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Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [01.31.03]
Manufactured by: Thermaltake

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Benchmark Test

I tested this against the Intel Retail HSF unit that came with my P4 2.4 GHz chip. Just as a quick refresher, the P4 2.4 is the s478, 512k cache Northwood version of the P4 chip, which was meant to run at the 533 MHz bus.

The system being used for this test is a newly built Abit IT7-based machine, with a maximum of 7 case fans: 4 front, 2 rear, one side, plus the power supply fan.  All of the added case fans run at only about 3000 RPM since I like a nice quiet case.  

A note: All ATA cables used here were rounded (and no SCSI or floppy cables were in use at all.)  Should you need rounded ATA cables, please head for  They WILL make an airflow difference inside the case.

Keep in mind that airflow in any case will vary depending on the number and type of fans in use, as well as how all of the wiring and cabling is routed.

First I ran the generic Intel heatsink, and got it's rather generic performance results.  Of course, since I had just come from running Athlon CPUs for the past 2 years, I was more impressed than I should have been.  That is, until I installed the Thermaltake fan. 

The results that this unit provides blew me away.  I think an icecube placed right on the CPU MIGHT provide better cooling, but not much better.  However, running at full speed (Actually 6500 RPM instead of 6000, measured by my motherboard's monitoring hardware) that fan is extremely loud and annoying. 

I wasn't going to bother with the manual control dial, but I DID install the thermal control parts, and was even further surprised.  Though it obviously achieved a higher max temperature than before, the fan NEVR ONCE spun faster than 2800 RPM at max CPU load, making it as quiet as a church mouse.  So much for the noise disadvantage.

This is truly a testament as to how effective this copper heatsink is at cooling.  As a matter of fact, the first time I installed the unit, I had the problem with the thermal tape preventing a complete contact with the heat spreader.  The fan was running at 6000 RPM at the time, but the CPU did not climb above 150 degrees, at 100% CPU usage and with only partial contact.  VERY nice!

Making a brute force solution to cool a CPU is easy.  Bigger, faster fan, more fins, bigger heatsink.  These solutions are easy and cheap, and the way a lot of people go.  But Thermaltake's solution is not only incredibly effective, but also elegant and innovative.  You can just go full speed on the fan if you can stand the noise, or the PC will be locked in a server closet.  Or you can adjust it yourself if that's your thing.  Or you can let the fan and sensor do all of the work, and react when it senses the heatsink getting hotter.  One package provides 3 possible cooling solutions.   Just be sure to be careful when handling it, or you could get blood all over your shiny new, HardCore Thermaltake Spark7.  The only thing missing is a front panel control that will let you switch between manual and automatic speed control.  But hopefully Thermaltake is reading this. ;)

  • The color scheme
  • Lots of fins
  • Adjustable fan
  • Automatic mode
  • Easily removable

  • fan loud at max RPM
  • Can't see the pretty copper without a window

Final Score: 95%