[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

This time we tested TherMax Eclipse CPU cooler from Spire. It has a tower design with five copper U-shaped heatpipes and comes with two 120 mm fans. But how will it perform?

Eclipse box is made of card paper, with a front window that allow you to see the one of the fans, as you can see in Figure 1.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 1: Box.

In Figure 2, you can see the box contents: heatsink, fans, instruction folder, installation hardware and a tube of blue thermal compound.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 2: Box contents.

In the next pages we will analyse this cooler in detail.[nextpage title=”Spire TherMax Eclipse”]

In Figure 3 you have a front view of the heatsink. It looks sturdy with thick fins and well-distributed heatpipes, everything nickel-plated for a nice dark metallic looks.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 3: Front view.

In a side view you can see that the fins are folded, don’t allowing the airflow to escape by sides of the cooler. But we’ve already seen a cooler with a similar heatsink: iCEAGE Prima Boss II.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 4: Side view.

In a top view you can see the position of the heatpipes and the shape of the fins. Actually this heatsink is practically identical to the one found on iCEAGE Prima Boss II.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 5: Top view.

[nextpage title=”Spire TherMax Eclipse (Cont’d)”]

TherMax Eclipse comes with two fans, shown in Figure 6. One of them has only a three-pin connector, intended to be plugged on the motherboard, while the other one comes with a three-pin connector and a standard peripheral four-pin connector, so you can plug it directly to your power supply, if your motherboard has no fan power connector available. Unfortunately, none of them have automatic PWM speed control. TherMax Eclipse also does not come with any type of fan controller.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 6: Fans.

In Figure 7 we can see the rubber fan holders, also like the ones found on iCEAGE Prima Boss II. These holders are very soft in order to absorb all the vibration generated by the fans.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 7: Fan holders.

In Figure 8 you see the base of the cooler, smooth but with no mirrored finishing. Heatpipes keep direct contact with the CPU.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 8: Base.

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

To install TherMax Eclipse you must use a backplate, shown in Figure 9. The screws must be first installed in the correct holes depending on your CPU socket.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 9: Backplate with screws.

After installing the backplate on the solder side of the motherboard, you must put the cooler over the CPU and fasten it with four thumbscrews. Only after that you can put the fans in place.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 10: Installed on our motherboard.

In Figure 11, you can see the fans in place.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 11: Fans installed.

In Figure 12, you can see TherMax Eclipse installed in our case.

Spire TherMax EclipseFigure 12: Installed inside our case.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We are adopting the following methodology for our CPU cooler reviews.

First, we chose the CPU with the highest TDP (Thermal Design Power) we had available, a Core 2 Extreme QX6850, which has a 130 W TDP. The choice for a CPU with a high TDP is obvious. To measure the efficiency of the tested cooler, we need a processor that gets very hot. This CPU works by default at 3.0 GHz, but we overclocked it to 3.33 GHz, in order to heat it as much as possible.

We took noise and temperature measurements with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to achieve 100% CPU load on the four processing cores we ran Prime95 with the "In-place Large FFTs" option, and three instances of the StressCPU program, all at the same time.

We also compared the reviewed cooler to the Intel stock cooler (with copper base), which comes with the processor we used, and also with some other coolers we have tested using the same methodology.

Temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer, with the sensor touching the base of the cooler, and also with the core temperature reading (given by the CPU thermal sensor) from the from the SpeedFan program, using an arithmetic average of the four core temperature readings.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off 
the video board cooler so it wouldn’t interfere with the results, but this measurement is only for comparative purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

  • Processor: Core 2 Extreme QX6850
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte EP45-UD3L
  • Memory: 4 GB G.Skill F2-6400CL5S-2GBNY (DDR2-800/PC2-6400 with 5-5-5-15 timings), configured at 800 MHz
  • Hard drive: 1 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (ST31000528AS, SATA-300, 7200 rpm, 32 MB buffer)
  • Video card: PNY Verto Geforce 9600 GT
  • Video resolution: 1680×1050
  • Video monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 2232BW Plus
  • Power supply required: Seventeam ST-550P-AM
  • Case: 3RSystem K100

Software Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2 °C error margin, i.e., temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

On the tables below you can see our results. We ran the same tests with the coolers shown on below tables. Each test ran with the CPU idle and the with the CPU fully loaded. On BigTyp 14Pro, TMG IA1, NH-U12P and ISGC-300 the tests were done with the fan at full speed and at minimum speed. The other coolers were connected directly to the motherboard and it controls the fan speed based on CPU load level and temperature on PWM models. ISGC-400, iCEAGE Prima Boss, Megahalems Rev. B, Thermaltake SpinQ VT, Zalman CNPS10X Flex and Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme were tested at minimum speed on idle test and at maximum speed on full load test.

