Thermaltake’s first SpinQ cooler (reviewed February 2009) had style for sure—it looked like a blue-lit stack of bike gears with a fan in the middle, mounted sideways. The SpinQ VT adopts the same basic formfactor—the stack of circular aluminum fins mounted around an 8cm fan—but stands the stack upright, and uses red LEDs instead of blue. Other than that, it’s more of the same—from the variable fan speed to the so-so performance.
The SpinQ VT (we still want to pronounce it “spink”) stands 6.2 inches from base to top, and the fin stack is 4.7 inches in diameter. Six heat pipes lead up from the base into the 50 aluminum fins, and the 8cm fan blows cool air down over the fins. The fan uses a 3-pin connector and includes a variable-speed knob to take it between 1,000 and 1,600rpm, but since adjusting it requires you to reach into the case, we imagine most people will set it once and never adjust it again.
Thermaltake's second SpinQ-branded cooler keeps its predecessor's sense of style--and middling performance.
The SpinQ VT’s performance is strictly middle-of-the-road, like its predecessor’s. Eschewing the skyscraper configuration—which we’ve seen on all the best air coolers over the past year—gives coolers like the SpinQ gains in style, but not much else. In our test system, the SpinQ lowered idle CPU temperatures just 1.5 C below the stock cooler, while at 100 percent burn the SpinQ’s temps were 11.5 C cooler than stock. Not shabby, but certainly no match for skyscraper coolers like Thermalright’s Ultra-120 E or our champion Cooler Master Hyper 212+, which dropped burn temps by 19 C from stock.
The SpinQ uses the same plastic mounting clips as its predecessor and the stock Intel coolers, which makes installation easy. It’s also pretty cool-looking. But its great looks don’t translate into great performance, and it requires more than six inches of vertical clearance. Plus, its fan orientation might play havoc with your case’s airflow, especially if you don’t have an intake fan or vent in your side panel.
For $60, you can get a much better air cooler—or even two.
Thermaltake SpinQ VT
Cool design; easy install; variable fan.
No 4-pin connector; middling performance; fan control inside case.
Thermaltake SpinQ VT
CoolerMaster Hyper 212+
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 inside a Corsair 800D case with stock fans.