The abundance of tower style heatsinks of nearly identical form is either a testament to one really fantastic design taking over the entire CPU thermal solution industry, or... an ode to the surreptitious ways competing manufacturers strive to legally circumvent patent protection. A bit of both for sure, but more likely heatsink design naturally achieving an evolutionary balance of metal to fins to heatpipes. To quote Homer Simpson; "everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974." Indeed, Homer. Indeed.
Frostytech won't go so far as to say it doesn't matter which tower heatsink you choose for your computer, so long as it's a tower heatsink. The industry is far - far - from that level of performance homogeneity, but it's a good place to start. As 149mm tall heatsinks go, the Thermolab Trinity heatsink is one of the better Intel heatsinks we've tested to date. It slots in right behind the Noctua NH-C14 in terms of 150W heat load performance for this height class at stock fan speeds. Noise output favours the Noctua thermal solution, particularly at reduced fan speed settings however.
Thermolab's Trinity heatsink stands 149mm tall with a footprint of 136x58mm. The aluminum finned heatsink weighs 735 grams and comes with one 130x130x25mm PWM fan that operates at 1800-600RPM. The fan is mounted to the heatsinks' fins with permanently attached rubber vibration absorbing posts. Four 6mm diameter sintered metal wick exposed base heatpipes form the backbone of this CPU cooler while a simple bracket system allows it to install onto Intel socket 775/1155/1156/1366 and AMD socket AM2/AM3/FM1 processors. Expect retail prices to be in the region of $40.
Behind the 130mm PWM fan Thermolab have added some waves to the leading edges of the aluminum fins. The rubber vibration absorbing fan mounting posts are fixed in place and seem a little tougher than the usual elastomer picked for the task.
Four sintered metal wick 6mm diameter copper heatpipes broach the aluminum cooling fins the full 103mm height of the fin stack. The heatpipes are positioned in the region that receives the most airflow from the fan for obvious benefits.
Interestingly, Thermolab have shifted the fin stack towards the back of the heatsink; the effect centers the entire heatsink over the CPU, rather than leaving the fins or fan to stick out more on one side than the other. A serial number graces the top of the heatsink.
The Thermolab Trinity heatsink ships with a couple metal brackets that screw onto the base of the heatsink, accommodating Intel socket LGA775/1155/1156/1366 and AMD socket AM2/AM3/FM1 processors. Both CPU types require machine screws that thread in from behind the motherboard with a metal backplate for added support. The motherboard may need to removed from the case to install the Trinity, but it's a solid method when complete.
Apart from the mounting brackets, the Thermolab Trinity heatsink comes with a syringe of 4W/mK thermal compound.
FrostyTech's Test Methodologies are outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course its performance in the thermal tests!
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