Thermaltake Memory Cooler Review
Reviewed by: Bosco
Reviewed on: January 4, 2003
: GF City Computers
Price: $15 USD
After having a good break, and times spent with families, it's time to get back to work again, and I get the honor of providing OCC Canada's first review out for the new year! To start off, I will take a look at two of Thermaltake's memory cooling products, because they go together pretty well, and are similar enough to be placed into one review.
The Active Memory Cooling Kit package
The package contents
The first package that I have is the Active Memory Cooling Kit. This one contains a single-sided blue heat spreader (passive), and a single-sided orange heat spreader that is integrated with a fan (active). The fan uses the 3-pin connection that plugs into your motherboard and allows for fan RPM monitoring, or if that is not possible, it also includes a 3-pin to 4-pin converter, but there is no extension after that, meaning either way, you will use up a power connector. The package also includes the heatspreader adhesives, and the metallic clips to firmly secure them in place, but if you trust the adhesives, I don't think the clips will be needed.
Small, fast, yet quiet
It's an Everflow!
The Memory Heatsink and Heat Spreader package
The package contents
The second package I have is just to complement the first, and this one contains two single-sided blue heat spreaders (passive), as well as two rather large memory heatsinks. From the look of the latter, it suggests that they were meant to be placed on a GeForce3 card, but any mechanic who can cut aluminum can resize these for other uses. Again, like the first package, several adhesives are included as well as the metal clips for the heat spreaders, however in this package I will only look at the heat spreaders, when combined with the first item above.
Installing the heat spreaders can be extremely easy or tediously difficult, depending on whether or not you choose to include the metal clips. Installing the active heat spreader (the orange one) first requires that you determine the alignment of your memory module to your motherboard, and then figuring out how the fan will fit in there. After that, installing the entire unit (as well as the remaining passive heat spreaders) only requires that you place the adhesive on the memory module, and then placing the heat spreader itself on top of the module, ensuring that as much of the module is covered by the heat spreader, without touching any solder points on the chips. After that, you can place the metal clips on to the pair of heat spreaders to keep them in place, although I had so much difficulty with them when trying to place them on the orange heat spreader, because the integrated fan bracket gets in the way, and there's no convenient method of removing it.
All set, and ready to go!
For the idle temperatures we let the machine idle at the desktop for 20 minutes, and for simulating load we used SiSoftware Sandra, running the memory benchmark test for 15 minutes. The CPU and System temperatures were recorded with Motherboard Monitor, while the memory modules were recorded using a temperature sensor gun.
The heat spreaders did absolutely nothing for the CPU and System temperatures (note: not a surprise), so no graphs of comparison were made for them.
Since the CPU was not the main device we stressed this time, it did not get as hot as usual, and in turn, the overall system temperature wasn't affected that much.
Memory Temperature Test Results
Quite a nice drop in load temperatures! A 7°C difference! But does a major temperature drop in memory really mean anything in terms of performance gain?
SiSoftware Sandra Memory Bandwidth Test Results
Our synthetic test shows that a cooler memory doesn't really perform that much better. In our case, it's safe to say that there is absolutely no difference!
Is there any real benefit to having a cooler memory then? In terms of the heat produced from overclocking, it's good to know that your modules will now have more room for temperature increases, in case you do choose to overclock them. It also looks good asthetically, as compared to standard "naked" modules. However, apart from that, there's not much else that I can see. Our synthetic performance gains were negligible, and I would think real-world performance gains would also be non-existant, or at least not enough to justify purchasing them based on performance gain alone. I think they would be best put to use for enthusiasts who simply wish to have the best air-cooled overclocking possible, and I'm sure this product will help them achieve that.
Just remember: Cooler memory does not imply instant performance gain out-of-the-box. The user will still need to do something to "motivate" the memory.