Very Disappointed with Thermaltake Products

[Tripod]MajorPayne

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Hi all, nothing new I know, but I just thought I'd relate the relative performance of my Thermaltake product. I bought, last Christmas, a Thermaltake Pipe101 and a 92mm Silent Cat fan to accompany it for my new 3.2 E. I read the reviews on Newegg, and supposedly it offered very good performance, keeping the processor in the mid-40s C. This is not so. After 6 months of use, even in the dead of winter, I have yet to see those temps drop below 49.5, with it 99% of the time being well over 50, like 54 or 55. It even reached a high of 57.6 Celcius today. I had to take apart my case anyway to remove my Audigy 2, since it decided to go haywire on me, but that's now resolved and it's working again. I got the beloved IRQ_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL blue screen, and a simple driver reinstall and remove/reinsert fixed it.

But, that's not the point. I paid $50 for that Thermaltake heatsink/fan unit, and its performance was despicable, not to mention it was incredibly hard to mount on my motherboard, even with it out of the case, and it cut me several times. Today I put on my Arctic Cooling Super Silent 4 Pro L, rated to cool a 3.2 Ghz processor. I used Arctic Silver 5, just like with the Pipe101, and Lo and Behold! My temps dropped down to 46 Celcius just like that. Now, I can look at overclocking a little bit, if my RAM will hold up.

So, I have observed that a $20 heatsink cools significantly better than a $50 heatsink, and that's in a Lian-Li case with very good overall airflow. I am thoroughly disappointed in the performance of my Thermaltake product, and I will not be buying any more unless some revolution comes around. As soon as I get some money, I'm buying either an XP 90 or 120, and then it won't really matter. Just thought I'd rant a bit.... :mad:

Comments, questions, flames?
 

1c3d0g

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Well someone said earlier something about their products being overrated... but I dunno myself, since I never used their hardware yet... sorry to hear about yer troubles man... :eek:

Edit: although I heard they have pretty solid cases, so it's a mixed bag...
 

lithium726

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i have a volcano12 for athlon XP's that just plain sucks. pure copper, youd think it would do better than it does, but it doesnt - when i put on the CNPS7000B-CU that i bought for my athlon XP while the board was out for RMA, idle temps dropped 10C and load dropped like, 15C. it was absolutly rediculous, i was pretty pissed that teh V12 had such piss poor performance. also, the reason my a64 board was out for RMA was taht the thermaltake PSU i had surged teh 5v and killed the board. never again Tt, never again.
 

Drucifer

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I have had a couple of Tt Volcano HSFs... they all sound like jet engines spooling up and cool for crap.


What finally broke the camel's back was one morning, when my wife fired up the main rig for some stuff she needed for work, and the damn HSF woke me up from the other side of the house, from a dead sleep, at 4:00am...

Never again, Tt...never again. May you rust in the deepest, darkest, wettest part of Hell imaginable...
 

evildre

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I dunno, I've had pretty good luck with my Silent Tower ... friend of mine has a Volcano 9 that works pretty well. Neither of us overclock, though.
 

Erasmus354

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Drucifer said:
Never again, Tt...never again. May you rust in the deepest, darkest, wettest part of Hell imaginable...

I thought hell was all fire and brimstone... wouldn't that make any water evaporate?


Anyways, on to the point....should you expect anything less from thermaltake? They have been utter shit for the past 5 years, and never trust reviews on newegg (as they tell you themselves). Go read a real review, and it will tell you that you should have gotten the thermalright (not thermaltake) xp-90 or xp-120
 

legcramp

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"As soon as I get some money, I'm buying either an XP 90 or 120, and then it won't really matter. Just thought I'd rant a bit.... "

hmm too bad u bought the arctic....svc.com has the xp-90 for 28 bucks:)
 

PureBooYah

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back in the day i had a Volcano 7+ for my 2.4b P4...it ended up cooling the exact same as the stock intel heatsink i got with the cpu and the Tt heatsink was $40ish. That was the last time i would be a Tt product. Just upgraded my Thermalright SLK-948u w/ 92mm Tornado to a Thermalright XP-90C w/ 92mm Panaflo. Gave me the same oc for like 1/100th the noise :p ...Thermalright 4 lyfe :cool:
 

