Thermaltake V1: "Peacock Tail" Cooler

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Thermaltake designers threw everything but the kitchen sink into the V1: Vertical radial fins, hooked heatpipes, all-copper construction and a fan sandwiched in the middle of it all. For all their ingenuity, it only performs slightly better than Thermaltake's previous offerings. It also retains the biggest problem that plagued it's older kin: A loud, hard-mounted fan. The V1 demonstrated excellent performance with the fan blowing fast and hard, but it was also fairly good with the fan slowed for more acceptable noise. The quality of the fan noise is not great and it's made worse by the way the fan is secured.

Our opinion is that Thermaltake considers fan noise and mounting to be an unimportant detail. When compared to the attention some manufacturers lavish on this matter, Thermaltake's approach seems unenlightened: Thermalright separates the fan from their heatsinks using rubber strips; Noctua, Arctic Cooling and Xigmatek use fan isolators. Thermaltake? Screws on a metal bracket prone to vibration.

The V1 is Thermaltake's best performing CPU cooler we've reviewed to date. At a hefty $55, however, there are many better alternatives, both smaller and cheaper. We applaud Thermaltake for having the guts to put out such an atypical cooler, but the fundamentals need more work. The most successful heatsinks have a soft-mounted fan with excellent acoustics, a relatively uniform design, and a solid (better than stock) mounting system. Until Thermaltake gets all three right, its products will continue to be second-class citizens in the kingdom of silent computing.

Thermaltake V1

* Superb cooling with high airflow
* Good performance with low airflow
* Aesthetically pleasing

* Loud stock fan
* Fan secured on only one side
* Push-pins inappropriate for weight?
* Expensive

Our thanks to Thermaltake for the V1 sample.

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