Thermalright T-Rad≤ Video Card Cooler Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     October 14, 2008

Thermalright T-Rad≤ Video Card Cooler Review

Manufacture Product Page: Ultimate CPU Cooling Solutions! USA
Model Number: T-Rad
Availability: Now
Price: Approx $60
Warranty: 1 year

Like most of you out there, I have a love / hate relationship with stock coolers on video cards. Some are amazingly quiet but donít cool the fire-breathing core off as well as any self-respecting enthusiast would want while others sound like dust busters and still donít get the job done. Finding that perfect combination of near-silence and acceptable cooling is a lesson in futility if you are looking to stick with a stock heatsink but luckily, there are other options out there for us.

Companies like Thermalright, Arctic Cooling, Coolink, Noctua and many others have made it their business to cater to people who think stock coolers are for sissies. They all offer their own take on what a high performance air cooler should look like but if there is one company out there that causes people to take notice with a new release, it is Thermalright. Thermalright has long been known for producing some of the best (and most expensive) air cooling solutions available on the market but do not extensively expand their line-up like some others. Their designs for products like the HR-series of GPU coolers and tower-style Ultra CPU cooler have stood the test of time since after years of market exposure, they are still considered among the best of the best. While their products may not be cheap, they have always shown a quality of construction far above their immediate competition while cooling your GPU or CPU off like no oneís business.

This all leads us to the subject of this review: the Thermalright T-Rad≤. For the last few years Thermalrightís video card cooling products were centered around the gargantuan HR-series of heatsinks which offered incredible performance but had an Achilles Heel: their size. In order to achieve their performance, coolers like the HR-03 relied on an upright design which made attaching a fan and running a second video card in SLI or Crossfire all but impossible. Enter the T-Rad≤ which is slim enough to have a standard 120mm or two 92mm fans installed on it without demolishing your dreams of a dual card setup.

It seems like Thermalright has hit the nail on the head with this heatsink since everywhere we look, people are asking for slimmer aftermarket coolers to fit their HTPCs or SLI / Crossfire configurations without having to resort to water cooling. However, pricing may become an issue for some of you considering the T-Rad≤ will be retailing for around $60 when it is released here in Canada. That makes it nearly twice the price of the Arctic Cooling S1 and the same price as the HR-03 GT. Quality construction and great performance doesnít come cheap folks and if this heatsink can live up to our expectations of a Thermalright product, it may be exactly what many of us are looking for.


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