Conker

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I use to use a volcano 11 xaser but i felt it wasn't cooling enough for my athlonxp. I bought the thermalright slk900a with a vantec tornado 92x92x38 with a fan controller ofcourse and it smoked the volcano 11. Even when it is 105F ambient temperatures in the room and overclocked 500mhz it manages to stay below 50c. :)

Going with thermalright now on since they have proved worthy. :cool:
 

[Tripod]MajorPayne

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aZn_plyR said:
hmm too bad u bought the arctic....svc.com has the xp-90 for 28 bucks:)

I have had the Arctic Cooling HS. I used it when I still had my 2.53 @ 3.05 Ghz. I just put it back on cause I got tired of Tt's crap-tacular work. The Pipe101 was pure copper with heatpipes, so I would have thought it would do better than this aluminum AC that I have now. Thanks for the heads-up about svc.com! I might just pick that up real soon.
 

Roach

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I don't even what to start on my Volcano 12+, seems that you guys covered the heatsinks pretty well. I do have to say though that I love the Silent Cat, if only I didn't have to steal the black ones from the Silent boost.

Speaking of which, I did some testing about a year ago and it turns out that a Pipe101 with that UFO fan turned all the way up (yikes) cools just about the same as a Silent Boost. Imagine that.
 

legcramp

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zforgetaboutit said:
Look at the first 6 letters -> THE-RMA...

:)

Just kidding.
is this for thermalright or thermaltake? lol j/k we know which one :)
 

kirbyrj

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I only tried Thermaltake HSF's once and that was the Silent Boost which was louder and cooled worse than the stock AMD heatsink for my 2500+ Barton.
 

BellaCroix

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I'll never buy (or install) another product from Thermaltake unless they start making non-mission critical components then gave them away.

Earlier this year I was shopping for a fan controller. I really liked the look of the Thermaltake Hardcano 13, I liked the automatic control of fans it afforded, the price was about $10 less than AeroCool's Gatewatch...

Well, I bought one on a Sunday, I returned that one the following day after the unit powered up, I got everything set up, and was somewhat pleased until the LCD died 4 hours later. Deciding it was a bad unit and not ready to fault a company I thought was good I exchanged it for another. I got lucky with that one... it lasted 3 days before completely crapping out.

I sent Thermaltake an eMail asking if there was quality control issues and suggesting they may want to do a recal on that particular production run since there was, obviously in my opinion, something very wrong with them. That was January and I've still to hear back from them.

Anyway, I returned that one and am now the happy owner of an AeroCool Gatewatch which has worked flawlessly since.

I might also point out that the second Hardcano's quality inspection was so poor that the buttons were not even installed in the correct location. Not to mention that the installation instructions never made mention of a back-up battery used to store settings. It wasn't until I ripped the thing apart to see what was wrong with the first one that I saw the battery mount and noticed the spare battery in the bottom of the box.
 

legcramp

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kirbyrj said:
I only tried Thermaltake HSF's once and that was the Silent Boost which was louder and cooled worse than the stock AMD heatsink for my 2500+ Barton.
hehe I stilll have it here...took out the stock fan..toss in an 80mm 75cfm fan, temps only went down a bit :( I was gonna toss in a zalman 7700-cu..but it was too expensive for the cooling power....someone linked the hyper 6 @ svc.com for only 26 bucks? I had it ordered....this is gonna give way better temps than my silentboostr :)

and O yah major payne, its not 28 bucks..it's 24.99 :)
 

[Tripod]MajorPayne

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I know...I wanna go for it so bad, but I'm not sure I've got the cash. Being as I'm about to turn 16 and I have no job, cash is hard to come by. I'm thinking about just springing for it and making the cash back up later. :)
 

_Korruption_

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Just a question to the original poster, could it have been dust? Thermaltake heatsinks have their fins very densely packed together, and are very sensitive to dust. The fans they typically sit ontop of the heatsinks just create backpressure due to the dense fin spacing. Stupid idea, in my opinion. They think it is a good thing because it increases available surface area. The reason why their heatsinks are so bad seems to stem from the fact that they are very badly welded together. Just look at the joint between the base plate and the actual heatsink fins... I wouldn't be surprised if only a fraction of each fin was actually in contact with the base.

