Thermaltake TMG A2, AT2 Coolers

by Rory Buszka on March 16, 2007 in Cooling

Thermaltakes slogan for their TMG cooler lineup is “Quality Life Starts With Silence.” We have been pleased with the cooling performance of their products in the past, but silence and good cooling ability are two difficult things to put together. Let’s take a look at how well both the A2 CPU cooler and AT2 GPU cooler perform in our tests.

Page 2 – Packaging; Specifications

The exterior design of the Thermaltake TMG retail packaging is attractive, though it seems that Thermaltake still doesn’t demonstrate the same command of the English language as many other Asian component manufacturers. The TMG boxes offer noise comparisons to standard references, in this case the stock AMD boxed CPU cooler and ATI reference cooler.

The box for the A2 CPU cooler also shows an exploded assembly diagram of the various parts involved, as well as their features and benefits. The A2 CPU cooler is packed in a cardboard box, while the AT2 is packaged in a PET clamshell package which thankfully didn’t require scissors to open.

The A2 CPU cooler itself is packaged in a PET clamshell, with the socket clip and photo instructions loose in the box. This packaging looks sufficient to keep the cooler safe in transit, even in situations where the box might be severely disrespected. This packaging reflects clever engineering – obtaining the most protection possible from the least material. Also included were a TMG-series case badge, and a treatise on a design philosophy called “Key 3 Spirit”.

The AT2 GPU cooler is larger than one might expect for such a unit, with a very tall cooling fin assembly. In the included accessory pack (the small black cardboard carton) were an instruction manual, mounting hardware, the “Key 3 Spirit” paper, a Thermaltake TMG-Series case badge, the photo installation instructions, and a strip of pink bubblegum-like, adhesive-backed thermal interface pads for transferring heat from the card’s memory chips.

Thermaltake TMG A2 CPU Cooler

ModelA2 (CL-P0373)The names of the coolers in the TMG series indicate the chips whose mounting schemes each cooler is designed for. A stands for AMD; this cooler is designed for AMD CPUs.
CompatibilityAMD Athlon 64 X2 (Socket 939, AM2)
AMD Athlon 64 FX (Socket 939, AM2)

AMD Athlon 64 (Socket 754, 939, AM2)

AMD Sempron (Socket 754, AM2)
This cooler is compatible with every AMD CPU available today. Socket A users are left out in the cold, however.
Exterior Dimensions (H x W x L)103mm x 102mm x 115mmThis is a sizeable cooler, but it’s not enormous. Its design ensures that it won’t interfere with any surrounding components.
HeatsinkCopper Base, 4x 6mm Heatpipes, Aluminum FinsThe heatpipes are nickel-plated, so they match the finish of the aluminum fins. The fins are fine and closely spaced, and all the heatpipes exit and enter the base and fin structure on one side.
Fan Description92mm square x 38mm tall; frameless; 7-blade impeller; 12VThis fan looks like the fans that Arctic Cooling uses on their most recent Alpine and Freezer models.
Fan Performance300-2500RPM via 4-pin PWM connector; 35.14 peak CFMThis fan is capable of running extremely slowly. Whether it is effective in moving air at those speeds is another story. The 4-pin PWM connector is becoming more commonplace.
Noise Level16 dBaIt’s hard to reconcile this figure with the airflow specification, especially for a 92mm fan.
Life Expectancy50000 HrsThermaltake offers a very long 6 year warranty, assuring you that the Enter-bearing motor will outlast just about any user’s upgrade cycle.
Weight385GThis cooler isn’t what I’d call heavy, though it’s no featherweight. Those with nightmares about an enormous heatsink ripping free from its mounts and going for a stroll inside their case can put those fears to bed.

Thermaltake TMG AT2 GPU Cooler

ModelAT2 (CL-P0373)The names of the coolers in the TMG series indicate the chips whose mounting schemes each cooler is designed for. AT2 stands for ATI.
CompatibilityATi 1800 GTO/XL/XT (Crossfire)
ATi 1900 GT/XT/XTX (Crossfire)
ATi 1950 XTX (Crossfire)
This cooler is only compatible with ATI’s upper-end Radeon X1800, X1900, and X1950 cards, though it will only work with cards based on ATI’s reference design and cooler. This list is a veritable who’s-who of hot GPUs. This cooler doesn’t block the Crossfire cable.
Exterior Dimensions (H x W x L)34mm x 128mm x 161mmThis cooler is big, and tall. It won’t work in most HTPC cases, since it sticks out beyond the top of the card by a good inch.
HeatsinkCopper Base, 3x 6mm Heatpipes, Aluminum Fins, Aluminum Memory PlateThis cooler uses widely-spaced fins, which are more efficient when the fan is optimized for low noise and low airflow impedance, like the AT2’s blower wheel is. An extra aluminum plate surrounding the base conducts heat away from the memory modules.
Fan Description80mm diameter x 25mm thick centrifugal blowerThis blower uses a special reverse-swept vane design which is optimized for low pressure operation and reduced noise.
Fan Performance1650RPM; 10.24 CFMThis fan operates at one speed, since it doesn’t connect to the video card’s own power connector, but draws its power straight from a 4-pin connector.
Noise Level16 dBaWe’ll see. This noise level should be inaudible even in a quiet room.
Life Expectancy50,000 HoursThe Enter Bearing design is expected to last as long as anybody needs a cooler to last. Dust in the motor can reduce the fan’s lifespan, no matter what bearing system is used.
Weight345GThis cooler mounts securely to the video card’s PCB, and feels significantly lighter than the stock cooler, whose fins are ‘skived’ from a solid block of copper.
Power Connector4-pin MolexThis cooler draws its power directly from the power supply, via a 4-pin pass-through connector. I’d still prefer to see a 3-pin motherboard connector, however, or a connector like that used on the video card itself. The 4-pin connector is workable, though.

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