Thermaltake V1 CPU Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 11-17-2007
Provided by: Thermaltake
Discuss: View Comments
Testing / Conclusion

I'll be comparing the performance of the Thermaltake V1 to the stock AMD heatsink at stock speeds and various levels of overclock. Stock coolers are usually adequate at keeping temps under control at stock speed and voltage, however it's when increasing speed and especially voltage that much higher demands are placed on CPU cooling. To monitor CPU temperature I used a utility called CoreTemp. Rather than rely on motherboard sensors which can vary wildly in their accuracy, the CoreTemp program reads temps directly from the Digital Thermal Sensor embedded in the core of the CPU by the manufacturer. Since my 5200+ X2 Windsor has two cores, two temperatures are reported. I logged the readings over a period of time, then averaged each core individually and used the median value for reporting. To generate load temps I ran two instances of Folding@Home, bringing each core to 100% utilization.

As you can see, the stock AMD cooler is quite capable of keeping things under control at stock speeds. However as voltage and speed increased, temperatures quickly climbed out of control. By the time the CPU exceeded a 20% overclock and .3v over default, the cooler was no longer able to keep things stable and the system crashed at 65 C.

Next up, the V1. I'll leave the fan on the lowest speed setting for this first test.

The Thermaltake V1 starts out looking great. Nearly 10 C cooler at load with the stock settings. As voltage and speed increase, the V1 appears to maintain its advantage, until all of a sudden something happens. With just +.2v over, the system is perfectly fine. It could sit there and run at 100% load all day and maintain temps in the low-40's. And even with +.3v applied, the V1 initially appears to handle it well, with temperatures registering in the upper-40's. But as the minutes go by the temps begin to climb higher and higher, it appears it just can't keep up with the thermal demands. After about 10 minutes of full load the computer eventually crashes, the last median temp reported, 64 C.

Let's see if cranking the fan up to high makes a difference.

Although the V1 on high does initially register slightly lower temps (1-2 C) it suffers the same fate as before when left at full load with such a high overclock. It takes almost twice as long to fail, nearly 20 minutes this time, but eventually we're greeted with a hard lock and must reboot the system.


Despite the Thermaltake name and the V1's appearance and initial testing performance I was left disappointed by this review. The quality is very good, the heatsink itself is well made and the design concept seems sound. Put a fan between two banks of copper fins fed by quad copper heatpipes and you'd think the V1 could handle anything. And indeed at smaller levels of overclock it did just that, and did it well. The heatsink design is different and fresh, and with the LED fan the looks of the V1 are quite stunning.

But the method for attaching to the AMD retention module is in need of a drastic overhaul. I thought the clip attachment design was very poor and allowed way too much slop in the placement of the heatsink base. This could have possibly contributed to the V1's lackluster performance at extreme levels of overclock however I think it more likely that either the size or design of the heatpipes (or both) is to blame. As I said previously, upon initial startup it gave the appearance of being quite capable of handling the heat however temps quickly skyrocketed out of control as the V1 struggled to keep up with the thermal demand. If Thermaltake advertised the V1 more as a quiet cooler such as one suited for HTPC I would give it a big thumbs up because it definitely does the job at stock or moderate overclocked speeds even on the lowest fan setting, which is practically silent. But they claim it is an "enthusiast cooler" and in my mind that means it has to be able to handle anything I throw at it, and that it just couldn't do.

I found the Thermaltake V1 online for $59.99 which to me seems a bit on the high side. It is a copper cooler though and that price isn't a whole lot more than some other aluminum high-end coolers, and if the V1 actually lived up to my expectations I could probably recommend it anyway. But with the substandard clip design and lackluster performance sixty bucks just seems overpriced.

Thanks to Thermaltake for providing the V1 for review.

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