Thermalright True Spirit 120M CPU Cooler Review

Cooling/CPU Cooling by leeghoofd @ 2013-03-31

The Thermalright company is one of the market leaders in processor, graphics cards and chipset cooling. Sporting great designs with innovative ideas, Thermalright has truly deserved it's current position in the very competitive world of aftermarket cooling solutions. Today we review the latest addition to their lineup, the True Spirit 120M CPU cooler. The new kid on the block is based on the their best selling True Spirit cooler. Hence why the product name is practically the same. The addition of the M comes from the increased Memory compatibility this new 120M CPU cooler has. Let's see what all the fuzz is about.

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Temperature Results and Noise Measurements

Due to it's minimalistic size versus the two other included air coolers we didn't expect anything less then that the Spirit 120M would be outperformed. However this little critter showed us it's teeth. With the i7-3960X running at ASUS' 3900MHz stock speeds, the Spirit 120 doesn't break a sweat. Yes it runs a few degrees hotter then the Alpenföhn Matterhorn Pure or The Zalman XPS14. But our test setup might be over the top, as the Spirit 120M was designed to fit in cramped places.



A logic explenation of the temperature differences can be found in the sheer size for the three air coolers. From left to right: The Zalman XPS14, Alpenföhn Matterhorn Pure and the humble Thermalright True Spirit 120M.




From the moment we install two 120mm FANs ( all clips are included in the retail package ) we see a huge temp drop of almost 5°C under load conditions. Keep in mind that the two Corsair High Performance fans spin at 2200rpm and the noise generated is way higher then the boxed fan. However nice to see this scaling when increase the airflow for the Spirit 120M.



Once we overclock the CPU speed to 4500MHz and up the Vcore to 1.35 the humble Thermalright Spirit 120M keeps itself close to the two other tested air coolers. Noise wise these three coolers are closely matched when running flat out. Remaining enjoyable and far from the noise generated by the other 120mm fan powered all in one cooling units.




Replacing the stock fan with out two CORSAIR HP fans, jields a far less spectacular temp drop, then when tested at 3900MHz i7-3960X speeds. The Spirit 120M Tower cooler probably is reaching it's limit of heat dissipation. Even more airflow will hardly result in better cooling performance. Which makes us conclude that the included fan is a very wise choice. Providing a good balance between noise and cooling performance. Again we mention that our overclocked tests and results might look misleading. This 120M tower cooler by Thermalright really has got a lot going for it !



For the noise measurements we hook up the fan straight to a stand alone PSU. Tests are conducted only at 12V. Plz keep this in consideration as the below results will only reflect the noise generated with the fan running at full blast.



The Wingboost fan is included in the Alpenföhn Matterhorn Pure kit. The Corsair SP PE 120 is the aftermarket fan we used for the push and pull configuration tests. The H80 120mm fan is the one that is used with CORSAIR's popular HYDRO 80 unit. The included True 120M 120mm fan is barely audible in a normal ambient room. When looking at the above temperature results, it manages to do a pretty good job at providing the required airflow.

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