For a while now, I’ve just been using the stock heatsink that came with my motherboard to keep my northbridge cool, so when Thermaltake contacted me in regards to reviewing one of their Northbridge coolers, I jumped at the chance.
The Extreme Spirit 2 is an improvement to the original Extreme Spirit, and adds heatpipes, much more copper, and an led lighted fan. However, it loses the speed controller that the original Extreme Spirit had.
In the Box
The box is a typical plastic container with one major difference. It is easy to open. I didn’t have to use a knife, or any bladed instrument to open it, it just pops open. This is a huge plus, since normally, I have to resort to using a knife to open the containers.
On the outside of the container, it has some pictures of the cooler, a features list, some specifications, and a clear part where you can see the cooler.
On the inside of the container, there is the cooler, the manual, and some assorted screws, thermal grease, and etc.
The Cooler Itself
The cooler itself is somewhat large, with a 40mm fan mounted vertically. The heatsink portion is all copper. The two heatpipes stick up a little further than the fan. At first, I was concerned since it looked like the tip of one of them was crushed, however, that is what the pictures show, so I’m going to assume it’s normal. It appears to work ok.
According to the specifications, it spins at 4500RPM, and moves 3.47 Cubic feet per minute. With a fan that small, and an RPM that high, one would think that it would be loud, but according to the specifications, it is only 19dBA, which isn’t very loud. When it is right next to my Thermaltake 120mm smart fan moving at full speed, I can’t hear the 40mm at all. Because of this, the lack of a speed controller doesn’t really affect the cooler at all.
Installing was somewhat involved, since I had to remove the motherboard, and almost everything else inside the case in order to install it. However, if you ignore the time taking out the motherboard, and putting it back in, it didn’t take that long to install.
Installation for involved removing the old heatsink and thermal grease, applying new thermal grease, and screwing in the new one. Only problem I had with the install was that it was kind of hard getting the screws lined up with the their attaching points on the heatsink, since the points were free swinging until they were screwed in. Once that was done, all I had to do was hook up the 3 pin cord to a free fan header on the motherboard.
For those of you who are interested, the installation guide was great. It had lots of color pictures, and was written in a way that made it very simple to understand. It shows how to install it on motherboards that have no mounting holes, and on motherboards that do have mounting holes.
Well, first off, the LEDs are great. They are nice, bright, and blue.
Now, onto what matters, which is the cooling ability of the cooler. With the heatsink that came with the motherboard, the temp was around 110-115 degrees F. With the Extreme Spirit 2, the temps are around 99-105, which is rather good drop in temperature.
This is a great cooler, and is well worth the cash for anyone who wants to overclock, or who is concerned about the temperature of their Northbridge, and for those who don’t have a problem with pulling their motherboard out.
|Works wellBright LEDs
Good Install guide
|Can be hard to install