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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Today we tested Thermaltake SpinQ VT CPU cooler, which has a unique design with a centrifugal fan inside a cylindrical heatsink. Will this fancy design translate into a high performance? Let’s see.

The product box is simple, made of card paper with no window or details, as you can see in Figure 1.

Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 1: Product box.

Inside the box we found, besides the cooler, installation hardware, user manual and a small tube of thermal compound.

In Figure 2 we can see SpinQ VT. Note the position of the fins: each one is slighty rotated from the one right before it, making an interesting "spinning" looks.

Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 2: Thermaltake SpinQ VT.

In the next we will see the cooler in details.

[nextpage title=”Thermaltake SpinQ VT”]

In Figure 3 we can see SpinQ VT from the front. Note the cooler is very tall, with a big gap between the base and the heatsink.

Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 3: Front view.

In Figure 4 we have a side view of the cooler. It is clear the presence of three 6 mm U-shape heatpipes.

Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 4: Side view.

In Figure 5 we have a top view of SpinQ VT. The tips from the heatpipes equidistant along the circle formed by the fins. It is also clear the position of the transparent fan inside the heatsink.

Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 5: Top view.

[nextpage title=”Thermaltake SpinQ VT (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 6 we can see the bottom of the fan. It works blowing air from inside the heatsink in all directions.

Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 6: Fan.
The fan has no PWM automatic control, but it comes with a small potentiometer which allows you to manually adjust the fan speed.
Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 7: Speed controller.
The nickel-plated copper base has a mirror-like aspect, as we can see in Figure 8.
Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 8: Base.

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

SpinQ VT retention system is quite simple: for AMD processors, you just need to put the appropriate clip over the base of the cooler and attach it to the CPU cooler frame on the motherboard. With Intel CPUs you must screw the proper clips (there is one set for socket LGA775 and another for sockets 1156 and 1366) to the base, and then attach it on top of the processor the same way you do with the Intel stock cooler.

In Figure 9 we can see the hardware that come with the cooler, manuals, one small tube of gray thermal compound and the clip sets.

Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 9: Accessories.

In Figure 10 we can see the cooler with socket LGA775 clips attached. We thought that a tall and relatively heavy cooler like this deserved a better holding system, with a backplate to avoid the motherboard from bending.

Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 10: Socket LGA775 clips.

In Figure 11 you can see the cooler installed in our case. As this cooler do not direct airflow to the rear side of the case, it will probably perform better with a good case ventilation. A fan at the rear panel of the case should work nice.

Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 11: Installed in case.

In Figure 12, you can see the red glow of the fan when it is turned on.

Thermaltake SpinQ VTFigure 12: Fan glow.

[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 therma
l 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

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 and Thermaltake SpinQ VT 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

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

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

 Thermaltake SpinQ VT

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.

 Thermaltake SpinQ VT

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

Thermaltake SpinQ VT main features are:

  • Application: Socket LGA775, 1156, 1366, AM3, AM2+, AM2, 940, 939 and 754 processors.
  • Fins: Aluminum.
  • Base: Copper.
  • Heat-pipes: Three U-shape 6-mm copper heat-pipes.
  • Fan: radial, 80 mm.
  • Nominal fan speed: 1,600 rpm.
  • Fan air flow: 86.5 cfm.
  • Maximum power consumption: 5.4 W.
  • Nominal noise level: 28 dBA.
  • Weight: 1.1 lbs (495 g).
  • More information: https://www.thermaltakeusa.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 56.00

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this First Look article.[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Thermaltake SpinQ VT CPU cooler impressed us with its looks. It has a very unique and cool design, and will surely draw attention in any computer with a transparent side window. Its fan is also pretty quiet.

It performed well, although it is not a top-performing cooler. And it is not an inexpensive product.

If you are looking for a budget cooler with the best possible performance, forget this cooler. However if you want a really nice and different-looking CPU cooler, quiet and with a good performance, Thermaltake SpinQ VT is an excellent choice.