bottom Line: With my concerns out of the way, I can comfortably tell you that I do like the ThermalTake SpinQ. It averaged 16% cooler temperatures at load and ~20% at idle on the C0 stepping Intel I7 920 than the stock cooler does. It does bang up job, has a look that is unique, is sure to impress, and it can be found online at one of the bigger e-tailers for only $55.99!