Thermalright True Copper: 2 kg copper cooler reviewed [Update: New results and Intel statement about the weight]
PCGH reviewed the Thermalright True Copper and checked its cooling capabilities. Update: Cooling performance at 7 volt fan voltage and statement from Intel about the weight of the cooler.
What's the real name actually? Some distributors, like PC-Cooling call it "Ultra-120 eXtreme True Copper Heatsink”, while Thermalright is just talking about the "True Copper”. But however it is called: IT is the full copper version of the successful Ultra-120 Extreme, which became available in a "True Black” version only recently. Thus Thermalright offers the cooler in three versions that differ in material and color.
Copper monster in detail
The cooler transfers the heat of the processor via six pipes to the soldered fins. Not only the CPU plate and the heatpipes, but also the fins are made of copper - like on the Scythe Ninja Copper. Because of this the whole devices weights 1.9 kilograms - twice as much as the "normal” Ultra-120 versions. As usual a fan is not included, but fittings for the sockets 775 and AM2 are. With an appropriate kit it is possible to mount the True Copper on socket 1366 Nehalem systems. The fastening with its four screws and the backplate is very tough and keeps the copper block firmly attached to the board - but you shouldn't move the system that much -more about that later.
Thermalright True Copper reviewed
But how well is the cooler doing? We checked the True Copper on our open test system, which consists of a P35 board with a Core 2 Extreme QX6850. The processor is stressed with Prime 95 to heat it up. Temperatures are recorded with the tool Core Temp. After that we subtract the ambient air temperature to receive comparable Delta temperatures.
Equipped with our default fan, the scythe S-Flex SFF21E (1,200 rpm), the True Copper caused quite a stir in the PCGH Test Lab: On full fan speed the True Copper was head-to-head with the so far best cooler, the Thermalright IFX-14.
With lower fan speed (7 volt fan voltage) the IFX-14 takes the lead again and if the fan is slowed down even further (5 volt or less), other coolers do better. Thus the True Copper is suitable to be combined with fast fans (up to two 120 mm fans can be attached) as a high-end cooler for overclocking PCs. For (semi) passive mode the space between the fins is too small.
Naturally the loudness depends on the fans used. Our Scythe model reaches 0.9 sone on a distance of 50 centimeters, when the maximal voltage of 12 V is applied (1,200 rpm). At 7 volt it is almost inaudible with 0.1 sone. This covers all the mentioned CPU coolers - the individual designs of the fins only has a minor effect on the loudness.
2 kilograms: Too much for the socket?
Can sockets deal with two kilograms? Intel specifics the maximal weight for socket 775 coolers with 550 grams (see PDF: "Thermal and Mechanical Design Guidelines", p. 23/24 and 52). Intel's boxed cooler stay below this limit most of the time. The True Copper with two fans on the other hand is more than four times as heavy. But the specification applies for the default mounting system, the so called Pushpins - Intel doesn't give any numbers for the alternative systems of other products. Furthermore the 550 grams are for "shipping conditions”. That means if the cooler stays below the weight, the fastening will keep the cooler in place even if the PC is shipped out. But what is possible if the PC stays where it is? "If the 2 kilogram cooler is installed into a stationary case, which isn't shipped, it is below the limit of the socket”, is what we were told when we asked Intel about the matter.
So if the PC is not moved, the huge weight doesn't endanger the hardware. But if you take your computer to LAN parties, you should move it carefully or dismount the cooler in advance. It is unlikely that the fittings of a correctly installed CPU cooler will become loose, but the weight stresses the motherboard and the damageable circuit paths.
The True Copper is an excellent cooler and a beauty on top of that. With fast fans it reaches the cooling capacities of the top dog IFX-14 and is noticeably more compact. But it has two disadvantages: The True Copper is very expensive and costs about 80 Euro - plus the costs for the fans. IT also is very heavy. If you don't mind those two points, you should order soon, since Thermalright offers a limited number of units only.