Thermaltake Silent 1156 Heatsink

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Product: Thermaltake Silent 1156 Heatsink
Provided By: Thermaltake
Price: $29.99 MSRP

 

Introduction:

It's certainly been a while since I have looked at a CPU cooler, but as I have the Core i7 860 CPU in my possession, I get to give Jason a break as I look at the Thermaltake Silent 1156 CPU Cooler today.  This is one of Thermaltake's inexpensive coolers that is developed for a single platform.  Many coolers come with enough hardware to mount on any system made in the last 3 years, but the Silent 1156 is designed for LGA1156 CPUs only.  This helps keep the price down to a mere $29.99 MSRP and provides you with much better cooling at a lower noise that the stock Core i7 860 HSF.

Stick with us as we take a look and see how much better this cooler is than the stock HSF.  We expect it to be quite a bit better, and hopefully it will be as silent as they claim.

Silent 1156 Box
Silent 1156 Box

 

First Impressions:

The Silent 1156 is not a revolutionary new design in terms of heatpipe coolers.  It has a standard tower design that incorporates some large heatpipes, a 92mm PWM fan and not much else really.  As this is designed for a single socket, Thermaltake doesn't have to include a ton of other hardware bits in order to make it work on every platform.  The downside to this is that if you recently bought a Socket 1156 system and are now drooling over a Core i7 980X 1366 system, you'll also have to spend a bit more money on a different heatsink.

Front Profile
Front Profile
Rear Profile
Rear Profile

 

Although the Silent 1156 is much larger than the stock HSF, it isn't nearly as large as many other enthusiast-oriented heatsinks on the market today.  As you can see above and below, the design is pretty standard and the heatpipes are indeed larger than many other units.  In theory, this should help transfer heat well.  We'll see later on the in review. 

Bottom View
Bottom View
Top View
Top View

 

The bottom finish is nothing remarkable.  It isn't polished and it certainly isn't very rough.  For testing we use Arctic Cooling MX-3 Side View thermal paste and it seems to work very well on this cooler.  I'm sure that the included Thermaltake paste is adequate as well.  To keep things consistent however, we always use Arctic Cooling's MX-3.

In order to get a better idea of the size and scale of this heatsink, we have a side-view that shows the actual fins are not much broader than the fan.  This makes the heatsink relatively light and it won't strain your motherboard.  Thanks to its light-weight, it uses the standard Intel Socket 1156 (and 775/1366) mounting system with quarter-turn pegs that provide a consistent mount each and every time.

To keep the box nice and slender, Thermaltake doesn't mount the brackets on the Silent 1156 for shipping.  Instead, they include them in the bundle and require you to use four screws to install them on the base of the heatsink prior to installing it in your system.  If they had these mounted during shipping, the installation of this cooler would be perfectly and absolutely painless.  As it stands, it requires tools - even though it uses standard mounting brackets and doesn't require motherboard removal.  This may seem petty, but it would be much nicer to be able to pull it out of the box and simply drop it in place.

On the next page we'll take a look and the bundle, some features and specifications before we install it onto our toasty little Core i7 860 CPU.

 

Thermaltake Silent 1156 Bundle:

As we mentioned earlier, the bundle included with the Silent 1156 isn't all that impressive as it only supports a single platform.   We have a picture of the meager bundle below as well as the fan assembly from this heatsink.  As you can see the 92mm fan uses 80mm mounting holes so if you're thinking of beefing up the fan on this unit, you'll probably have to shop for an 80mm fan for compatibility.

Included Bundle
Included Bundle
Fan And Mount
Fan And Mount

 

 

Thermaltake Silent 1156 HSF Features:

The Silent 1156 isn't very big, and neither is the list of features.  We've pulled some of the basic features of this cooler from the Thermaltake product page and re-posted here for your convenience.

  • Supports Intel® processor Socket LGA1156
  • 2pcs 8mm Heat Pipes provide the best performance.
  • 90mm PWM fan (800-1700 RPM) decreases power consumption, reduces acoustics noise and increases fan performance.
  • Premium thermal grease provides higher thermal conductivity between CPU and  cooler.
  • Tool-less clip, push-pin design for quick and easy installation.

 

Specifications:

Although I've mentioned a few times that this heatsink is "small".  It certainly has enough size to matter.  The design isn't all that small in and of itself, it just appears small when compared to the Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler.

 Size



The specifications don't look all that impressive.  It is currently rated to handle any Core i3, i5 or i7 CPU that plugs into your favorite LGA1156 motherboard.  As you can see below, the maximum fan speed is rated at 1700rpm, so it should in fact be quiet.

 Specs

On the next page we'll take a look at installing the Silent 1156 before we jump into testing.


 

Installation:

Just before we drop this heatsink on our test platform, we pulled off the fan to see the profile of the Silent 1156 when "naked".  Due to its small size, I wouldn't recommend using it passively - unless you had great airflow in your case.  If that were the case, it would offer no benefits as the cooler is virtually silent - even with the fan spinning at it full 1700 rpm.  It's pictured below with the fan removed as well as with the fan installed and the mounting hardware attached.

Once the hardware is attached, it is very simple to install as it uses the same mounting as the stock cooler.  This is pretty common and we even saw the same mounting system used on the larger Thermaltake SpinQ VT cooler recently.

