The Thermaltake SpinQ CPU cooler was tested on a Pentium 4 EE based test rig consisting of the components listed below.  The ambient room air temperature was maintained at 23?C +/-0.5?C.  Four instances of CPUBurn were executed at the same time (two to load both physical cores, and two to load the two virtual HyperThreading cores), which resulted in 100% CPU usage.  Tests were conducted at three different fan speeds to see how the cooler performed with varying degrees of airflow.  The integrated potentiometer was used to control the speed of the fan. 

Test Rig Configuration

•    Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard
•    Pentium 4 Extreme Edition dual core 955 @ 3.46 GHz
•    (2) Corsair CM2X512-8000UL DDR2
•    NVIDIA 8800 GTX 768 MB video card
•    Western Digital WD1200JD S-ATA HDD
•    SilverStone Olympia 750W PSU
•    Windows XP Pro with SP2

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A small Omega thermocouple is attached to the side of the 955 IHS with Arctic Alumina thermal epoxy to provide accurate CPU temperatures.  The measurement equipment used during testing included:

•    CPU/IHS – Barnant Model 115 digital thermometer (accuracy +/- 0.4º C)
•    Ambient air – Barnant Model 115 digital thermometer (accuracy +/- 0.4º C)
•    Extech Model 407738 digital sound level meter (accuracy +/- 1.5 dB)

For comparison, I’m including the results from several other popular HSFs we recently tested on the LGA775 platform.  All HSFs were tested on the same EE 955 CPU under the same conditions.

•    Cooler Master V8 with integrated fan and Nexus
•    Zalman CNPS9300 AT with integrated 92mm fan
•    Thermalright True Black 120 with Nexus, Panaflo L1A and Delta SHE
•    Thermalright SI-128 SE with various fans
•    Scythe Andy Samurai Master with bundled Scythe 120mm fan
•    Enzotech Ultra-X with bundled Delta 120mm fan
•    Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX with bundled fan
•    Stock Intel HSF

The following data is presented for comparative purposes only.  Your actual results may be different depending on the variables unique to your system (CPU, overclock, ambient temperature, case air flow, temperature monitoring, etc).  

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Amb – Ambient room air temperature
CPU – Temperature reported by Everest utility (internal diode)
Tc – Temperature obtained with calibrated thermocouple attached to 955 IHS
Delta T – Fully loaded Tc temperature rise above ambient temperature
dBA – Sound pressure level recorded 3’ away (background ~28 dBA)

Note: My original P5N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard died awhile back and the CPU temperature reported by the replacement board is so far off (~20°C) its not worth mentioning – the thermocouple attached to the 955 IHS is much more reliable.

The Thermaltake SpinQ CPU cooler did a good job of keeping the fully loaded CPU cool, especially when you take into consideration the relatively low level of noise generated by the blower style fan.  There isn’t a lot of adjustment range for the fan speed, which limits the cooling performance.  If a higher speed blower were used it could potentially deliver better performance while still allowing the end user to slow the fan down for less noise if desired.

The SpinQ cooling performance is roughly comparable to the Cooler Master and Zalman CPU coolers but doesn’t match the outright performance offered by the big Thermalright coolers (surface area does matter).  Because of the closed design, we couldn’t test the SpinQ with some of the larger, high-speed air turbines we used on some other coolers.  Along with the relatively small surface area provided by the cylindrical fin array, not being able to use a higher flow rate fan may limit the SpinQ for users looking for maximum performance and who don’t care about noise. However the majority of mainstream users should be satisfied.

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