Their power supplies, for the longest time, only met old-school ATX12V specs. Lots of amperage on the +5V rail (which nobody but the AthlonXP uses nowadays), and very little on the more important +12V line. Their Silent PurePower series was anything but, the fans ramped up way too quickly, and produced way too much noise. The two fans in their PSUs are usually different, and Tt only rates the quieter one, the larger, faster one doesn't get any mention on the site.

As much as I have a distaste for many of their products, you gotta admit that they have a fantastic market share... you can find their products just about everywhere. Of course, if you do a little research, you can find a better product for about the same amount of money, or even less. Don't get us started on how much Thermaltake saves on plagarism from other competing companies...
 

[Tripod]MajorPayne

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_Korruption_ said:
Just a question to the original poster, could it have been dust? Thermaltake heatsinks have their fins very densely packed together, and are very sensitive to dust.
There was minimal dust buildup on the heatsink, I blew it out with compressed air after I took it off to put it in storage (on the SLIM chance I might use it again, but not likely), and nothing substantial came out. There was more dust on the fan blades than on the heatsink. This is one time I love my dad for being anal about cleaning. He's always vacuuming or dusting something, so there's not a lot of dust floating around to be sucked in, and the only 2 intakes on my Lian Li are filtered anyway. There was not enough dust to justify that kind of sucky performance, and anyway, when I first installed it the temps were like 54 C, so a jump to 57 I attributed to it being 97 degrees today and my father not turning on the AC, so it was 80F ambient outside the case. I can just imagine the inside... :eek:

Megadeth_Guy01 said:
You paid $50 for a Tt product, damn man lol. You could get a nice Thermalright for that much.
Yeah, this was at Christmas, when the XP 120 was still $65 at Newegg, and I read the Pipe101's reviews and they seemed pretty good, so I bought it. Most definitely a mistake, I should have either gotten the XP 120 then or just gotten the 90 and saved a bit.

I really am getting to like the $24.99 XP 90 at svc.com, so I think I'll alleviate this situation now.
 

rhy7s

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kirbyrj said:
I only tried Thermaltake HSF's once and that was the Silent Boost which was louder and cooled worse than the stock AMD heatsink for my 2500+ Barton.
I've got the Silent Boost on a mobile @ 2.5GHz and temps are hardly different to stock speed (sometimes drops below 30°C). Only time I notice noise is when video encoding and such when the Silent Boost and Enermax NoiseTaker ramp up (drops as soon as the load is off though).
 

AnubisPrime

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I've got the pipe-101, and find it to perform superior to all the the famed Thermalright products that I had tried before....its offered the best air cooling I've found yet. I hate 99% of what thermal take produces, compurice ftl. But this heatsink is not part of that. Outstanding product, and if your temps are that bad I would look to something else perhaps.

And you HAVE to tend to the dust WEEKLY with this product...the fins are so tight, I have to open her up and blow it out weekly or I get a thin caked layer of dust across the fins that completely destroys its cooling ability.
 

[Tripod]MajorPayne

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I think another problem lay in the milling of the heatsink and the soldering of the heatpipes. The base of the heatsink was anything BUT flat, as evidenced by the nice AS5 pattern left on the chip when I removed the heatsink, and the heatpipes were poorly soldered on.

When I pulled off the heatsink, there was a nice little ring right in the middle where the AS5 was untouched and not making good contact with the heatsink, so that probably explains some of my temperature woes. Either way, this cheap-o heatsink I've got on there now is doing right nicely, and I'll have an XP-90 soon enough. :D
 

BellaCroix

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_Korruption_ said:
As much as I have a distaste for many of their products, you gotta admit that they have a fantastic market share... you can find their products just about everywhere. Of course, if you do a little research, you can find a better product for about the same amount of money, or even less. Don't get us started on how much Thermaltake saves on plagarism from other competing companies...
Just because a turd can be bought anywhere doesn't mean it at all a product worth purchasing. I'm very impressed Tk has the market share they have, you're absolutely right, they are EVERYWHERE. I remember a time used Yugos were everywhere too (including the side of the road, the back of Farmer Jone's field, pushed off the end of docks, etc).

