Thermaltake SpinQ VT Review

ccokeman - 2009-10-19 17:52:52 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: February 23, 2010
Price: $55

Introduction:

If the SpinQ VT looks a little familiar, it is, because the design is the same as the original SpinQ released back in the Fall of 2008. It's been a while, but Thermaltake has moved forward and taken the concept to new heights, making this the VT model, a vertical tower design. Instead of the horizontal orientation of the fin array on the original SpinQ, this one is upright much like the multitude of other tower design heatsinks on the market. The difference between the rest and this model from Thermaltake is that the SpinQ VT has a circular fin array with a blower style fan to have the airflow hit all of the fins in the array. This unique cooling arrangement was a big hit with the original SpinQ, let's see if this revision does the job it's designed to do, cooling those hot running processors so that us overclockers can get a bit more performance out of our rigs without having to worry about the heat.

Closer Look:

The packaging displays a wealth of information on all sides of the box. This lets you get all the information on the heatsink before you leave the store. The front view of the box shows a representation of the SpinQ VT. Noted along the bottom of the front panel is the 4 in 1 mounting capabilities that covers both Intel and AMD's latest socket designs. Spin the box around (pardon the pun) to the left and you get the specification, socket compatibility, a few pictures of the SpinQ VT and some performance results. To the right you get a small explanation of what this cooler is in several different languages, while the rear panel details the features and gives a basic description on how this cooler removes the thermal load generated by the CPU.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you open the package you see the box containing the accessory bundle. Under this you have the foam insert that holds the SpinQ VT in place during transit. With only three heatpipes to keep it upright, the additional insurance and protection is a plus.

 

 

 

The bundle of accessories that comes with the SpinQ VT is as complete as you can get with a heatsink. You get the installation instructions, warranty policy, a small pamphlet that talks about the Key 3 Spirit, the mounting hardware for both AMD and Intel sockets, and a tube of thermal paste just in case you need it. Thermaltake has consolidated the brackets needed to install the SpinQ VT on both the 1156 and 1366 Intel sockets by using a sliding push pin that slides between the dimensions needed for each socket, 77mm and 80mm, respectively. By using this method you get the simple installation of the push pin mounting system and only one set of brackets for the 1156/1366 sockets. The socket 775 processors get their own bracket. AMD sockets are covered with just a single bracket to cover from socket 754 all the way up to AM3.

 

 

 

Now let's see what the SpinQ VT is all about!

Closer Look:

Thermaltake's SpinQ VT is a tower style heatsink that is circular in design with a squirrel cage style fan to blow air through the entire surface area of the cooler. Air is pulled in through the top opening and pushed through the 50 nickel plated copper fins. The base is made of both copper and aluminum with three 6mm copper heatpipes running through the base plate carrying the thermal load to the copper fin array to be dispersed by the airflow from the fan. The whole assembly is nickel plated for a clean look. The SpinQ VT stands 159mm tall and measures a tick over 120mm in diameter. This puts it in some tall company as many of the top rated heatsinks on the market are large tower style heatsinks. The copper fins are offset from each other by a slight amount to expose more surface area, so as you might imagine, this helps drop the temperatures this cooler delivers down a notch while giving it an unique design first seen on the original SpinQ. The SpinQ has the fan array mounted horizontally whereas this revision goes vertical, hence the name VT, which I can only guess at the meaning but Vertical Tower sounds good to me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The base if the cooler has a few machining marks visible to the eye but were not really rough enough to feel. The brackets needed to mount the SpinQ VT are screwed to the baseplate of the cooler with four screws if you are using this cooler on an Intel system and the AMD bracket just rides on the top, putting pressure on the CPU socket.

 

The fan for the SpinQ VT resides inside the cooler and is called a VR style fan by Thermaltake. The fan is a blower, or Squirrel cage design, that pulls air through the top and bottom openings to blow the air through the 50 copper fans! Power is supplied via a 3-pin connector that can go to a motherboard header or connected to a 3-pin to 4-pin adapter harness (not included). This fan can be adjusted manually via a speed control installed on a wiring pig tail coming off the fan hub. This gives you a range of speed from 1000 to 1600 RPM with a decibel rating of from 19 to 28 dBa. When you turn the fan speed all the way up you can expect to get about 87 CFM worth of airflow through the fins of the SpinQ VT. The fan measures 80x85mm and uses a sleeve style bearing to keep everything in line. When the fan is turned on you get a nice red glow form the SpinQ VT to add a little bling to the inside of your case.

 

 

 

Mounting the SpinQ VT requires choosing the mounting hardware that is designed for the CPU and socket type you are using. I will be testing this cooler on an Intel socket 1156 based system so I needed to mount the correct brackets for the application. The SpinQ VT fit comfortably inside the Stacker 810 chassis with plenty of room to spare and was as simple to install as the stock Intel cooling solution. Four push pins and no removal of the motherboard to get it installed is a plus.

