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Thermaltake Pipe101 3 in 1 CPU Cooler - Page 2 of 2
Posted: August 12, 2004
Author: Spire
Manufacturer: Thermaltake
Source: Thermaltake


First of all, the test system:

• DFI Infinity Motherboard
• AMD 35 watt 2400+ mobile Athlon XP Processor
• Corsair XMS PC3200LL 2 x 256 DIMMs BH-5 chips
• ATI Radeon 9700 pro with Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer
• 2 x 36gig Western Digital Raptor SATA hard drives in RAID 0
• 2 x 120gig Seagate SATA hard drives in RAID 1
• Antec TruePower 430 watt power supply

Now for the conditions during testing:

• Room temperature was maintained at a constant 25C +/- .5C
• Running DFI stock Bios 6/19
• Arctic Silver 5 Heatsink Compound
• Processor at 2525 Mhz (210x12) at 1.80Vcore
• Memory at 3.3 volts, 420Mhz DDR in Dual Channel with timings of 2,2,2,11

Fan specifications:

• 80mm - SVC/CREair Model DFC802512M, 32.5 CFM at 2500 RPM 28.3dbA
• 92mm - Vantec Tornado, 119 CFM @ 4800 RPM 56.4 dbA

First of all a few notes, I ran both heatsinks with the 80mm fan at full speed and the Tornado at full speed and half speed or right at 2600RPM’s. CPU loading was accomplished using Stanford’s Folding@Home to give me a 100% CPU and maximum temperatures. All temperature measurements were taken after 30 minutes of test conditions. Motherboard Monitor version was used to monitor the Motherboards onboard CPU temperature, or “Winbond 2” sensor.

I have been using Thermalright SLK heatsinks ever since I began overclocking. My wife even uses an SLK900U on her 2500+ Barton'ed Epox 8RDA+ rev 2.0! I know for a fact that thin copper plate type heatsinks require more air than a regular style heatsink. I was interested not only in the maximum available cooling with a ton of air, but how the Pipe101 would act with only a small amount of airflow. When the 80mm fan is installed, there is a gap around the edge; the fan does not fill up the opening. The 92mm fan on the other hand closes the gap, and it showed it in cooling ability.

I went through the testing beginning with what I already had, the SLK with the Tornado and then I installed the 80mm. At these overclocks, (725 Mhz over) running the 80mm fan at half speed proved not enough air to go the entire 30 minutes without locking the machine on either heatsink. After getting idle and load temperatures of the SLK 947U, I installed the Pipe101 and redid all the tests.

First, results with the 80mm fan…

…and now with the Tornado at 50%..

…and now with the Tornado at 100%...

With the smallest of air flow, the SLK was a bit more comfortable. When the Tornado was at half speed, these sinks were identical. But when a bathroom fart fan worth of air flow was sent over the copper fins, the Pipe101 turned in a whole 2 degrees cooler!!!

I was not expecting this at all. With the semi-rough surface finish of the Pipe101 and its more compact size, I was expecting some 2 degrees WARMER, not cooler. Therefore I redid all the setup going in reverse order, working back to the SLK and Tornado fan. One measurement was different, in chart two, at load with half a Tornado, the Pipe101 showed 46C instead of 45C. I plan on doing a very nice full lap job on the Pipe101 and making it my permanent cooler. I always thought it would take water-cooling to peel the SLK from my cold dead hands!!!


Thermaltake has made a winner. I thought all along that good competition for this sink was the SLK947U, when all the time the SP97 Thermalright heatpipe will probably be a better match. A quick check of Pricegrabber shows the Thermaltake Pipe101 cooler anywhere from $41.99 to just under $50.00 at places such as Newegg, ZipZoomFly, Space Center Systems, and Xoxide.

If you are looking for an incredible looking, extreme cooling, 3-in-1 mountable heatsink, look no farther, the Pipe101 does an incredible job and I give it a well deserved five out of five stars... "Highly Recommended"!

Final Rating (5 out of 5 stars):


• Extreme Air Cooling With High Air Flows.
• Nice Clean Design
• Nothing Better Looking


• Needs Lots of Air to “Kick in”
• Surface Finish Needs Work
• Price Might Be a Touch High
• Should Include Screws for 38mm Thick Fans (this level of cooler should expect some Tornados or Deltas!!!)

Special thanks to Thermaltake for providing the Pipe101 3 in 1 CPU Cooler to BigBruin.Com for review!

Please drop by the BigBruin.Com forum and feel free to discuss this review!

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