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Closer look at Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140, Archon SB-E and Archon

The Xigmatek will try to compete against as many as three products from Thermalright: the TRUE Spirit 140, the presale sample of the new Archon SB-E, and the well-known Archon. We’ve examined and tested the latter model a number of times, so it will only be used in the tests for the sake of comparison. We will focus on the first two models for now.

So, the TRUE Spirit 140 is shipped in a stylish black box with a picture of the product on the front panel and its specs on the other sides. The Archon SB-E has modest packaging with only two words on it: the names of the manufacturer and product.



The accessories are identical except for the user manual and minor things like the key and sticker included with the Archon SB-E.


One important difference is that the back-plate of the Archon SB-E is only half as thick as the ones of the Archon and TRUE Spirit 140.

We don’t know the reason for that. The slimmer back-plate bends too much when the cooler is installed and the resulting pressure force is lower than with the standard back-plate.


From a design point of view, the TRUE Spirit 140 and the Archon SB-E are no different from the original Archon. It is a tower design with six copper heat pipes carrying aluminum fins.



Except for its base, the TRUE Spirit 140 lacks any nickel plating and its fins are 0.1 millimeters slimmer than the Archons’ (0.4 compared to 0.5 millimeters). The Archon SB-E has 1 fin less than the TRUE Spirit 140 and Archon (49 instead of 50).

The fins of the TRUE Spirit lack the characteristic ledges that optimize air flows within the heatsink body.



One more simplification we can spot in the TRUE Spirit is that it lacks any soldering. Its fins are simply press-fitted on the pipes and there’s thermal glue in the base. As opposed to it, the Archon SB-E uses soldering for every point of contact between the fins and pipes and in the base.

The single notable difference of the new Archon SB-E from the original Archon is the diameter of the heat pipes. Instead of classic 6mm pipes, we’ve got 7mm ones here. This difference can be easily noticed in the following photos:


The larger pipes are meant to make the cooler more efficient with Intel’s Sandy Bridge-E processors which have a larger die size and call for a larger area of contact with the cooler’s sole.

The Archon SB-E has a mirror-like surface whereas the sole of the TRUE Spirit 140 isn’t finished that well.


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