25 - 02 - 2018
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Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct CPU Cooler Review

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true spirit 140 directa

   Although technology never stays still due to a variety of reasons such as practicality, ease of use and cost a large percentage of the consumer base keeps using "older" products. Take electrical cars for example, they've been around for many years now but due to their somewhat high prices and in some cases less than great practicality (unlike diesel and gasoline cars you can't stop at a gas station and recharge their batteries inside just 5 minutes) the largest percentage of people don't "seem" to care much about them (at least for now). Something similar applies for CPU cooling so although AIO (all in one) liquid coolers and custom water cooling kits offer higher cooling efficiency due to their higher cost, space requirements (some people don't own cases with 240mm+ mounting areas) and lengthier installation many people still opt for the "classic" CPU air coolers. Thermalright continues to design and produce some of the best CPU air coolers in the market and today we'll be testing their latest TRUE Spirit 140 Direct model.

   Thermalright is an elite design house that manufactures cooling products for computer components for the best quality and performance your money can buy. In 2002, AMD released its first generation Thunderbird CPU and since then we have been there every step of the way to counter high voltage and high heat with innovative design and highly acclaimed cooling solutions not only for AMD but for Intel as well. One of early well known solutions was the SK-6. With many positive and rave reviews under its belt Thermalright bolted to the top as the heat sink manufacturer mostly preferred by Overclockers and enthusiasts around the World. To this day, innovation never left our vocabulary as we keep coming up with leading edge designs staying ahead of the competition.

   The TRUE Spirit 140 Direct is the successor to the award winning TRUE Spirit 140 BW Rev.A air cooler (one of their zero-clearance models for both the RAM modules and top PCI-E slot) so yes once again Thermalright chose to improve an already proven product. However the TRUE Spirit 140 Direct has many differences with the BW Rev.A model the most distinctive of which is its H.D.T base (heatpipe direct touch) which allows the heatpipes to come in contact directly with the CPU cover (unlike regular models which feature a copper base between the heatpipes and the CPU cover). Unfortunately although this should indeed help the cooling efficiency of this model Thermalright decided to decrease the total surface of the cooler to give it a higher compatibility with PC cases (according to Thermalright the Direct model fits in some cases where the BW Rev.A could not). So although the BW Rev.A was 165.15mm tall, 155mm long, 53.4mm wide and had a weight of 610g the new Direct model is 161.48mm tall, 140mm long, 42mm wide and weighs 650g (this difference in weight is due to the newly designed mounting bracket). The new Direct model also features a total of five 6mm all-copper nickel plated heatpipes as opposed to the six 6mm all-copper nickel-plated heatpipes featured in the BW Rev.A model. Finally Thermalright used the same TY-140 black 140mm PWM fan with both models (1300RPM/73.6CFM/21dBA) which is one of the most inaudible fans we've ever come across.






















true spirit 140 direct 1t

A large product picture takes most of the front of the box.



The product features are all showcased on the right side with the help of several drawings.



Thermalright has placed the product specifications in three languages at the rear of the box.



As you can all see the heatsink is protected by three pieces of foam while the rest of the bundle is placed at the base inside another cardboard box.



Aside the heatsink of the TRUE Spirit 140 Direct Thermalright also ships the TY-140 black 140mm PWM fan, 4 fan mounting clips (you can use a 2nd fan in push and pull), 8 round rubber fan pads, pouch of thermal conductive material, installation instructions and mounting hardware for Intel LGA775/1150/1151/1155/1156/1366/2011/2011-3 and AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2/FM2+/AM4 mainboards.











true spirit 140 direct 6t

As mentioned earlier the heatsink of the TRUE Spirit 140 Direct measures 161.48mm in height, 140mm in length, 42mm in width and weighs 650g.



The top fin is painted black and as you can see all fins have the Thermalright logo cut in them.



There are 48 aluminum fins on the heatsink of the TRUE Spirit 140 Direct.



From the sides we see that the heatpipes are stacked in such a way that air coming from the 140mm fan doesn't leak from the sides.



We were quite surprised to see that the TRUE Spirit 140 Direct has a total of five 6mm all-copper nickel plated heatpipes instead of the 6 featured in the BW Rev.A model.



Here you can see the H.D.T feature of the cooler along with the new mounting bracket.



The TY-140 black 140mm PWM fan is not new to us since we've seen it many times with air coolers by Thermalright.



