Thermaltake Jing CPU Cooler Reviewairman -
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The Thermaltake Jing has a look about it that is unique and elegant, and different from other coolers out there on the market. The way that the fan supports intertwine and pass over each other make it look like some sort of plant and gives it a "viney" appearance. The green plastic piece on the top covers most of the tips of the heatpipes and has the Thermaltake logo along with "Jing" printed on the middle. To either side of this green section, in the gray plastic, is the Thermaltake logo embossed into this fan shroud. The entire body of the Jing is nickel plated, which adds a dark sheen to the cooler and prevents oxidation of the aluminum fins which can cause performance degradation. The look of the Thermaltake Jing is starting to grow on me, especially once seeing that it is completely nickel plated with a great surface finish and the unique color accents that make it stand out compared to other coolers.
The base on the Thermaltake Jing is certainly on the impressive side. It is polished to a mirror finish and appears to be perfectly flat. Having such a base allows for the most surface contact at the interface between the heatsink and the processor itself, providing the most efficient heat flow into the heatsink. Another important aspect is the interface between the heatpipes and the base, which also will perform best with optimal surface area at the contact point. Thermaltake chose a general design here with the Jing, and that is sandwiching the heatpipes between the copper base plate and another machined plate to where the mounting hardware attaches. Generally the heatpipes are soldered into this interface to allow for optimum conduction, which appears to be the case with this heatsink as well. The fins themselves are are press-fit onto the heatpipes, where the compression at the interface helps conduct heat more efficiently. This also keeps the fins in place without the costly necessity of solder or other adhesives. A closer look of the base will reveal some machining marks that are somewhat rounded off but can only be seen in the correct lighting. This is what the original machining marks look like after having been plated. Not a terrible characteristic, but it shows that instead of actually polishing/lapping the surface, it was simply plated over.
Complete disassembly of the Jing heatsink is easy with a small flathead screwdriver and Phillips head. Removing the fans by moving the retention tabs out of the way will expose the gray shrouds underneath them. On each of the four corners of these shrouds are white rubber dampening pieces. However, they are flush with the surface of the shroud — which doesn't really make contact with the fans themselves so I'm not sure of their effectiveness. The two shrouds are held on similarly to the fans, as there are retention tabs holding them onto the heatsink itself, so those must be released. The final piece is the green heatpipe cap, which is held on by four Phillips head screws. Viewing the bare heatsink gives a better and clearer look at its construction, materials, and notably the fin thickness.
The fans on the Thermaltake Jing are an open-frame design. The open frame design helps decrease overall noise production, but my limited knowledge says that the overall air velocity and flow in the intended direction will suffer, but only slightly. For those wondering, it does seem possible that running standard "box" fans on this heatsink is possible, and I will confirm this by the end of the review. The fans themselves operate at 12V and pull a current of 0.2A. At 800RPM, the Jing's fans only operate at 16dBA which is well below a quiet whisper, which is completely inaudible to most. Each fan has their own VR knob for adjusting the fan speed individually and terminates into a three-pin header. Unfortunately, Thermaltake did not provide a 'Y' adapter for these two fans, so two free three-pin connections will be required.
Installation of the Thermaltake Jing is straightforward and didn't take much time with the handy installation manual present. It uses the same back plate for Intel as with AMD, so no confusion from there can come about. After installation, I observed the good amount of clearance between the heatsink itself and the RAM modules, where I've had some issues with that in the past. Though it is kind of heavy, it didn't cause any clearance issues. I had to rearrange some of my fan configurations to make room for the extra headed required from the motherboard. Luckily I was able to switch a couple around to free an extra one up closest to the processor. With both fans turned all the way up, the noise is still barely audible but noticeable. At low speed, there is no noise at all — even with the case door open. Below is a picture of the Jing installed as well as a picture of the clearance between the memory modules and the cooler. Moving to the left-most slot would still cause no interference, even with the high RAM heatsinks on these modules.
With the Thermaltake Jing installed, I will move onto the next section, which is the manufacturer provided specifications and features of the heatsink. Following that will be the most important part of the review — performance testing.