Thermaltake has been with us since 1999 and has served to provide enthusiasts with some of the most well-known and accessible cases, fans and heatsinks on the market. For many of us, our first foray into computer building and modification included a Thermaltake product like the old Dragon Orb or Volcano heatsinks, Crystal Orb chipset/VGA cooler, or the Smart Fan circa 2001. Always functional and eye-catching, it’s easy to see why Thermaltake products have been bringing aftermarket to the mass market for a decade.
In late 2008, Thermaltake announced the coming of the SpinQ heatsink which promised a new take on their prior orb designs. Through the use of six heatpipes and 50 cooling fins, the orb’s traditionally tall cylinder cooling structure could be laid on its side and fitted with a centrifugal fan to exhaust heat outward from the unit. The novel unit’s unique approach to cooling has garnered several awards including the CES Innovations 2009 Design and Engineering Award and the prestigious 2009 design awards from RedDot and the International Forum Design in Germany.
We’re happy to have this unique heatsink here at Icrontic for testing to see how well Thermaltake has married performance with aesthetics.
- Compatibility: Socket 775, Socket 1366, Socket 754, Socket 930, and Sockets AM2/2+/3
- Heatsink Dimension: 121.63(L) x 90(W) x 151.85(H) mm
- Heatsink Material: 50 Aluminum Fins w/ Copper Heatpipes & Base
- Heatpipe: 6 mm x 6
- Fan Dimension: 80 x 85 mm
- Fan Speed: 1,000 ~ 1,600 RPM
- Bearing Type: Sleeve
- Noise Level: 19 ~ 28 dBA
- Max. Air Flow: 86.5 CFM
- Max. Air Pressure: 2.22 mmH2O
- Rated Voltage: 12 V
- Started Voltage: 7 V
- Rated Current: 0.45 A
- Power Input: 5.4 W
- MTBF: 50,000 Hours
- Weight: 667 g
Thermaltake has moved away from the black and orange designs that once dominated their products and have moved to the more modern and visually-pleasing style we see here in the SpinQ’s box. The new matte white and black box is windowed to expose its true contents. Outside, the box lists all the above specifications, pictures of the cooler’s profiles and a couple choice notes. The box serves to clearly present the SpinQ and frames it to let its design shine.
Inside the box we find the SpinQ held firmly in place by a sturdy clam shell that centers the unit in its packaging to protect it from damage. Unless the heatsink falls off the shipping truck and gets run over by a Greyhound bus, it’s very unlikely that users will get a unit damaged by the shipping process. It’s nice to know the fifty small fins will be pristine when you open the box. The heatsink itself is wrapped by its 3-pin power cable and a short secondary dongle with the unit’s adjustable rheostat on the end.
The plastic clam shell also contains a thin white box that holds the AMD mounting clip and Intel Socket 775 pin mounts, as well as multilingual instructions, a small syringe of thermal paste, and a case badge sticker. The pin mounts for Intel Socket 1366 processors and their instructions are included in a plastic baggie that’s loose in the box.
A Closer Look
The SpinQ, when removed from the box, is a stout unit. It weighs slightly less than the popular Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme but it is thicker than most tower heatsinks on the market these days. Overall heights off the motherboard are in-line with other market offerings which clock in at the 150mm mark. Clearance problems aren’t anticipated.
The flat base is nickel plated with a mirror finish and carries a protective plastic film that must be removed before installation. All six heatpipes converge upon the base. The upper side of the base features a raised bevel and slits to easily center the AMD processor clip; this makes installation a breeze. Furthermore, the locking cam on the included AMD clip uses a smooth plastic bushing to prevent metal-on-metal wear. For Intel systems, the spring clip attaches firmly to opposite sides of the heatsink base by four included machine screws.
The six nickel-plated copper heatpipes extend outward in a U-shape and intersect the 50 aluminum fins at equidistant points every 60 degrees — starting at 30 degrees from vertical — extending fully through the fins. The fan attaches via three screws on the side of the unit opposite the heatpipe entry points. The fan cage is centered in the middle of the fin assembly with the motor extending up to the half-way point. Blue LEDs are mounted in the fan motor, and they cast a pleasing blue glow throughout the unit. The glow is slightly brighter nearer to the motor’s mount due to the placement of the LEDs.