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Appeared on: Monday, May 31, 2010
Spire Thermal Eclipse II review


1. Features
Manufacturer
Spire
Model
Price 

$53

Category
Power users


Following up to the release of the original DT heat-pipe TherMax series, Spire has recently introduced the TherMax Eclipse II. Targeting overclocking enthusiasts, Spire's new heatsink is equipped with five 8mm Direct Touch U-Shaped sintered powder heat-pipes combined with black-nickel coated stamped heat-sink fins:

The TherMax Eclipse II is ready to cool the 130W to 150W processors made by Intel and AMD. The device can be installed in Intel 1156/1366/775 platforms in combination with the AMD AM3/AM2/940/939 platforms . Another welcome new feature are the possibility of mounting two fans simultaneously for even better cooling results. These can be easily installed with the included Anti-vibe rubber fan mounts.

- Product features

- Full specifications

Dimensions
Heat sink :        131×70×152 mm (l × w × h)
12VDC Fan : 120×120×25 mm
Material Alu fin + CU heat-pipe DT base
Heatpipe Five (5) 8mm all copper U-shaped direct touch
Bearing Ball bearing
Rated speed
Cooler :        2200 RPM +/-10%
Only Fan : 2200 RPM +/-10%
Rated power 4.2 W
Rated Voltage 12 V
Noise level 29.0 dBA
Air flow 93.3 CFM
Current 0.35 A
Connector 3 Pin
TDP 150 W
Thermal resistance 0.091 oC/W
Thermal Grease BlueFrost - SP802 blue grease(Injection Tube,0.5g)
Static Pressure 3.35 mmH2O
MTBF 50000H
Application
Intel :   Celeron D ~ 2.93 GHz (340J)
Intel  :   Core 2 Duo ~ 3.33 GHz (775 Dual-core)
Intel :   Core 2 Extreme ~ 3.2 GHz (775 Dual-core)
Core 2 Quad ~ 3 GHz (775 Quad-core)
Core i3 ~ 3.06 GHz 1156
Core i5 ~ 2.66 GHz 1156
Core i7 ~ 3.2 GHz 1366
LGA775 ~ 3.93 GHz (Prescott)
Pentium D ~ 3.4 GHz (775 Dual-Core)
Pentium EE ~ 3.93 GHz (775 Dual-Core)
AMD :   Athlon 64 FX-74 (K8)
Athlon II (AM3)
Athlon X2 (AM2/AM2+)
Phenom ~ 9950 GHz (AM2/AM2+)
Phenom II ~ 9600 GHz (AM2/AM3)
Phenom II ~ 8500 GHz (AM2/AM3)
Operating Temperature 30~70 oC
Storage Temperature -10~40 oC
Warranty 5 years
Packaging type Color Box
Package includes FAN / Clip 1 set / SP-802 grease / Manual
N.W 0.822 KG
G.W 1.3 KG
Life hours Ball: 50.000

2. A closer look, installation

The Spire Thermal Eclipse II retails for about ~ $53, which is a decent price for a heatsink of this category. The device is packaged into well-designed carbon box:

The package includes the TherMax Eclipse II heat-sink, two BlackStar 120mm DC Fans, 8 anti-vibe rubber fan mounts, BlueFrost thermal interface compound, Intel universal mounting set, AMD universal mounting set, Motherboard back-plate, user installation manual and a warranty registration card:

The Thermal Eclipse II is a medium-sized heastink measuring 131×70×152 mm (l × w × h). It stands 155mm tall and weighs 830gr, which means that your motherboard will have to bear with more than 1kg of weight with the the dual fans installed.

The Spire heatsink is constructed around five 8mm diameter copper heatpipes. It has exposed heatpipes at the base and an "X" pattern that positions heatpipes in the path of higher velocity air. The heatpipes assemble the base of the cooler, following the popular and effective direct touch design. The produced heat is transferred directly from the cpu to the heatpipes and to the 46 stamped aluminum wide fins.

Below you can see the base of the heatsink. The 5 heatpipes are stacked side-by-side at the bottom of the heatsink, with a small 3mm wide strip between each. The base is flat the five heatpipes are all flattened to slightly different levels:

Installing this cpu cooler wont' take you much. First of all you need to remove motherboard from the PC case. Then you will use the bundled back plate and fasten it using four screws.

