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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [01.13.04]
Manufactured by: Thermaltake


Clip Design

FINALLY AMD users can enjoy the luxury of not only having a heat spreader to help protect the CPU surface, but also a proper mounting bracket to ease installation of monster HSF's. The Venus 12 does not come with a base, and so far I have seen a few motherboards not include one either, so unless your CPU came with one, you'll have to go pick one up yourself.

Thermaltake made intelligent use of the mounting bracket design for K8 processors. Each side of the clip features 3 prongs, and all you have to do is clip them in, and press this tab down until it clicks. It may seem simple, but the OEM AMD unit is far from being this well designed.

The Fan

Probably the most unique feature of this cooler is the non-conventional 3 fin 80x80x32mm fan. Thermaltake says this helps eliminate air turbulence and increases air flow. Sure...... I just think it looks cool. The fan is also a 2 ball bearing design, as opposed to cheap sleeve bearings we often see on cheaper heatsinks.

People who dislike the usual orange fans Tt uses will appreciate the recent switch to red. Looking at their latest products, it looks like they might just keep doing this, at least with their CPU coolers!

You'll also notice that the fan bracket has a louvre to help direct air flow to the middle of the heatsink. Just another way to get optimal performance from the fan, although I would like to see more manufacturers do more with TMD fans, as we saw excellent results when Vantec used one on their Aeroflow.

Overall I think the red, three fin fan really sets this cooler apart from the rest, without looking overbearing and cheezy (IE no flashy LED's or chrome or huge blower fans). The Venus 12 is definitely a winner in the looks department!

Smartest Heatsinks Around!

There is no question that while they might not always make the highest performing heatsinks available, Thermaltake does make the SMARTEST heatsinks. It all started with the Volcano 7, which used a thermistor attached to the fan to adjust the fan speed according to CPU temperature. Well, we found that it adjusted the speed according to the CASE temperature rather that CPU temp, so ended up not performing as well as it should have.

Now Thermaltake includes a flat thermistor that you can install close to the CPU itself (NOT on top of the CPU!) to give a much more accurate reading. The fan speed ramps in a direct ratio to the temperature recorded by the thermistor; at 20C, it starts at the fan's lowest speed, 2000RPM, and at 55C, the fan is running at full speed 5500 RPM. Anything above 55C, and the fan will continue to spin at 5500RPM.

I prefer to control the fan myself however, and for that, Thermaltake includes 2 options:

The first is a fan controller you can install in your case's 3.5" bay. While this would look good on most aluminum faced cased, I don't think it would be suitable for everyone. Good thing Thermaltake also included this!

It may not be as convenient as having it on the front of your case, but it's certainly the next best thing! This is probably the way most people will control their Venus 12, installing this plate in a free PCI bracket.

The great thing about these controllers is that they are compatible with most Thermaltake "Smart Fans". Having a bunch of these around has proven to be very handy in building systems!

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