Thermalright True Spirit 140 Direct Slim-Tower CPU Cooler Review

Test Settings, Results, And Final Analysis

We continue using our 2015 Reference PC minus its open test bed (and obviously the reference cooler) to test the H220-X in a closed system. The Core i7-5930K is overclocked to a fixed 4.2GHz core frequency at 1.20V core voltage.

Test System Components









Comparison Coolers

Loading...

Setting the performance baseline are the two largest slim coolers of previous reviews, along with a budget spoiler from DeepCool.

Results

The True Spirit 140 Direct’s cooling at full fans appears mediocre, but spinning the fan down has minimal impact. That’s certain to make things interesting in our cooling-to-noise comparison.

The True Spirit 140 Direct has the lowest fan speed, which again should make the cooling-to-noise ratio interesting.

Paydirt comes in the noise test, where the True Spirit 140 Direct is whisper quiet. Those who noticed that I didn’t mention the ultra-cheap Gammaxx 400 in the cooling test will wish I hadn’t in the noise test, since decibels use a logarithmic scale. Note that while our results were 3db higher than Thermalright’s rated values, having the cooler mounted can increase the amount of noise reflected back toward the meter.

Our acoustic efficiency (cooling-to-noise ratio) chart uses a direct scale, and adding a logarithmic function for the noise portion would have made the worst coolers look even worse. The True Spirit Direct is the clear leader.

A superb cooling-to-noise ratio gives Thermalright’s True Spirit 140 Direct the edge it needs to combat DeepCool’s low price, at least at full fan speed.

Thermalright’s True Spirit 140 Direct produced excellent noise and efficiency marks, but mediocre cooling performance (by big-air standards) might be its biggest accomplishment. After all, the heat pipes of this particular design were only flattened by roughly 25% of their diameter, making contact with only around half of the CPU heat spreader’s surface area. While I can’t recommend it to everyone, its extremely favorable cooling-to-noise ratio combines with an excellent price to put this on our approved list.

MORE: Best CPU Cooling

MORE: How To Choose A CPU Cooler

MORE: All Cooling Content

MORE: In Pictures: 20 Clever Liquid-Cooled PC Setups

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
20 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • Anonymous
    This new ad says: "Wife used as Guinea pig for Navajo Hearing Loss Remedy". Just when I thought Tom's couldn't get lower with their advertisement selection, this shows up. How about having ads to sell things related to technology?
    9
  • cats_Paw
    Andy, dont tell me you think toms chooses their own ads :D.
    3
  • Pompompaihn
    Andy, it makes complete sense. See, this Thermalright cooler is very quiet, so if your wife's hearing has been damaged by other, louder coolers you purchased prior without the benefit of this review, you may be interested in having her be a guinea pig for this Navajo hearing loss remedy, which ironically uses guinea pigs as an ingredient.
    6
  • larkspur
    The Deepcool Gammaxx 400 really whoops this cooler on pretty much everything. Running the Gammaxx @ 50% fan yields the same temp as running the Thermalright @100% fan. It is also 4 dbA quieter than the Thermalright at that same temperature target (since the Gammaxx is running 50% fan while the Thermalright has to run 100%). And the Gammaxx is ~$20 cheaper. I wouldn't give this cooler an "approved" badge since it is terrible at what it is designed for - COOLING! Just grab a Gammaxx and tune up a nice fan curve and you can forget about all this extreme contact pressure...
    5
  • Onus
    Any chance the bad contact surface is a manufacturing defect in your sample?
    0
  • JamesSneed
    Anonymous said:
    Andy, dont tell me you think toms chooses their own ads :D.


    They choose the add provider. Why they also get add blocked. If they switch providers and announce they are doing reputable tech related adds I will turn it off. Until then the adds they serve up are completely out of line for a good site like TomsHardware.
    4
  • JamesSneed
    Anonymous said:
    The Deepcool Gammaxx 400 really whoops this cooler on pretty much everything. Running the Gammaxx @ 50% fan yields the same temp as running the Thermalright @100% fan. It is also 4 dbA quieter than the Thermalright at that same temperature target (since the Gammaxx is running 50% fan while the Thermalright has to run 100%). And the Gammaxx is ~$20 cheaper. I wouldn't give this cooler an "approved" badge since it is terrible at what it is designed for - COOLING! Just grab a Gammaxx and tune up a nice fan curve and you can forget about all this extreme contact pressure...


