Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120M CPU Heatsink

Cooling
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Stock Fan Measurements

Specifications: Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120M
Manufacturer
Power Rating
2.52 W
Model Number
TY-120 PWM
Airflow Rating
24.8 ~ 53.3 CFM
Bearing Type
?
Speed Rating
700 ~ 1500 RPM
Corners
Open
Noise Rating
17 ~ 28.5 dBA
Frame Size
120 x 120 x 25 mm
Header Type
4-pin
Blade Diameter
112 mm
Starting Voltage
3.3 V
Hub Size
40 mm
Weight
90 g
Data in green cells provided by the manufacturer or observed; data in the blue cells were measured.

The stock fan is translucent and has an odd color scheme with a black frame surrounding dark yellow blades. The seven blades are a fairly standard shape with sharp edges and a mild degree of curvature. The trailing edges are almost straight, making them parallel with the struts, a combination which often generates high tonality. The fan is also relatively light weight at 90 grams, about 25% less than most 120 mm models.

The fan has a very buzzy character and a clicking noise was also audible throughout its range; the acoustic profile was tonal at various points in the spectrum. The clicking would disappear when pressure was applied to the sides of the fan even though the clips appeared to be on fairly tight. As its frame is quite light, it seems to vibrate more than your average fan, shaking the heatsink fins and/or fan clips.

Stock Fan Measurements
Voltage
Speed
SPL@1m
12V
1400 RPM
25 dBA
9V
1100 RPM
19 dBA
7V
870 RPM
15 dBA
6V
720 RPM
13~14 dBA
5V
650 RPM
12 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from the center of the heatsink.
Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

For a tower heatsink, the stock fan is relatively quiet in overall volume. Its rotational speed topped out at 1400 RPM which generated 25 dBA@1m. At 1100 RPM / 9V it entered quiet territory and was close to inaudible at 720 RPM / 6V.

Test Results

We opted to test the TRUE Spirit 120M on our socket 1155 platform, as befits its somewhat smaller size. Besides, the popularity of >100W CPUs is waning as Intel continues its relentless downward push on processor TDP.

Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120M
Fan Voltage
Fan Speed
SPL@1m
°C Rise above Ambient
CPU
VRM
RAM
Stock Fan
12V
1400 RPM
25 dBA
31
20
16
9V
1100 RPM
19 dBA
32
21
17
7V
870 RPM
15 dBA
34
24
20
6V
720 RPM
13~14 dBA
36
26
21
5V
650 RPM
12 dBA
38
27
22
Reference Nexus 120 mm Fan
12V
1080 RPM
16~17 dBA
31
21
17
9V
890 RPM
14 dBA
32
23
18
7V
720 RPM
11~12 dBA
34
26
21

The CPU temperature stabilized at between 31°C and 38°C above ambient at 12V and 5V respectively which is excellent for our mildly overclocked and overvolted Core i5-2400. With the temperature difference being so small between its top and inaudible speed, it's clear that a more demanding load is required to truly challenge the TRUE Spirit 120M. Our reference fan was slightly more efficient at its nominal speed but undervolted, it pulled way ahead, producing CPU temperatures 4°C lower when generating comparable noise levels.



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