AnubisPrime said:
And you HAVE to tend to the dust WEEKLY with this product...the fins are so tight, I have to open her up and blow it out weekly or I get a thin caked layer of dust across the fins that completely destroys its cooling ability.
And that's an acceptable computer maintenance schedule? Do you replace the sparkplugs on your car every 500 miles because they've become fouled?
 

pigpen

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[Tripod]MajorPayne said:
When I pulled off the heatsink, there was a nice little ring right in the middle where the AS5 was untouched and not making good contact with the heatsink, so that probably explains some of my temperature woes.
LOL! I'd imagine that explains all of it. How did you apply the AS5? Thin layer over the entire heatspreader, or a grain of rice's worth over the core?
 

PureBooYah

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AnubisPrime said:
And you HAVE to tend to the dust WEEKLY with this product...the fins are so tight, I have to open her up and blow it out weekly or I get a thin caked layer of dust across the fins that completely destroys its cooling ability.
lol, what a pain...that's another reason not to buy it. With my setup i have now i dust monthly and only if i'm in the mood.
 

_Korruption_

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Another thing I don't understand with their heatsinks is why they're so cheap to use six real heatpipes versus three longer ones. Their tower coolers all have three long U-shaped heatpipes, with the heatsink base contacting each pipe in the middle, and not at the end. Logic tells me that the heatpipes would be more efficient if heat went from one end to the other, and not from the middle towards the ends.
 

[Tripod]MajorPayne

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pigpen said:
LOL! I'd imagine that explains all of it. How did you apply the AS5? Thin layer over the entire heatspreader, or a grain of rice's worth over the core?
I used the grain-of-rice method, so it seems like I would get good contact over the core, but no. All I know is that one way or another, that heatsink wasn't worth anything. I'm going to buy an XP 90.
 

pigpen

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[Tripod]MajorPayne said:
I used the grain-of-rice method, so it seems like I would get good contact over the core, but no. All I know is that one way or another, that heatsink wasn't worth anything. I'm going to buy an XP 90.

If you used the grain of rice method, how did you get a circle in the center that wasn't touching? Don't you think it's a little irrational to blame a heatsink for performing badly when it wasn't even making good contact with the core? Now granted, i'm not defending thermaltake heatsinks because most of them are very loud for the performance you get. But give me a break. They suck because they don't cool well when they aren't seated properly? NO heatsink is perfectly flat, but if you got one that was so out of wack that it left a circular ring around the center of the core, you would have noticed it before you installed it.

Now quit the thermaltake bashing. This was obviously user error. :mad:
 

Demon_of_The_Fall

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No, it's not.

If the thermaltake heatsink had made proper core contact it would have smoothed out his layer of thermal compound.
 

shadowbreaker513

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evildre said:
I dunno, I've had pretty good luck with my Silent Tower ... friend of mine has a Volcano 9 that works pretty well. Neither of us overclock, though.
Yeah, I've heard nothing but good things about them.
 

pigpen

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Demon_of_The_Fall said:
No, it's not.

If the thermaltake heatsink had made proper core contact it would have smoothed out his layer of thermal compound.

Dude, use some common sense. To leave a circular patter in the center of the compound the base of the HS would have to have a convex dimple right in the middle. Now assuming that that wasn't impossible considering they are machine lapped and polished, how the hell would you miss a dimple right in the middle of the thing while you are installing it?
 

RawsonDR

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Demon_of_The_Fall said:
No, it's not.

If the thermaltake heatsink had made proper core contact it would have smoothed out his layer of thermal compound.
Yes, you've reiterated his exact point. If the heatsink were installed in such a way that it was given a chance to work, it would have done its job. Its ignorant of reality to assume that the heatsink 'just totally sucks' when it would have to have a groove in it on the order of millimeters (emphasized because that's a lot) to show the defect claimed. In that case it would obviously need lapping. I doubt that is the case, but if it were then that fact should be specifically acknowledged rather than ignored.

