I usually like to learn as much about a product I’m reviewing as possible before it even arrives. However, I wasn’t expecting this one, and didn’t really have time to do a ton of research. Since I’ve never done a heatsink review, I was pleasantly surprised when I was asked if I’d like to test this cooler. You may never have heard of Cogage. Neither had I when I received this product. As it turns out, it’s made by an extremely well-known company, who makes top-notch air cooling solutions. If the name of this heatsink doesn’t give it away, try to figure it out by looking at the pictures below. There are certain features that make the manufacturer a dead giveaway.
Packaging, features, and initial impressions
When I opened the box, the first thing I noticed was the aluminum-on-copper style of the heatsink. At first glance, it looks like one of those cheap direct-touch units that have become so popular lately. It’s anything but one of those. Other than the color scheme, everything about this heatsink is pure Thermalright, from the mounting hardware, to the bent winglet design, to the Thermalright thermal paste. I will admit I prefer the nickel finish to the two-toned look of this unit. But in the end, I only really care about the unit’s performance. It could be bright pink and have green polka dots; if it performs well I couldn’t care less about how it looks. Now, I’m not saying this is ugly, just not my preference. This coming from a guy who hasn’t purchased an aftermarket CPU cooler other than Thermalright since the Ultra-120 first came out.
I know this is designed for LGA1366. In fact, it says “CPU Cooler for socket 1366″ right on the box. But I’d like to see some mounting options for other platforms. As I found out, this does make quite a nice cooler for an AM3 (AMD) system, and worked great with the AM2/AM3 mounting hardware from my Ultra-120. In fact, I was benching a Phenom II 454 at 3.8GHz (not unlocked) on an MSI 890GXM-G65 with load temps no higher than 45*C. That CPU obviously doesn’t have quite the heat output
- Proprietary bent winglet design to minimize airflow resistance.
- 48 aluminum fins, able to be entirely covered by a 120mm fan.
- Four 6mm heatpipes, strategically positioned to pick up heat from the CPU.
- Includes PWN Control 120mmx25mm fan (1000-1500RPM+-15%)
- Concave base (By observation. Cogage states that it is convex.)
- Dimensions: L133 x W156 x H38mm
- Weight: 670g
- Compatibility: LGA1366
- Dimensions: L120 x W120 x H25mm
- Rated speed: 1000~1500RPM+-15%
- Noise: 19.6~37.4 dBA
- Air flow: 35~66.5CFM
- 120mm PWN control fan
- Fan clips
- Rubber fan vibration dampeners
- Bolt-thru mounting kit
- Thermalright Chill Factor thermal paste
- COGAGE sticker
- Installation instructions
MSRP ~ $40 USD
COGAGE TRUE Spirit closer look
The bottom, although concave, has quite a nice finish to it. I had to clean the base before mounting the heatsink, but that’s to be expected.
The included fan is black with clear yellow blades; neither ugly, nor a thing of beauty. It does look better when mounted to the heatsink though.
This picture is at quite an odd angle, but effectively shows the fan mounting technique employed in this product. At first mounting, I had some problems getting the clips to stay both on the fan, and in the heatsink holes. Mounting thicker fans to the TRUE Spirit was also quite difficult for the same reason, especially if working inside a computer case. This was quickly and easily fixed by simply bending the ends of the clips towards each other to make a tighter fit.
- CPU: Core i7 920 C0
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X58A-UD7 (thanks Gigabyte)
- Memory: 3x1GB Kingston HyperX 2000MHz
- Graphics card: Radeon HD 4890
- PSU: OCZ 1000w
- CPU cooler: COGAGE TRUE Spirit 1366 heatsink
- CPU thermal paste: Arctic Silver 5
- Case: Open air bench station, built by me
The included fan is completely silent. Under any substantial overclocking though, completely silent is useless to me. When my girlfriend is trying to sleep (I’m used to the noise), a completely silent is fantastic. I decided to test this with three different fans to see how much improvement could be had from increased airflow. For all testing, fans were plugged into the CPU fan header, as opposed to straight off the PSU or on a fan controller.
- COGAGE stock fan (19.6~37.4 dBA, 35~66.5 CFM)
- Panaflo FBA12G12M (35.5 dBA, 85.5 CFM)
- Delta FFB1212VHE (53.0 dBA, 151.85 CFM)
I didn’t do any testing with the stock Intel cooler for comparison.
Because of the concave CPU mating surface, it was suggested I mount the TRUE Spirit in an orientation such that the fan was facing towards the back of the case. However, due to Intel’s socket orientation, I got the best performance with the unit rotated 90 degrees, and the heat pipes run horizontally along the CPU. Since I’m not running this inside a case, I mounted the fan blowing ‘down’ towards the graphics card. The thick backplate on the X585A-UD7 socket made mounting the unit a little awkward, like the mounting is a little too tight. It takes a lot of effort to get the bolts tightened all the way down, so if you have a need to remove your heatsink frequently, this may make it kind of a pain. But while I still prefer my own bolt-thru kit, this one does an outstanding job of ensuring great contact between the heatsink base and CPU.
For temperature testing, I used Realtemp v.3.4, and loaded the CPU with wPrime 1024m test set at 8 threads. I first tested with the CPU at stock settings, with turbo enabled for an effective clock of 2.8GHz. Below you can see the rest of the clock speeds I tested. The heatsink WAS NOT re-mounted at all during testing. I mounted it five times, and tested temps each time to be sure of consistent results. Then at each CPU setting, I simply powered down the computer, replaced the fan, and booted back up. I recorded the temperature of the hottest core at idle and load. I never saw a temperature difference of more than 3 or 4 degrees between the hottest and coolest core in any testing.
At stock CPU speed + Turbo, the added CFM definitely helped. But the extra 100 CFM of the Delta over the stock fan, and the noise that goes with it, is not at all justified by the 4 degree improvement in load temps for every day use. The Panaflo seems to be the sweet spot for me here though, because it offers better performance with a decent noise level. Performance benefits from added airflow are about the same as CPU clock speeds increase.
If you want a Thermalright-quality cooling solution without the Thermalright price tag, this heatsink is definitely for you. For the price, this is a fantastic unit. With the stock fan, it’s extremely quiet and does a great job cooling the CPU. With some added airflow, it easily rivals many more expensive cooling options. Would I spend my own money on this product. Absolutely, but I’d use my own mounting hardware. However, I’m sure the hardware provided with the TRUE Spirit is geared more towards function than convenience. And that’s a good thing. When you buy this heatsink, you may want to play around with different mounting configurations to see what works best for you. I appreciate that the fins on the TRUE Spirit are numerous enough to take advantage of added airflow. Like with most of my reviews, be sure to check the forum thread for updated testing results.