    You have a valid point. TH even tested the Gammaxx 400 with the same load test using the same rig. Hey TomsHardware folks, why not make more complete charts that show a lot more of the recent heat sinks tested? Cherry picking on the reviews like you do is a bit misleading(on purpose or not) it doesn't show the outliers like the Gammaxx that larkspur pointed out.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/deepcool-gammaxx-400-slim-tower-cpu-cooler,4460-2.html
    1
  • logainofhades
    That Gammaxx 400 is really a great budget cooler. Deepcool sure produced a winner with that one.
    3
  • synphul
    Sadly I think thermalright kicked themselves on this one with their huge gaps left around the direct touch pipes. The previous thermalright true spirit 140 power at around the same price did much better, providing cooling on par with the nh-d14 and a little quieter.

    If they had bothered to mount the pipes and even press/machine them flat with the base like found on the 212 evo the gammaxx wouldn't have touched it really. What a complete bungle from their design team, why bother going direct touch just to kill it with huge voids and incomplete ihs coverage?
    1
  • Unolocogringo
    Anonymous said:
    This new ad says: "Wife used as Guinea pig for Navajo Hearing Loss Remedy". Just when I thought Tom's couldn't get lower with their advertisement selection, this shows up. How about having ads to sell things related to technology?

    You do know that you could remedy this problem in just a few minutes time, right?

    I run Firefox with ghostery installed for blocking tracking cookies. You can white-list the sites you want.
    I also have flash disabled by default, with a pop-up option to enable if wanted. Which you can also white-list the sites you want.

    Makes everyone happy.
    I get static ads, A black blank space where flash ads would normally play, and the site gets some ad revenue for ads displayed.
    A win for me (no more auto-play ads) and the site still gets ad revenue. maybe not as much, but at least I am not annoyed by obtrusive ads.
    0
  • chumly
    @tom You guys have a Cryorig M9 you can test? PCpartpicker has it on the top of their lists.
    1
  • GeoDash
    You guys just barely got it? I've had it since like November.
    0
  • WINTERLORD
    wouldn't mind seeing how it stacks up against a common cooler master 212evo
    0
  • logainofhades
    Anonymous said:
    wouldn't mind seeing how it stacks up against a common cooler master 212evo


    Given how poorly it did against the Gammaxx 400, I would say it wouldn't do well. The 212 and the 400 are pretty close, performance wise.
    0
  • JamesSneed
    How about the CRYORIG H7 which is ballpark the same price and in my opinion should be the new 212evo standard for a cheap decent heatsink.
    1
  • logainofhades
    The H7 is definitely far better, than this cooler, as it is a bit better than even the 212 evo.
    1
  • Calculatron
    I have a softspot for Thermalright products. I love their fans, and also own the Silver Arrow SB-Ex2, and Silver Arrow IB-E.

    I'm glad that they decided to try something new, but this seems like such a weird try for something like this.
    0
  • Ne0Wolf7
    How did the noctura get to be $1000?
    0
  • akula2
    >but mediocre cooling performance (by big-air standards) might be its >biggest accomplishment

    Really? Anyway, any air cooling product which weighs 3/4th kg is OK to be labeled as slim-tower.

    Thermalright made several good products. I continue to use more than 60 products ever since they launched 120-MUX ages ago, and recommended their air products to dozens of pals and contacts I know -- made them to move away from unnecessary water dB nuisance!

    I'll try this product in the upcoming Kaby Lake productivity builds. But not for workstations. That being said, why not do a review of latest quality flat air coolers? I use several of them too. There is no need to use water blocks in many PC builds.
    0
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    >but mediocre cooling performance (by big-air standards) might be its >biggest accomplishment

    Really? Anyway, any air cooling product which weighs 3/4th kg is OK to be labeled as slim-tower.

    Thermalright made several good products. I continue to use more than 60 products ever since they launched 120-MUX ages ago, and recommended their air products to dozens of pals and contacts I know -- made them to move away from unnecessary water dB nuisance!

    I'll try this product in the upcoming Kaby Lake productivity builds. But not for workstations. That being said, why not do a review of latest quality flat air coolers? I use several of them too. There is no need to use water blocks in many PC builds.


    You'll have to "look for them" since we don't do them often, but we do have a couple larger downdraft cooler reviews and we've also reviewed a bunch of low-profile downdraft coolers.
    0