The heatsink mounts to both Intel and AMD motherboards using a permanently attached metal bracket.

Apply thermal paste, carefully place the heatsink on the right place secure it using the four spring loaded bolts.

The two cpu fans are secured via rubber vibration absorbing mounting posts. Both 120mm fans are non-PWM, so they rotate at a fixed 2200RPM all the time:

Here is how our system look like after installing the Thermal Eclipse II heatsink with both 120mmm fans mounted. As you can see its volume is bigger now but hopefully, the surrounding area is free enough to make installation easier. There is also free space left right above the memory banks:


3. How we test

We test the CPU coolers in the following test bed:

We produced the highest possible temperature using the OCCT v2.0.1 software with a custom 30mins (mixed) operation.

We left both CPU cores running at full load for 30 minutes. All temperatures were logged using the CoreTemp 0.99.3 and the software itself. We took the measurements with the CPU running both at at stock speeds and under overclocking:

For the noise tests we used a Precision Gold N09AQ Environment Meter. All measurements were made at 30cm distance from the cpu cooler running at full speed.


4. Results

We start our tests with our Intel Core i7-920 processor running at its native speeds. The Spire Thermal Eclipse II was quite efficient and lowered the temperature of the CPU to 45 degrees Celsius. This is among the top performances among the heatsinks we have tested so far. We remind you that we used the Thermal Eclipse II in a dual fan configuration:

We made things a little bit harder for the Spire Thermal Eclipse II by overclocking the Intel Core-i7 920 to 3.60GHz. This time the heatsink lowered the temperature down to 62 degrees C, which remains a good performance. However, the same performance was logged with the Scythe Mugen 2 and Cogage True Spirit heatsinks installed:

High noise levels coming out from the heatsink's fans may be annoying when you are working or enjoying a movie or game on your PC. The 120mm fans on the Spire Thermal Eclipse II heatsink spin at 2200RPM by default. This creates a moderate 48 dB noise when two are installed. We remind you that the fans are not PWM compliant and no fan speed controller is supplied if you want things to run quieter. As a result, the only way to calm things down a little bit is to use a single fan configuration, which should lower the noise levels at about 43 dB. However, this would mean a serious performance trade-off:

Pricewise, the Spire Thermal Eclipse II retails for about $53, which is a good price for most users, considering that Spire has included both the 120mm fans to the package:


5. Summary

The Spire Thermal Eclipse II is a good example of well-designed and efficient heatsink. The product retails in a complete package with two 120mm fans included. It can be easily installed without needing to deal with many screws and installation diagrams. It has also a aesthetically pleasing design with its black-nickel coating and a great finish.

The heatsink was also very efficient, at least when mounted in our Core7-920 system. It's dual fan configuration kept the temperature of our CPU at low levels even under overclocking conditions. Of course, after having tested so many cpu coolers, the Thermal Eclipse II doesn't introduce any new levels of performance. It remains competitive enough to deserve your attention if you are looking for a relatively compact in size heatsink that will do the job. And if your PC case is not the larger available out there and it is already crowded with many devices and add-on components, then the size of this cooler could be an advantage for you.

The moderately loud noise output of the Thermal Eclipse II should not be an issue for you, unless you are watching movies on your PC. Though the two fans are not PWM compliant, you should try a single-fan configuration, with a small performance trade-off according to our tests.

Last but not least, the Thermal Eclipse II is priced at around $53. That's a little bit higher than what you may have expected, since some other solutions would cost you $5~10 less. In spite of this, the Spire's Thermal Eclipse II remains a great performer.

Retail package
Design
Motherboard compatibility
Installation time
Copper Base quality

Pros:

+ Great retail package
+ Compact volume
+ Includes two 120mm rotating fans
+ Very Good performance either with stock/overclocked processor
+ Works with all currently sold processor sockets (AMD/Intel)
+ 5 years warranty

Cons:

- Slightly higher priced than competition
- Rubber fan mounts should be replaced with something more secure



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