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Thermaltake Active Memory Cooling Kit

Date Reviewed: December 3, 2001
Reviewed By:
Jason Rabel
Company: Thermaltake

 

Active Cooling For Memory?:

Yes, you read the description right, Thermaltake has come out with an active memory cooling kit. It is designed for both SDR & DDR RAM. The theory is that if your memory runs cooler, it will last longer and perhaps be able to run faster (higher FSB speed). Here's a quick rundown on the specifications:

  • P/N - A1165

  • Fan Dimension - 40x40x20mm

  • Rated Voltage - 12V

  • Started Voltage - 7V

  • Rated Current - 0.11A

  • Power Input - 1.32W

  • Fan Speed - 500010% R.P.M

  • Air Pressure - 1.50mm- H2O

  • Max. Air Flow - 5.1CFM

  • Noise - 23dBa

  • Bearing Type - Sleeve Bearing

  • Lift Time - 30,000 Hours

  • Connector - 3Pin

The kit comes in a nice retail style box that helps you to identify that it is an authentic Thermaltake product (as they have had people copy their products in the past). The contents include the following:

  • One Orange Heat Spreader With Fan Pre-Installed

  • One Blue Heat Spreader

  • Two Adhesive Strips

  • Two Clips

  • One 3pin to 4pin Adapter


(Click on any image to get a closeup of the whole row)

Since the two heat spreaders are anodized, they should not be electrically conductive. I was able to verify this by testing them with my multi-meter. However keep in mind that if you happen to scratch the surface you can reveal the bare metal and that is certainly conductive, so use with extreme caution.

The fan of course is Thermaltake's own line, the "everflow" brand. While the rating of 5CFM isn't going to be pushing and land speed records, it serves it's purpose in this application. Also, the way the fan mounts, it is able to blow air over your other DIMM slots to keep the rest of your RAM cool too.

 


(Click on any image to get a closeup of the whole row)

While overall installation was easy, I do have a few complaints. First, the RAM pretty much has to be double sided and can't be the tiny BGA style. Reason being, a single sided stick doesn't have enough height and I found the edge of the heat spreader would touch the DIMM and not the middle part, this could be remedied by grinding down the edge, but that would also expose bare metal that could fry something. Also, you can't use the tiny BGA style memory, not only because most are single sided, but I found the eeprom chip actually is higher than the memory chips, so it wouldn't sit flush. So basically you need a standard memory stick that has chips on both sides.

To actually install the unit on your memory, you take an adhesive strip and apply it to one of the metal heat spreaders, then you carefully position it on the memory so that edge of the spreader is just about the edge of the memory. You do the same for the other piece. Make sure you position them on the correct sides too! You want to fan on the side that is facing your other memory modules, so it can help cool them too. I did find that putting the clips on was a major pain, however if you bend the inside clip out a little, it makes installation MUCH easier.


(Click on any image to get a closeup of the whole row)

 

Testing:

To test the modules, I ran them on my ABIT KT7A-RAID at 3.9 VIO. I ran the SiSoft memory benchmark over and over to heat up the memory module (which I was really shocked to find out just how hot it ran). To measure the temperature I placed an external temperature probe on the top edge of one of the memory modules, which it remained there through testing.

 

Ambient Temperature:
78F +/- 0.3F 25.5C +/- 0.3C

 

RAM

Idle Load Max FSB Speed
Plain RAM, no extra cooling 87F 102F 140MHz
Thermaltake cooled 86F 95F 140MHz

 

Conclusions:

A good seven degree drop from a simple little cooling solution isn't bad at all. During testing, the heat spreaders were getting fairly warm to the touch, which means they were actually pulling the heat off the RAM. Unfortunately I wasn't able to run any faster with that particular stick of RAM, and since the adhesive tape is pretty much a one time use, it doesn't make any sense to take it off because you can't apply it to another stick without first acquiring more of the double sided adhesive tape.

In my opinion, I would have to say this product would really be more for show for the extreme overclocker / case modder crowd. The fan does blow air over all the memory slots to help keep them cool, which is a plus. The gain in cooling is always nice, cooler components will always last longer, but the performance gain is questionable. I've read a few other reviews and they pretty much ended up with the same results that I did.

I still think it's a cool looking product, especially if you have a matching Thermaltake CPU / video cooler since they all use the orange / blue color scheme now.

You can pick up this item and just about anything else for your cooling needs from the Heatsink Factory!

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Pros:
  Cool Look
  Cools RAM
  SDR & DDR Compatible

Cons:
  Questionable Performance

Rating:
 
For The Average User: 5 / 10
  For The Extreme Overclocker: 7.5 / 10

 

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