 

 

Let's see if the SpinQ VT can deliver the goods and keep the i5 750 cool.

Specifications:

Compatibility
Intel® Core i7 Extreme (Socket LGA1366)
Intel® Core i7 (Socket LGA1366/LGA1156)
Intel® Core i5 / i3 (Socket LGA1156)
Intel® Core 2 Extreme (Socket LGA775)
Intel® Core 2 Quad (Socket LGA775)
Intel® Core 2 Duo (Socket LGA775)
Intel® Pentium D (Socket LGA775)
Intel® Pentium 4 (Socket LGA 775)
Intel® Celeron D (Socket LGA775)
Intel® Celeron (Socket LGA775)
AMD® Phenom II X4/X3/X2 (Socket AM3/AM2+) AMD® Phenom X4/X3 (Socket AM3/AM2+)
AMD® Athlon 64 FX (Socket AM2/939)
AMD® Athlon 64 X2 (Socket AM2/939)
AMD® Athlon 64 (Socket AM2/939/754)
AMD® Sempron (Socket AM2/754)
Heatsink Dimension     
4.73 (L) x 4.73 (W) x 6.26 (H) inch
120.1 (L) x 120.1 (W) x 159 (H) mm
Heatsink Material   
50 Copper Fins + Copper & Aluminum Base
Heatpipe   
Ø 6mm x 6
Fan Dimension   
Ø 80 x 85 mm
Fan Speed   
1000 ~ 1600 RPM
Bearing Type   
Sleeve
Noise Level   
19 ~ 28 dBA
Max. Air Flow   
86.5 CFM
Max. Air Pressure   
2.22 mmH2O
LED Fan   
Ruby LED Fan
Power Connector   
3 Pin
Rated Voltage   
12 V
Started Voltage   
7 V
Rated Current                  
0.45 A   
Power Input   
5.4 W
MTBF   
50,000 Hours
Weight   
495 g

 

Features:

 


All information courtesy of Thermaltake @  http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?C=1417&ID=1904#Tab0

Testing:

To put the Thermaltake SpinQ VT to the test I will be making a comparison of the temperatures at idle and under load, both while the CPU is at stock voltages and clock speeds, as well as when the CPU is overclocked and over-volted to show what kind of cooling performance that the Spin Q VT has to offer when compared to other socket 1156 compatible heatsinks. These heatsinks will be tested head-to-head as they are delivered from the manufacturer. I could throw in a bunch of testing variables, but it is not what the products are capable of as delivered. To test the idle temperatures I will allow the computer to stay idle for 30 minutes and take the idle temperature at this point. For the load testing I will use Prime95 version 25.9 and choose the blend testing and allow the processor and memory controller to heat up to the maximum temperatures. The time frame is a four hour run to allow the temperature to peak, usually in the 14K test. I will use Real Temp 3.0 to take the high and low temperatures and average the temperatures generated over the four cores as my reported temperature.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Heat sinks:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stock i5 heatsink is just woeful when you put a load on the CPU. The SpinQ VT improves cooling performance by 28 degrees over the stock cooling solution when the Intel i5 750 gets a small overclock thrown its way and delivers a 19 degree Celsius improvement at stock clock speeds. All in all, pretty respectable for a cooler that is unusually shaped.

Conclusion:

The Spin Q VT from Thermaltake has a lot going for it; it's good looking, has a manual fan speed control, ease of installation, comparable performance and a unique design. While it did not deliver the best performance out of the comparison heatsinks, it does offer performance on par with some of the other coolers on the market. The adjustable fan speed control is a great idea and gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you to ratchet the fan speed down to a point where it is inaudible at 1000 RPM and 19dBa. By the same token, you can increase the cooling performance by upping the fan speed to high, which results in 86.5 C.F.M. worth of airflow at 28dBa to keep your processor cool. The tower design really works since it puts the SpinQ VT right in the path of the outgoing airflow of most cases, helping keep the heat load out of the case. This cooler has the capability of being mounted to just about any current socket with the universal mounting hardware included with the SpinQ VT. AMD? Intel? It's all there to make it happen. One thing that was a standout item are the mounting brackets for use with Intel socket 1366 and 1156 processors. The difference in the mounting holes between the two is 3 mm. Thermaltake used a sliding push pin system that allows a single bracket to cover both sockets. On the AMD side there is just a single bracket as well to cover the AMD socket types from socket 754 up to AM3. Priced at 55 dollars, the SpinQ VT is not going to be on the inexpensive side of the aisle but it is not priced off the deep end either, so really it does present some value for your dollar. The SpinQ VT is a heatskink that can cool your processor and offers substantial performance over the stock Intel solution. It can go from super silent to just barely audible depending on your cooling needs with the spin of a knob. Top it off with good looks and composite copper aluminum construction and you have a winner.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: