Thermaltake V14 Pro CPU Cooler Page: 1
Introduction

Thermaltake is a company that really requires no introduction. The company which is based in TaiPei originally started its core business based on their extensive knowledge of PC thermal management during the era where the area of performance CPU cooling was exclusively for "overclockers" or PC enthusiasts. I'm sure many people would be familiar with Thermaltake's Big Typhoon cooler. Continuing on with their success, Thermaltake has adapted its knowledge and R&D into other areas as well as CPU cooling - more notably chassis design. However, today we have the opportunity to become acquainted with Thermaltake's V14 Pro CPU Cooler, which is a revision of the Thermaltake V1 CPU Cooler. Thermaltake has released a video on their YouTube channel of the V14 Pro which I have included for you below:


The V14 Pro features 98 large copper fins; 6 long copper heatpipes (1730mm in length); a 140mm fan; side flow design and a copper base in order to remove as much waste heat as possible from a processor. While the V14 Pro seems to have it covered, let's take a look at its specifications to see if we can ascertain anything else. As usual, the Thermaltake V14 Pro's specifications were unashamedly copied from Thermaltake's product page.

Specifications

Model CL-P0472

Compatibility Intel (LGA 775)
Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Quad
Core 2 Duo
Pentium D
Pentium 4
Pentium
Celeron D
Celeron

AMD (AM2/AM2+)
Phenom
Athlon 64 FX
Athlon 64 X2
Athlon 64
Sempron

Heatsink Dimension 171(L) x 100(W) x 161(H)mm

Heatsink Material Copper Fins/Copper Base

Heatpipe Copper Pipe Ø 6 mm x 6 pcs

Fan Dimension Ø 140x30 mm

Rated Voltage 12V

Started Voltage 7V

Fan Speed 1000~1600 RPM

Noise 16dBA~24dBA

Life Expectation 50,000hrs

Connector 3 Pin

Weight 840g

Ok so the Thermaltake V14 Pro is quite a lump of a cooler weighing in at 840g, I hope Thermaltake have included a backplate with it. Apart from the weight the only other real concern that I have is with the dimensions of the CPU cooler itself. At 161mm high and 171mm wide, those with smaller chassis' may find it a tall order accommodating the Thermaltake V14 Pro. Anyway, let's head over the page to see how the V14 Pro should arrive at your place...


Thermaltake V14 Pro CPU Cooler Page: 2
Packaging

The packaging style that Thermaltake has gone with for the V14 Pro CPU Cooler should provide more than adequate protection for the cooler contained within. The packaging itself features a thick cardboard outer box and a blister style plastic insert which is an extremely popular way to both protect and market a product. This combined with the porthole opening in the cardboard box allows for an uninterrupted view of the shape and size of the cooler.

Featuring a predominantly black and white theme, the front of the box shows a small image of the V14 Pro and three of its major features: a 140mm fan; 6 copper heatpipes, and 98 large copper fins. Socket compatibility is also included in the top right hand corner of the box.

Thermaltake V14 Pro front of box Thermaltake V14 Pro rear of box
Thermaltake V14 Pro side of box_1 Thermaltake V14 Pro side of box_2

Turning to the sides of the cardboard box we are further inundated with graphical images of the cooler and a clearly laid out presentation of the V14 Pro's specifications.


Contents

Upon removing the blister pack from the outer box we can see the V14 Pro in all its glory, and the inclusion of a small accessories box. In the accessories box, Thermaltake has provided the following:

* Warranty leaflet
* Quick install guide
* 4x small screws for attaching mounting hardware
* Thermal paste
* AMD socket mount
* Intel push-pin mount

Thermaltake V14 Pro in blister pack Thermaltake V14 Pro accessories

Unfortunately, Thermaltake has included an Intel push-pin mount for attaching the V14 Pro CPU Cooler to your favourite Intel motherboard. Considering the substantial weight of this cooler, I would have thought that a better method for installation would have been with a backplate. Admittedly, backplates can be a little fiddlier to install, but they tend to provide a better surface contact with the CPU and base of the cooler, and help reduce the amount of motherboard warpage around the socket.

Let's head over the page to have a look at the V14 Pro CPU Cooler itself in a little more detail...


Thermaltake V14 Pro CPU Cooler Page: 3
A Closer Look

Based upon first impressions, the Thermaltake V14 Pro is an unusual looking beast. Resembling what can only be described as a clam shell, the V14 Pro isn't going to appeal to everyone's tastes. However, if the V14 Pro is able to effectively tame my Q6600 and maintain good temperatures, then it could resemble a kitchen sink for all I care - function over form any day!

 Thermaltake V14 Pro top view Thermaltake V14 Pro side view

The first thing that you'll notice about the Thermaltake V14 Pro is the impressive amount of copper fins and snaking heatpipes. The only parts of this CPU cooler that aren't copper are the plastic 140mm fan and the aluminium plate above the base. Generally the V14 Pro feels quite solid, although the copper fins are very easily bent.

