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Appeared on: Monday, May 16, 2005
Thermaltake Silent939


1. Introduction

Thermaltake Technology Co. Ltd was founded in 1999, and is known to have been the first to manufacture the turbine cooler Golden Orb for the INTEL PENTIUM III in 2000. Since then, Thermaltake has introduced a wide range of cooling solutions. Thermaltake engineers focus on performance and design. Their innovative ideas present some of the best looking fans world-wide. We had the chance to test the Thermaltake Silent939 HSF (Heat Sink Fan).

click to enlarge!

How it works :

The cooler uses a simple fan, almost the same fan as the stock cooler AMD is using. However, there are some modifications that increase performance and make the cooler silent. First of all, there are 11 fan blades (the stock cooler has only 9). This increases the air flow so that the fan does not need to spin at higher speeds in order to achieve good performance. There are 50 fins to dissipate the heat and achieve lower temperatures. The secret behind this design is again the heat pipes that Thermaltake uses, just as with the Beetle and the Big Typhoon models. However, there are only 2 heat pipes instead of the usual 3 or 6 heat pipes that are incorporated in other Thermaltake coolers, but for a low profile, small sized fan, these will do the job.

click to enlarge!

If you need further info on how the heat pipes work, you can check out the Thermaltake Beetle review.

Here are the detailed specifications as provided by ThermalTake:

Product name Silent939
Heatsink Dimension 90.2x84.3x39mm
Heatsink Material Copper Base & Aluminium Fin (50fins)
Heatpipe Copper Tube diameter 6mm x 2 pcs
Fan Dimension 80 x 80 x20mm
Rated Voltage 12V
Started Voltage 5V
Power Input 1.20W
Fan Speed 2000 ±300 rpm
Compatibility

AMD Athlon64

AMD Athlon64 FX

AMD Sempron Skt 939/754

Heatpipe Copper Tube ( 6 mm) x 6pcs
Max.Air Flow 33.38 CFM
Max.Air Pressure 1.14mm H2O
Noise 19dBA
Connector 3 Pin

The Silent939 fan speed is only 2000 ±300 rpm. At this low speed, the fan produces only 19dBA noise level, making it practically silent compared with the stock fan. Unfortunately, the fan rotation speed cannot be increased on demand, to increase cooling.

The Silent939 is designed for AMD equipped systems and cannot be fitted on any Intel based models. On the other hand, Thermaltake has a solution for 775 socketed system, the Silent775. The size of the cooler is similar to the stock AMD cooler, and the 3Pin connector seems to be very easy to install.

In a few words, this seems to be a good alternative to the standard AMD noisy cooler, and while not promising great performance boost, does make for silent operation. So, let us put the cooler to the test...


2. Installation

Installation of the Silent939 was very simple, even easier than the stock cooler that came with the AMD processor. We used an ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard with an AMD 3500+ CPU. Thermaltake includes an installation guide and the thermal compound needed to install the fan cooler. There is no need to unhook the motherboard or unscrew anything.

 

 

After disassembling the old cooler, and cleaning all the old thermal compound, we put a small amount of compound on the CPU's heat spreader, covering the whole surface area on the CPU with a thin layer of compound. You should try to spread the compound uniformly on the CPU heat spreader in order not to have small air bubbles trapped in the thin layer.

We then placed the cooler on the CPU, as shown in the images above. The whole procedure was indeed very simple. the images speak for themselves.

As you can see, the overall size of the cooler is rather small.


3. Performance/Overclocking

To measure the CPU's temperature, we used SpeedFan v4.21, which offers real time temperature monitoring and we created a graph of the temperature over time. After letting the processor cool down in idle mode, we fired up Prime95 and ran the In-place large FFT test to heat it up to its maximum level. This is the graph of the temperature with the original Intel fansink:

The temperature starts at 40°C and reaches 57°C when running the stress test. The graph below shows the fan rotation speed in RPM. As expected, rotation speed is increased up to 4280RPM during high CPU load.

After installing the Silent939, this is what we got with SpeedFan and Prime95.

The CPU temperature was 35°C in idle mode, and reached 52°C when we ran the In-place large FFT test (100% CPU load). In both cases, there was a temperature decrease of 5°C which indicates very good performance for a low profile cooler.

As you can see, fan speed remained the same, even when we ran the FFT test. This means that even at high loads, the Silent939 remains silent. It looks like the heat pipes are really doing a good job.

Overclocking

The default setting for the AMD64 3500+ is set to 2200GHz (200MHz HTT and x11 multiplier). We fooled around with the BIOS settings and we got the system running nicely at 2700 GHz. At that speed, the system was able to boot and when running Prime95, which is very sensitive and hence ideal for identifying errors, it reported all calculations correct.

SpeedFan again gave us real time temperature monitoring throughout the CPU stress test.

The idle temperature now starts from 40°C, just as with the stock cooler. The maximum temperature reported was 52°C, the same as when the system was not overclocked.

Again, the fan rotation speed cannot be increased.


4. Conclusion

With the Silent939, Thermaltake offers a replacement for the stock AMD cooler. It doesn't promise outstanding performance, it doesn't promise very low temperatures or overclocking potentials, but it surely does what it promises. It keeps your processor cool and it does it quietly. However, we managed a 5°C drop in temperature when we put the cooler to the test, a temperature difference that is very good for such a cheap cooler.

There are no fancy lights or an extreme looking design with this cooler, but the cooler is very small indeed. It will fit with no problem in any motherboard, no matter what you have on it. If the stock cooler can be fitted, then the Silent939 can too.

The fan cooler produces only 19dBA noise level, cooling the CPU without being noticed. Installation was very easy, since the clip that secures the fan on the CPU is very well fitted on the cooler. No extra pressure is needed and we found installation to be easier than the stock cooler.

The Silent939 costs only US$37. It is a very low price for a fan cooler and is one of the cheapest coolers that offers a slight increase in performance but major reduction in noise. However, it is not recommended for enthusiast overclockers that are happy only when their CPU is on fire.

Pros:
-
Low Noise (19dBA)
- Small size and easy to install
- Heat pipe technology
- Low price

Cons:
- Not recommended for enthusiast overclockers

Performance:
Features/Design:
Installation:
Value for money:



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