Tt makes it hard for themselves. They design products that are worth more than the garbage that the more bitter people would have you believe. However there are a lot of pitfalls. For example, I have a Silent Tower and, when mounted right, gives me great results. However the mounting structure for it is less than simple, and my motherboard has mounting holes on the right/left of the CPU socket which isn't as ideal as top/bottom. These tower coolers gain a lot of leverage on the motherboard because of their height. A lot of people will end up with less-than-ideal results because they probably did a less-than-ideal job mounting it.

Tt's marketing is utterly shameless, as well. This again makes it harder for them as a company because it's a lot easier for, as an example, the folks on this forum to bash the hell out of them and make that the popular standard. This discourages people from making objective assessments of their products.

They are not a top of the line company. They are too mainstream for that. But they make good products as well as bad. We are all sharing our personal experiences in this thread so I'll share mine.
. Volcano 7+ - Great heatsink for its day. Fan was loud, seeing as I lost its variable switch, so I used a different fan, all the way up to my Barton 2600+ and had great temps.
. Volcano 11 - Worked fine, and its still in use. Came with a very good fan.
. 480W Silent Purepower PSU - Works well still. Powered the setup in my signature very well until I swapped it out a couple weeks ago for something with more amperage on the 12v rail. (it is a few years old, bought it when I had my AXP setup)
. Silent Tower - Works great when mounted right. If computer is moved around or heatsink gets shifted, temps go up because the AS5 gets pulled apart. Temps then go down over time when its allowed to resettle.
 

darn_it

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True they overrate some of there products and have some pretty dumb designs but when used properly I know at least one of their heatsinks is a very good deal for the money. I'm using the Volcano 12 with it's temperature probe to adjust the fan speed and I have the fan sucking air through the fins instead of blowing air onto them.

My Barton 3200 @ 2475 MHz always stays 8-9°C above case temp. Right now it's idling at 38°C and usually tops out at 42°C after gaming for several hours. This is while using the temperature controled fan setting. Without the controler I can max out the power and it cools even better although it's definitely loud. With the controler it runs a little louder than my other case fans but isn't audible when I'm playing music, wearing headphones, or in another room.

In my opinion that's a good product especially considering I only paid $40 CAN for it. Before purchasing it I read 15+ reviews and all gave it good ratings. I have no experience with any of their other products but I'm totally happy with my Volcano 12.
 

kirbyrj

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rhy7s said:
I've got the Silent Boost on a mobile @ 2.5GHz and temps are hardly different to stock speed (sometimes drops below 30°C). Only time I notice noise is when video encoding and such when the Silent Boost and Enermax NoiseTaker ramp up (drops as soon as the load is off though).
hehe...well, I'm glad it worked for at least one person in this post ;).
 

[Tripod]MajorPayne

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Yeah, to re-state what I've already said, albeit not to well, the heatsink was milled terribly. I mounted it 6 times all total, thinking that I'd done something wrong once or twice, and I used new thermal compound every time, a fresh layer of AS5. I took the old off the processor and the heatsink before remounting it, and I tried every possible position and mounting clip orientation. I eventually got SO frustrated with it that I tested it with a library card. Turns out you could see quite a gap between the library card and the middle of the heatsink when the card was flat with the edges. I'm talking to the order of 2mm or more, I didn't bother to measure it. The product is crap, I'm sure I mounted it right, several times.
 

ViN86

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my volcano 12 was a POS at cooling my athlon 2500 oc'd to 3200. ill never go away from thermalright again. thermalright's products are simply amazing. an aluminum hsf that cools 10x better than an all copper 5500RPM volcano12 still befuddles me, hehe.
 
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I think people started to dislike Tt once they started making fugly cases lol IMO. Their cooling products are still decent today.
 

[Tripod]MajorPayne

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Ah! Problem solved! I have ordered the XP-90 and a 90 mm fan from svc.com, should be here June 1. :(

Oh well, that's what happens when SVC is in San Jose, CA and I'm in Vidalia, GA and UPS ground is the fastest I can afford. *sigh*, why do they have to ship around the weekends? Ship on Saturday and Sunday, people!
 
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