At first glance, the Thermaltake SpinQ looks like nothing so much as a stack of bike gears with a fan mounted in the center. And that’s basically what it is—50 circular aluminum fins mounted around an 80mm fan connected to a copper exchanger. The cooler measures 4.8” wide by 3.54” deep by 5.98” high—about the same height and width as the Zalman CNPS9700LED, but a bit deeper. The SpinQ is, essentially, the high-rise counterpart to the horizontal sprawl of its stablemate, the Thermaltake DuOrb.
Unlike the DuOrb, with its two fans and jarring red-and-blue LED color scheme, the SpinQ keeps to one color, a soothing blue, and a single fan. And instead of the DuOrb’s retention system, which is sturdy but requires you to remove your motherboard, the SpinQ uses the same plastic mounting system as Intel’s stock coolers, so provided you don’t already have a retention plate from your previous cooler installed, all you have to do is snap the SpinQ onto the motherboard, tighten it, and go. Thermaltake definitely wins points for the SpinQ’s ease of installation.
The SpinQ comes with a controller knob that lets you change the fan’s speed from low, which is whisper-quiet, to its top speed, which sounds like a small jet engine, and every stop in between. It’s a handy feature—if you don’t mind reaching into your case, that is. It’s too bad that at its lowest setting the SpinQ barely outperforms our stock cooler. At its highest (and loudest), it knocked eight degrees from our quad core’s 100 percent burn temp—respectable, but not even close to the DuOrb’s numbers, which cooled 15 degrees below stock at 100 percent burn.
If your tastes run more to silver and blue than copper and red (and blue), the SpinQ is a clear winner on the design front. But it can’t match the performance of its sprawling, dual-fanned sibling.
Don’t get us wrong, the SpinQ is not a bad cooler. It’s got looks, a fairly standard formfactor (as opposed to the DuOrb’s expanse), and ease of installation in its favor, and its performance is nothing to scoff at. But in a fair fight, at 100 percent CPU utilization, it can’t match up with its sibling. Both coolers retail for $80, so unless you’re really cramped for horizontal space, you’re better off with the DuOrb.
Good looks, easy to mount, respectable cooling power.
Same price as the DuOrb, without the performance.
Thermaltake SpinQ (low)
Thermaltake SpinQ (high)
100% Burn (C)
Best scores are bolded. Idle temperatures were measured after an hour of inactivity; load temperatures were measured after an hour’s worth of CPU Burn-In (four instances). Test system consists of a stock-clock Q6700 processor on an EVGA 680i motherboard.