Tuesday , 2 September 2014
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Thermaltake TMG A1 Cooler

In a nutshell, Thermaltake TMG A1 is a good product if you’re looking for stock HSF replacement. Its unique design takes the heat problem to a whole new level. It cools the CPU very well under both load and idle states while not hurting your ear drums

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Introduction

I’m sure a lot of you have had some sort of problems when deciding what to get for your CPU in terms of cooling. It’s a tough market to be in as there are so many companies offering all sorts of products, it’s just hard to pick the right one. To tell you the truth, there is no right or wrong either. Products such as coolers and PC accessories tend to come in huge variations. Yes, some are relatively better than others that’s why you should always make your choice based on company reputation and others’ opinion.

I don’t think I have to introduce Thermaltake do I? They’ve been in this business since their beginning. Their product line is huge and everyone will find something they like. Because I’ve mentioned coolers above you probably figured I would be doing HSF review for you. On the bench today I have Thermaltake TMG A1 HSF weighing ~0.5 kg, roughly 1.10 pounds.

Features

Here are some paper features and detailed specifications of the TMG A1 HSF.

Incredibly Quiet

  • Frameless fan: Differs from the traditional framed fans by reducing the backpressure and turbulence produced by the air hitting the side walls of traditional fans. As a result, the frameless fans are much quieter than the traditional fans.
  • Unique fan blade design will also produce less noise due to reduced backpressure.
  • Enter bearing: The oil from the traditional sleeve bearing will evaporate over time and allow more friction between in the bearing unit itself, producing noise and shortening the lifetime of the fan. The enter bearing design allows extra oil capacity to elongate the life of the fan and reduce noise levels.

Anti-Vibration Design

  • The TMG CPU coolers have built-in springs to absorb any vibrations created during the fan operation, this prevents the heatsink and clip from damaging CPU through vibration, also extends the lifetime of CPU

PWM Speed Control Function

  • The fan supports AMD PWM FSC specifications which allows the fan to be automatically adjusted via the motherboard BIOS. According to the temperature of the CPU, the fan will spin at whatever speed is necessary to reduce unnecessary noise.

Long Life Enter Bearing

  • The fan’s enter bearing design creates additional oil capacity within the fan bearing and seals up the bearing even more than the traditional sleeve bearing. The lifetime of the fan is then extended due to better lubrication and less friction.

Maximum Cooling

  • Four heatpipes can efficiently deliver the heat from the CPU directly to the dissipation fins.
  • The high density heatsink fins significantly increase the surface area for cooling; combined with a high airflow fan, the improvement is drastic.

Easy Installation

  • Easy to install without removing motherboard

6-year limited warranty


  Copper base       Heatpipes      High density fins    Tool-free clip

Bundle & Closer Look

Over the past ten years PC accessories including cooling products were evolving really fast. They still are as a matter of fact. There are so many CPU cooling systems out there it’s hard to make any decision at all. Add watercooling on top of that and the list grows.

Thermaltake packaged their TMG A1 HSF in a standard cardboard box. Inside you’ll find heatsink+fan with applied thermal paste. The box also reveals quick manual with installation instructions, sticker and a retention clip.

Click a picture to see a larger view





TMG A1 is huge and weighs around 500 grams (1.1 lb). It’s designed to fit socket 939, AM2 and 754. The fan is an 92 mm and without a frame. This greatly improves noise reduction as the produced air will no longer be hitting the sides of the fan. The blades aren’t standard either, they are designed to reduce the backpressure. So what controls the speed of the fan? PWM controler which allows the fan to be automatically adjusted by the BIOS. According to the temperature of the CPU, the fan will spin at whatever speed is necessary to reduce unnecessary noise (300~2500 RPM). The fins of the heatsink are very densely packed. I haven’t counted them, but there is a lot as you can see. The most important of all is the base. It’s made out of copper and is connected with 4 pipelines on each side for transporting the heat back to the fins while fan takes care of the rest. It’s a nifty design used by a handful of vendors which proves to actually work. The other side of the base block is made out of steel. Don’t know why, but it might have to do something with the tool-free clip — or not.

Installation & Testing

Installing this HSF was even easier than installing stock AMD cooler. Without even laying the case on the side I removed the stock cooler and began installing TMG.
  • Tak off plastic cover
  • Position the HSF over the CPU
    • Make sure the indentation is aligned in parallel with the bracket tabs
  • Align and secure one side of the clip (one without lever) on the tab
  • Align and secure second side of the clip (one with lever) on the tab
  • Push the lever clockwise until it’s secured
  • Connect the fan to the motherboard via 4-pin connector

That’s it! Approximate time of installation: 5 minutes


Idle stock AMD HSF – 43C


Load stock AMD HSF – 51C


Idle TMG A1 HSF – 34C


Load TMG A1 HSF – 41C

Results & Thoughts

The previous charts showed heat oscillation now let’s look at the results. I’ll be comparing Thermaltake TMG A1 to stock AMD K8 HSF as well as Cooler Master HyperTX HSF — which is basically a TMG with different fan and six heatpipes instead of eight.


CPU at 2.7 GHz (default 1.8 GHz)

Stock AMD K8 HSF
  • Vcore: 1.425, OC: 2.7 GHz (standard 1.8 GHz)
  • idle fan RPM: 1103
  • load fan RPM: 1375
Thermaltake TMG A1 HSF
  • Vcore: 1.425, OC: 2.7 GHz (standard 1.8 GHz)
  • idle fan RPM: 2680
  • load fan RPM: 2770
Cooler Master HyperTX HSF
  • Vcore: 1.425, OC: 2.7 GHz (standard 1.8 GHz)
  • idle fan RPM: 700-1100
  • load fan RPM: 1834
It is quite odd that TMG running at higher RPM produced higher temperature than HyperTX with lower RPM. The difference between stock HSF and Thermaltake TMG A1 is obvious though. In idle state it’s 8 degrees Celcius cooler and during load the difference goes up to 10 degrees.

In a nutshell, Thermaltake TMG A1 is a good product if you’re looking for stock HSF replacement. Its unique design takes the heat problem to a whole new level. It cools the CPU very well under both load and idle states while not hurting your ear drums. Additionally it sports anti-vibration springs to reduce the noise created by the fan. The four heatpipes transfer the heat from the CPU directly to the fins where the fan finishes the work. The fan itself supports AMD PWM FSC which allows for automatic RPM adjustment via BIOS based on CPU temperature.

You can get Thermaltake TMG A1 for around $30 green and it’s available worldwide in most online stores.

Pros:
+ Good performance
+ Easy installation
+ Well built
+ Very quiet

Cons:
- None really

For quality build, easy installation and good performance I award Thermaltake TMG A1 with 8 out of 10 points (very good) and Bjorn3D Seal of Approval.

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