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A look at aftermarket chipset cooling - Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II
Written by Cadaveca   
Saturday, 18 November 2006 04:27
Article Index
A look at aftermarket chipset cooling
Introduction
ZALMAN ZM-NBF47
Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II
Thermalright HR-05
Stock Solutions
Testing
Conclusion
All Pages



Thermaltake’s chipset cooler, the Extreme Spirit II, is a heat pipe based cooler in all copper, with an attached 40x40x10mm LED fan. Opening the package reveals the unit itself, nuts, paper washers and bolts to attach to the motherboard, thermal paste, a circular mounting pad, and instructions.





Wrapped around the cooler is the fan’s power cord, well sleeved in black nylon. Thermaltake claims this unit can install on any motherboard that has mountings that use loops or push-pins, and although they are correct, they don’t mention anything about how they accomplish this feat might interfere with other installed components. More on that later.
The cooler has a solid copper base attached to a small copper heat pipe, and is cooled by a set of copper fins which act as a radiator for the gas enclosed in the heat pipe. The fan is attached to the radiator with a shroud and two screws, and the mounting clip is screwed to the middle of the base and has adjustable metal arms attached to the clip with screws as well. Although the cooler is 48x40x70 mm, roughly the same size as the ZALMAN cooler, if placed on its side, it is a hefty 122grams more for a total weight of 169grams.
 
  
 

 
The circular base of the unit comes with a plastic film over it to prevent scratches in transit…remember to remove it before installing! So as to easily compare the finish I used the case badge from the ZALMAN cooler as a reference item.



You can easily see the mill marks on the base by peeling back the cover, unlike ZALMAN’s cooler, but the reflection given is a much clearer image due to the direction of the lapping job, and the marks appear finer in comparison. The plug for the fan is of the three-pin variety, most commonly found on motherboards, but there is not a Molex adapter for those that like to not have fans lugged into their boards at all.
In attempting to mount the unit to test, I ran into a few problems…because of the design of the mounting, although it may appear to be positioned in any fashion, I found issue with clearing video cards on motherboards that have chipsets between their graphic slots…most notably the “LanParty” series from DFI, even though Thermaltake’s website claims that the cooler fits all motherboards. I had planned on testing these coolers on multiple platforms, but this problem quickly limited me to the use of only one of the many boards I have lying around. Something to keep in mind, at the very least.



 
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