Introduction, Specifications and Pricing
Every once in a while we tend to see a shift in designs when it comes to air cooling a CPU. Where things started tiny, not too many years ago, 120mm fan based cooler became all the rage. Then we ran into developments like direct touch of the heat pipes to the IHS, and many cooler manufacturers took that design and ran with it. Then we got dual tower designs and the real monsters of air cooling reared their heads into the market. All of these coolers tend to use 140mm or 150mm fans to cool the towers, but going so big in a cooler design brings up a couple of issues.
The first major issue became blatantly obvious when the NH-D14 was released. It was amazing in its performance, but it took over the memory area, limiting what could be used, and on some motherboards, these coolers also block the functional use of the primary PCI-e X16 slot. In the last year, actually closer to even the last six months, we have seen many manufacturers offering large cooler designs, but they are now shifting the center of gravity away from the memory. This allows not only the cooler body itself to clear the area, but in most instances, it also removes the fan from conflict as well. This is the first time, however, that we have seen a manufacturer deliver a cooler this wide, but made every effort to shift the cooler up, as well as back away from the memory, allowing full use of the first PCIe slot on the motherboard.
Thermalright has taken a cooler that has done well for them in the past, and based this cooler in the True Spirit series. This is also from the largest of the three versions of True Spirit coolers as this version indeed still uses a 140mm fan to cool this offset single tower. While we have not had the pleasure of testing a True Spirit design in the past, there is no time like the present to give it a try, and why not with their latest version to be released, with their True Spirit 140 BW Rev.A CPU cooler.
Spoiler Alert: This isn't just a well thought out design from Thermalright that will "just" make installation easier with more options of functionality around this large design. Without giving too much away, let's just say its performance while offering these concessions was not overlooked in the slightest in making this cooler. We highly suggest you take the time to look at what this cooler brings forward in CPU air cooling.
The specifications that are offered from Thermalright are pretty basic, but it does cover the vast majority of what the customer needs to know. The TS140 BW Rev.A stands 165.5mm tall to the tips of the heat pipes, it is 53.4mm thick without the 25mm of the fan included, and lastly, this cooler is 155mm in width and in a standard orientation could easily cause issues with expansion cards. The base of this cooler is made of pure copper, and after being milled to a near perfect surface, it then receives Nickel plating. They do make mention of the six 6mm diameter heat pipes used in this design, but failed to mention the use of aluminum for the 48 fins, plus an addition top fin that has been anodized black and sports the Thermalright name engraved into it. Looking over to the renderings at the right, we can see the main dimensions are clearly marked, but they also show that there is only 49mm of the cooler that sits under the base when this is installed.
To cool this tower of fins, Thermalright has gone to the TY-147A fan for this job. This 140mm fan with a rectangular frame adds an additional 160 grams to the weight of this cooler, combining for 770 grams of total weight. This fan can run in a speed range of 300 RM+PM on the low-end, and is shown to top out near 1300RPM, all while delivering 21 dBA of noise or less while doing so. While we are not given a static pressure rating, we do see that this fan will deliver 73.6CFM when at full speed, and has a 4-pin PWM connection so that noise is only as loud as it needs to be.
What really impressed us about this whole idea of taking a large cooler that would have had some issues on some motherboards, and shifted things to allow for this specific instance to never be an issue again, is that to obtain a cooler with this much thought and effort is not going to break the bank at all. Shopping around really has no gains to be had as almost everywhere we looked, we found very similar pricing for this cooler across the board. At Amazon, we found the True Spirit 140 BW Rev.A listed for $49.90 with free shipping. Newegg also has the cooler, and while sometimes cheaper, it is not the case this time, as they want $4 to ship the cooler. Either way, it isn't often that we get a cooler that comes in under the $50 mark these days, at least those capable of what you are about this see this cooler do.
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