 Side & Front - No Fan
Side & Front - No Fan
Side Profile Mounting
Side Profile Mounting

 

As you can see in the pictures below, the Silent 1156 isn't a huge cooler and doesn't even come close to interfering with any of the other components on our test system. The only thing to take note of is that the SpinQ VT is a taller cooler than some so you might want to make sure your case can support it.  With that said, most mid-full tower cases will have ample room for this heatsink.

 Top View Installed
Top View Installed

 

Rear View Installed
Rear View Installed
Side View Installed
Side View Installed

 

With the Silent 1156 installed, we'll find out a bit more about how we test coolers here at BCCHardware before we start comparing it to the rather anemic stock cooler.


Testing Setup:

For the new Intel (LGA1156) testing we will be using the Intel Core i7 860 CPU, which produces 95 Watts of heat. These new Core i5/i7 CPUs are a little more efficient and don't produce as much heat as the high-end 1366 platform.  The newer socket 1156 will be a pretty popular choice and this should give you a pretty accurate estimate of what type of temperatures a cooler will provide you with.

For CPU Cooler testing, we have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp v.0.99.x. CoreTemp takes a temperature from the CPU core, and allows for much more uniform results across different motherboard and CPU platforms. These temperatures may seem higher than other temperature recordings; because chances are they are taking temperature recordings using the diode underneath the CPU, which isn't able to be as accurate, and can really fluctuate between different brands of motherboards.

For all tests we are using the Highspeed PC Top Deck Tech Station , and we are using no additional cooling in our testing. All temperatures are recorded in a controlled environment that is set to 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) to provide fair results between coolers.

For all tests we use Arctic Cooling MX-3 High-Performance Thermal Compound (Paste).  We use the same thermal paste in all our testing so that we can keep our results consistent. If a cooler is shipped with thermal paste pre-applied, it will be removed and we will re-apply it with Arctic Cooling MX-3 to provide fair results.

Intel Test System:

 

Testing:

As we head on into testing, we are only able to compare the Silent 1156 from Thermaltake with the stock cooler at this point.  I'm sure that we all know how this is going to end.  The Thermaltake Silent 1156 should win.  I won't keep you in suspense.  It does.  There are a few other interesting things worth noting here regarding 1156 Core i7 CPU cooler testing however.  We left the "Turbo" mode enabled and allowed the CPU to scale from its slow "idle" speed of 1.2GHz to the 3.0GHz thanks to dynamic CPU scaling.  Another thing to note here is that the ASRock H55DE3 motherboard seems to want to run the FSB at 138MHz instead of the default 133MHz.  This gives us a slow speed of 1242MHz and a high speed of 3035MHz.  The important thing is that both heatsinks have the exact same configuration, thermal paste and ambient conditions to deal with.

Stock Idle
Stock Idle
Silent Spirit Idle
Silent 1156 Idle
   
Full Load Stock
Full Load Stock
Full Load Silent Spirit
Full Load Silent 1156

 

Here comes the testing results...

Chart  

The fan speed was kept at full speed through all of the tests and this shows what the cooler is capable of.  We thought of running low-speed tests, but both cooler are totally silent at slow speed and the stock cooler is only slightly audible over other system fans at full speed.  The Thermaltake Silent 1156 stays silent through all tests.


Silent 1156 Performance

While there is 5°C between the two coolers at idle (no CPU load) the difference climbs to an incredible 27°C (50°F) at full load.  What makes this even more incredible is the fact that the stock cooler allows the CPU to hit its Tj. Max temperature of 99°C (210.2°F)!  While the new Core i7 CPUs are cooler than other CPUs, the stock cooler is pathetically small and when we ran Prime95 for more than 10 minutes we hit the maximum temperature of the CPU.  To its credit the system ran stable, but keep in mind that this is on an open bench.  Also consider the fact that if you're running Folding @ Home, the CPU would be at maximum temperature for hours and this would most certainly kill the CPU or at the very least cause major system instability in the long term.


Final Thoughts:

The Thermaltake Silent 1156 is a traditional tower heatpipe heatsink with a few enhancements.  It has large heatpipes than many other heatsinks of its size.  It comes with a very quiet 92mm fan that is designed to mount on a traditional 80mm mount.  This gives the Silent 1156 a little more airflow at lower noise than other heatsinks that use a 80mm fan.  The best thing about the heatsink - other than its performance - is the price.  It has a suggested retail price of $30 which means that you will probably be able to find it under $25 if you shop around.



The performance was definitely good and when you compare it to a stock heatsink that allows the CPU to reach the boiling point of water it seems even better.  I found it unbelievable that our Core i7 860 hit 99°C with the stock cooler and I'm glad to see the Silent 1156 shave off 27°C (50°F) from the stock temps.  Consider that you're getting almost a degree of performance cooling for each dollar you spend and this makes the Silent 1156 great value.

The only downside is the fact that it requires a screwdriver to install the mounting brackets that you'll never change, swap or modify as this heatsink is geared for a single platform.  I believe that they should be installed in the box and then installation would take no more than a minute - if you're slow.

 

Pros:

  • Smaller than many other aftermarket heatsinks
  • Good performance
  • Easy Installation
  • Great value for 1156 platforms 

 

Cons: 

  • Mounting hardware must be installed 

 

  BCCRating

 Gold

I'd like to thank Thermaltake for sending us the Silent 1156 CPU Cooler. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.