Thermalright Spitfire, VRM-R5 & X-Silent 140 Reviewjlqrb - May 9, 2010
Category: VGA Cooling
Price: Spitfire $64.99 VRM-R5 $24.99 X-Silent 140 $11.49
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Today's high-end graphics cards draw a great deal of power and as with all components in a PC, the more voltage that is supplied to a certain area, the more heat that will be generated. To address this issue and ensure these cards are cooled properly, graphics card manufacturers often use large dual-slot heatpipe coolers. Even though stock coolers have been improving over the years, they are still just the bare minimum needed to cool a hot GPU. There are, however, a few options available to address this overheating issue and reduce your temperatures into a more acceptable range. The first such option is to adjust the stock cooler's fan speed to a level that will more efficiently cool the graphics card. This does work well and can drastically reduce the temperatures, but the higher the fan speed, the louder the fan noise. The second option is to ditch the stock cooler all together and instead use an after-market heatsink that is designed to fit your particular graphics card. This option is usually the best method for those looking to keep their temperatures low and not increase the noise level in the process. Thanks to companies such as Thermalright, there are a great deal of choices available. Thermalright offers a few different kinds of VGA cooling solutions, but the one we are going to be looking at is actually its largest option and comes as a three-part combination. This setup consists of the Spitfire VGA cooler, VRM-R5 voltage regulator module heatsink and a 140mm case fan called the X-Silent 140. Each of these parts are sold separately and can be used individually, but when paired together make a very complementary setup that should cool your graphics card well beyond that of stock cooling. At over $100 for the entire setup though, it is definitely not a budget method of cooling your graphics card. Nevertheless, if Thermalright's past performance is any indicator, this could be a product that is worth every penny.
When it comes to packaging, Thermalright usualy keeps it nice and simple. This remains true today and both the Spitfire and VRM-R5 come packaged in plain brown cardboard boxes with Thermalright's logo on the top and the product name on the side. The X-Silent 140 fans packaging, however, does have a bit more flare to it. This package shows a jet engine on the front as well as the model name of the fan. There is also a clear circular cutout on the front panel, making a portion of the inner fan visible to appear as if it is part of the pictured jet engine.
Both the Spitfire and VRM-R5 comes packaged in the same way. They both have the installation guide, listed accessories, and Thermalright logo sticker sitting on top of a thin layer of Styrofoam padding. Once the thin layer is removed, you have access to the heatsinks and accessories, which come layered throughout the Styrofoam and are covered in a thin layer of plastic. The packaging Thermalright uses is very secure and should hold the heatsinks and accessories tightly in place, protecting them from any damage while in the box.
The accessories that come with the Spitfire and VRM-R5 come packaged in a plastic bag and include all the assembly tools you will need to secure the coolers to the graphics card. The Spitfire includes installation screws, mounts, screw nuts, RAM heatsinks, 120/140mm fan clips, thermal paste, and a retention bracket. The retention bracket is used to secure the graphics card in place after it is installed into a case. This will prevent any damage to the graphics card or motherboard due to the weight of the cooler. The VRM-R5 cooler comes with less accessories, but again, it is all you need to install the heatsink to the GPU. The accessories are screws, screw nuts, thermal pads, and fan clips for a 80mm fan.
The X-Silent 140 fan comes in a retail package showing a jet engine and model name on the front. On the back panel, Thermalright lists the fan's features and specifications, as well as includes another image of a jet engine. All the inner contents of the packaging come in a plastic liner, with the fan on the top and the accessories at the bottom. The included accessories are installation screws, tool-free anti-vibration rubber screws, and a power adapter.
Now that we have everything out of the packaging, we can get our first look at this monstrous VGA cooler.