CPU Idle

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 44 dBA 1000 rpm 31 °C 42 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 26 °C 34 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 41 dBA 500 rpm 26 °C 35 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 26 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 22 °C 30 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 21 °C 30 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 29 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-100 18 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 35 °C 49 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 20 °C 30 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 20 °C 28 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 23 °C 28 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 31 °C 35 °C
Schythe Kabuto 22 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 29 °C 34 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 43 dBA 1500 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 26 °C 30 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 24 °C 26 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C

66 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 41 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 28 °C 35 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 41 dBA 700 rpm 25 °C 30 °C
ISGC-400 (min) 17 °C 44 dBA 850 rpm 24 °C 30 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 32 °C 44 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (min) 22 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 22 °C 29 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 42 dBA 900 rpm 31 °C 39 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 30 °C 39 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 43 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 28 °C 32 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 45 dBA 900 rpm 30 °C 34 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 28 °C 34 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 33 °C 42 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 38 °C 49 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 45 dBA 950 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 42 dBA 950 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 30 °C 37 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 41 dBA 850 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 45 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 35 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 25 °C 34 °C

CPU Fully Loaded

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 48 dBA 1740 rpm 42 °C 100 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 43 °C 77 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 35 °C 70 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 48 dBA 1500 rpm 34 °C 68 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 52 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 27 °C 63 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 25 °C 60 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 51 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 50 °C
Thermaltake ISG-100 18 °C 50 dBA 1800 rpm 58 °C 93 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 28 °C 59 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 25 °C 54 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 37 °C 76 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 48 dBA 1900 rpm 42 °C 68 °C
Scythe Kabuto 22 °C 47 dBA 1200 rpm 38 °C 63 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 51 dBA 2300 rpm 49 °C 85 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 36 °C 64 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 31 °C 56 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 39 °C 96 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 56 dBA 2600 rpm 34 °C 63 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 46 dBA 1300 rpm 28 °C 54 °C
ISGC-400 (max) 17 °C 47 dBA 1400 rpm 36 °C 69 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 55 dBA 2300 rpm 48 °C 92 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (max) 22 °C 53 dBA 2000 rpm 35 °C 59 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 32 °C 67 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 50 dBA 1500 rpm 51 °C 85 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 53 dBA 2700 rpm 39 °C 66 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 47 dBA 1550 rpm 37 °C 69 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 51 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 56 dBA 2000 rpm 34 °C 54 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 50 dBA 1650 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 53 dBA 1900 rpm 45 °C 74 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 39 °C 69 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 58 °C 100 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 56 dBA 2100 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 52 dBA 1500 rpm 40 °C 68 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 50 dBA 1600 rpm 33 °C 58 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 33 °C 59 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 56 dBA 1900 rpm 35 °C 60 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 46 dBA 1450 rpm 31 °C 60 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 52 dBA 1900 rpm 32 °C 64 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 29 °C 73 °C

The next graph shows how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our idle tests.

 Spire TherMax Eclipse

The next graph gives you an idea on how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our full load tests.

 Spire TherMax Eclipse

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

Spire TherMax Eclipse main features are:

  • Application: Socket LGA775, 1156, 1366, AM3, AM2+, AM2, 939, 940 and 754 processors.
  • Fins: Aluminum.
  • Base: Aluminum, with heatpipes in direct contact with the CPU.
  • Heat-pipes: Five U-shaped copper heat-pipes.
  • Fans: Two, 120 mm.
  • Nominal fan speed: 2,200 rpm.
  • Fan air flow: 93.3 cfm.
  • Maximum power consumption: 2 x 4.2 W.
  • Nominal noise level: 29 dBA.
  • Weight: 1.9 lbs (822 g).
  • More information: https://www.spirecoolers.com
  • Average price in the US: we could not find this cooler being sold in the USA.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

At first look we thought Spire TherMax Eclipse would be an excellent performer. Its construction quality impressed us and with five heatpipes and two fans it looked like we had a winner in our hands. After we realized it is virtually the same cooler as iCEAGE Prima Boss II – which performed very well in our tests – we got even more confident.

But the results from our tests surprised us, showing a mediocre performance. We checked the installation, looking for some error like an inverted fan or something of this sort, but it was all fine. Some readers could ask about the curing time of the thermal compound, but this could not produce a difference in our results that big and all other coolers were tested with no curing time. By the way, we are planning on a comparative test with different thermal compounds and we wish to make some experiments to know if the supposed advantage of a curing period is a fact or a myth.

TherMax Eclipse also has another problem: it has two strong fans without any kind of speed control. If you like silence, you must buy a fan controller as a sidekick for this cooler.

Therefore TherMax Eclipse is not a good cooler. Maybe not it is not a coincidence that
 Spire released TherMax Eclipse II, a product virtually identical to the model we tested, which may mean that the manufacturer knows about the low performance of the first version and improved it in a second incarnation.