What You Get
It generally isn't necessary to discuss what comes in the package of an air cooling setup, but things have changed lately. With all the enthusiasts wanting top notch cooling but quiet operations, additional components have had to be added to the retail packages.
So besides the HSF, you will also receive several added items, which make it possible to manually adjust the fan speed of the cooler. Since we're still using an 80mm fan of the performance variety, the noise levels can get a bit high for some users. Not nearly the levels of noise the monster Delta 60s of years past used to put out, but more noise than your common 80mm fan.
So the folks at Thermaltake have come up with a choice in the manner you use to battle noise:
To begin with, you can choose between either of these two rheostat devices. The front model fits nicely into an empty 3.5" drive bay and allows you to simply turn the knob to control fan speeds (and noise levels). This gives you the ability to take charge of noise levels without having to root around in the system.
But for those without an empty 3.5" drive bay, or those who prefer not to mar the front layout of their custom rig, the back choice might be just what you're looking for. This version of the rheostat fits into a vacant PCI slot on the back of the enclosure allowing you the same control as the other without having to see it from the front of the enclosure.
For those looking for a more automated means to handle the noise levels, you can make use of this thermal probe. Place it next to the processor core and it will automatically adjust the fan speed in accordance with a pre-determined setting within the unit.
These limits work out to a fan speed of 2,000 RPM at 20C, and work up to a maximum fan speed of 5,500 RPM at 55C. I prefer to handle the tasks of cooling myself, but there are quite a few folks who prefer this type of setup. It all amounts to personal preference.
The final choice is to use an included jumper to close off the open-ended 2-prong jumper block above, which allows you to run the fan at full speed at all times. This can be especially handy when it comes to those machines being used for a Seti or Folding type environment. With high-end systems being on 24/7, heat can be a very realistic enemy.
So now that we've seen what comes in the package and how to control fan speeds, let's take a closer look at the heatsink itself.
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