Remember that you need to mount these round rubber fan pads as seen above prior to placing the fan on the heatsink.



With the TY-140 fan attached the TRUE Spirit 140 Direct becomes 77mm wide.













   We always take things quite seriously when it comes to work so just like with the previous LGA1366 database we will not be testing each CPU Cooler on its own and with different ambient temperature levels and thus we can actually have yet another valid CPU Cooler database. Testing a CPU Cooler automatically means that you need to know where it stands against the immediate competition and to accomplish that we have spent both money and time through the years, something that we plan to continue to do so in order to get the most accurate results for the end consumers who read these lines. Every CPU cooler in this database is tested with the bundled 140mm/120mm/92mm/80mm fans while working at both idle speed and 100% of their speeds for all the temperature tests. CPU Coolers that do not come bundled with a fan/s are measured using a Noctua fan (size dependent on the model) to test for the temperature tests but due to the lack of a stock fan dBA level tests are obviously skipped. Single (120/140mm) watercooling solutions are tested with the radiator mounted at the rear of our test rig while dual/triple/quad (240/260/280/360/420/480/560mm) solutions with the radiator mounted at the top. For the dBA tests every cooler in the database was measured both while on idle mode or with the fan controller in the minimum setting and while on extreme load or with the fan controller all the way to the highest possible setting (PWM fans do that on their own without our intervention). Every single test takes place in a temperature controlled room of 23 degrees Celsius Ambient Temp with the help of two AC units placed diagonally inside the room. The Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste is used with every CPU Cooler in our latest LGA2011 database (although initially this was not the plan we had to change things to get the most accurate results). Finally it's very important to point out that just because a CPU Cooler is better than another when tested with our test rig that does not necessarily mean that the same performance differences will apply 100% for other CPU models and in other situations (such as different ambient temps and system configurations).

     To successfully record the load temperatures we use the latest OCCT application for around 6-10 minutes to push the processor to its limits and after that is done and the temperatures are recorded we wait for about 10-20 minutes for the CPU to cool down and record the idle temperatures. This is done to allow time for the thermal conductive material to achieve the optimal performance level. Same procedure is then repeated with the Passmark BurnIn Test as a failsafe just in case the OCCT results are wrong. This procedure takes a lot more time than the usual peltier/thermometer tests but this way not only can we deliver real world results to our readers based on real CPUs but we can also triple check the results using a variety of programs. Last but not least the temperatures were recorded using both the latest versions of AIDA64 and RealTemp while the noise level tests are performed using a high precision ExTech HD600 Decibel Meter placed about 10-15cm above the CPU Cooler. Still although the same testing procedure applies to all units do take into consideration that unlike the official numbers which are measured in special noise isolated labs with just the fans here we also have both the rest of the cooler and the rest of the system (although all system fans are turned off when recording noise levels).






















true spirit 140 directb

   Testing the TRUE Spirit 140 Direct by Thermalright took a couple of days longer than what we had originally scheduled since we thought our results were somehow “inaccurate” so we had to redo our tests not once but twice. The reason is because the TRUE Spirit 140 BW Rev.A slightly outperformed the TRUE Spirit 140 Direct and so when we asked Thermalright about their internal tests well let’s just say our results weren’t a precise match. Still after redoing our tests twice there’s no doubt in our minds that the BW Rev.A is just a tad better compared to the new Direct model. Of course we did expect that since the first has more fin surface than the second but at the same time we were quite interested to find out just how much the H.D.T feature would matter. That being said the difference in cooling performance is less than 2 degrees Celsius so that’s actually very good for a smaller CPU cooler (besides the BW Rev.A model has been discontinued so it’s not available). As for the TY-140 fan it produced the same low noise levels as with the BW Rev.A and other models so if you want an inaudible air cooler the TRUE Spirit 140 Direct offers that.

   Right now you can find the TRUE Spirit 140 Direct CPU Cooler by Thermalright for just USD39.99 inside the USA (Sale - Newegg) and 39.99Euros inside the EU (PC-Cooling) so yes it’s also very affordable. Overall the TRUE Spirit 140 Direct may not be the best CPU air cooler in the market today but it still offers very good cooling efficiency levels, is almost inaudible even at load and costs just as much as many “less impressive” air coolers so our Golden award is more than justified.


- Good Build Quality
- Very Good Cooling Performance
- Size (No Clearance Issues)
- Low Noise Levels
- Price (For Some)


- None