Thermaltake V14 Pro front view Thermaltake V14 Pro top view_2

The Thermaltake V14 Pro's 140mm fan sits snugly between the two halves of the clam shell design, but the overall design intrigues me somewhat. With a cross-flow design CPU cooler you would want to be maximising the air flow generated by the fan, and this would be achieved through a fan shroud in a conventional fan. As the 140mm fan in the V14 Pro doesn't have a fan shroud, I can't help but feel that a significant amount of air flow generated will be blown out the sides of the CPU cooler. I guess we'll have to wait and see during the tesing phase of the review as to whether we get any major air flow loss, and whether it proves to be detrimental to the performance of the CPU cooler itself.

Thermaltake V14 Pro copper base and heatpipes Thermaltake V14 Pro fan controller

The copper base of the V14 Pro is very well lapped and features a mirror finish which can be seen from the image above (left). Those with a keen eye will also notice that the Thermaltake V14 Pro has an adjustable pot (potentiometer) for adjusting the fan speed, instead of catering for PWM control. Thermaltake has finished off the V14 Pro very nicely with the inclusion of cable sleeving on the wiring for the 140mm fan . The cable sleeving is neatly held in position by some tidy heat-shrink works that covers all of the visible cable.

Well that concludes our tour of the Thermaltake V14 Pro, so let's head over the page to see how we're going to test it...


Thermaltake V14 Pro CPU Cooler Page: 4
Test Setup

In order to test the Thermaltake V14 Pro, I have decided to target the two main areas that should cover our broad spectrum of readers here at Overclock3D. I will be assessing the Thermaltake V14 Pro under the following conditions:

* Cooling performance (Overclocked idle and load)
* Noise

The test setup for today's performance review will be comprised of:

System configuration chart

I have explained my testing methodology for each phase of the performance review below:


Cooling performance

I will be testing the Thermaltake V14 Pro on my Q6600 (G0 Stepping) processor to assess the CPU cooler's ability to handle the heat-load of a quad-core'. The CPU will be overclocked to 3.6GHz and load will be simulated using 2 x instances of Stress Prime 2004 ORTHOS Edition. Idle temperatures were taken after allowing the system temperatures to settle after 20 minutes.

Ambient temperature will be taken using a standard mercury thermometer and allowing it time to normalise. Processor idle and load  temperatures will be obtained using Core Temp 0.99, and an average taken over the four cores...purely to make plotting the chart a little easier to read. All testing will be conducted 3 times and an average taken to ensure the uniformity of results. The Intel reference cooler; Scythe Orochi and the V14 Pro will be tested, removed, and then re-installed a total of three times to ensure the elimination of any poor mounting issues.

While I would have liked to have included some larger heatsinks like the Mugen, Noctua NH-U12P and TRUE into the comparison, they weren't available at the time of testing.

Ambient temperatures during testing was a warm 30.0 degrees Celsius.


Results

Thermaltake V14 Pro idle temp comparison

Thermaltaker V14 Pro Load Temperature comparison

As we can see from the comparison charts above the Intel reference heatsink is outclassed by the both the Thermaltake V14 Pro (full and medium fan speed) and the exceptionally large Scythe Orochi. Testing was interrupted during the Intel reference heatsink's testing due to temperatures escalating into the low 80's.However, the Thermaltake V14 Pro whilst also being trumped by the Scythe Orochi, manages to keep the overclocked Q6600 cool at idle, although things get a little toasty at load. It's interesting to note that when we adjusted the fan speed of the Thermaltake V14 Pro, temperatures only increased by a few degrees.

The Scythe Orochi is without a doubt the quietest of the three heatsinks tested here today, but the Thermaltake V14 Pro with the fan turned down to a medium setting is very quiet. As is to be expected, the Intel reference heatsink again manages to take the 'wooden spoon' when it comes to dBA levels.



Thermaltake V14 Pro CPU Cooler Page: 5
Conclusion Thermaltake logo

So just how well did the Thermaltake V14 Pro perform in today's review?

The build quality of the Thermaltake V14 Pro CPU cooler is quite good, although the copper fins do feel a little on the flimsy side and are quite easily bent. I would have liked to have seen an alternative mounting system other than Intel's push-pin style of securing the heatsink to the motherboard. Furthermore, the visual appearance of the Thermaltake V14 Pro may not be to everyone's tastes.

During the performance testing, the Thermaltake V14 Pro provided average cooling for our overclocked Q6600 processor - to be honest I was expecting better results. I can't help but feel that if you're looking for a cooler for overclocking duties, then you would be better off looking elsewhere. However, If you're looking for a cooler for HTPC duties or don't plan on overclocking then the Thermaltake V14 Pro may be a candidate if your case will accommodate it.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a UK based retailer who stocks the Thermaltake V14 Pro, and subsequently I'm unable to judge the pricing for the product. As a result I'm going to have to reserve judgement until I receive a recommended retail price for the Thermaltake V14 Pro. As soon as a price is available, the score will be updated.


The Good
+ Reasonable build quality
+ Blue LED fan complements the CPU cooler
+ Adjustable pot for controlling fan speed
+ Good HTPC cooling if your case can accommodate it

The Mediocre
* Intel mounting system for quite a weighty cooler
* Fan is loud on highest setting
* May not be to everyone's tastes

The Bad
- Cooler fins are easily bent
- No backplate



Overclock3D would like to thank Thermaltake for providing today's review sample.

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