Spire VertiCool SPA49B0

Written by Patrick Ng    Saturday, 05 February 2005 11:00
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Spire started out way back in 1991 and has slowly been creating cooling solutions. They have offices located all around the world to provide many customers with their products. Their cooling division has a wide variety of products, ranging from AMD coolers to Intel. Aside from their air cooling, they also offer water cooling to consumers. My last encounter with Spire's cooling solutions left me less than impressed. Today we'll be looking at the VertiCool heatsink. Perhaps a second look at their products will change my mind.



Spire VertiCool CPU Cooler

Spire's VertiCool heatsink has been designed for Socket A boards. Spire has also implemented heatpipe tachnology. The VertiCool has two dual heatpipes, which are connected to aluminum fins for efficient heat dissipation. Spire has provided a fan with this heatsink, which is UV reactive. The packaging for the heatsink was nothing fancy. The cooler came in a small plastic box. Included was a spire sticker, a tube of generic thermal compound, and an instruction booklet.

The VertiCool looked very unpromising at first. Given that it's size was extremely small, it also came with a low speed fan. As with everything else, there must be some good in this product. The base of the heatsink was copper. Peeling off the protective sticker reveals a somewhat dirty base. Although it wasn't the shiniest, that doesn't mean that it wasn't smooth. Spire did a good job sanding it down. Connected to the base were two dual heatpipes. These heatpipes will transfer the heat to the aluminum fins attached throughout. The method to clasp the heatsink onto the board was like most Socket A coolers; it was the generic three-holed clip. The fan included in the package uses a 3-pin fan connector. It's wires are neatly packed inside a white sleeve.




Dimensions: Heat sink : 80×64×90 mm (l × w × h)12VDC / Fan :80×80×25 mm
Bearing: Ball bearing
Rated Speed: 2300 RPM +/-10%
Rated Power: 0.96 W
Noise Level: 23.0 dBA
Air Flow: 28.0 CFM at 2,300 RPM
Current: 0.08 A
Life Hours: Ball: 50.000
Features: Dual heatpipe cooler, copper base, tool-free installation
Connector: 3-pin mainboard
Application: AMD :  Athlon ~ 1.4 GHz (Thunderbird) / Athlon MP ~ 2800+ (Thoroughbred) / Athlon XP ~ 3400+ (Barton) / Athlon XP ~ 2100+ (Palomino) / Athlon XP ~ 2700+ (Thoroughbred) / Duron ~ 1.8 GHz (Morgan) / Sempron ~ 3000+ (K7)
Thermal Resistance: 0.38 °C/W
Thermal Type: Stars-420 white grease (Injection tube)


Test Setup and Results

Test Setup and Method:

Testing will be performed on a Socket A system. The ambient temperature I maintained was kept at 22°C (+/-1°C).  Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound was used in both the Spire VertiCool and a Swiftech MCX462+.  A temperature probe was placed next to the core to measure the heat.  Two instances of CPU Burn-in were opened and set to high priority. The default fan that comes with the VertiCool was taken off and replaced with a Thermaltake SmartFan. This test was conducted to determine how well the heatsink will sustain a high amount of heat as produced by an end user.

Test System Specifications:

  • AMD Athlon XP-Mobile 2.54GHZ (11.5 x 220FSB = 2.54GHZ @ 1.9v BIOS)
  • Abit AN7
  • Kingston Value Ram (KVR400) PC3200 (2.5-3-3-7)
  • Leadtek Geforce FX5950 Ultra
  • TTGI SF-450TS (450W)

The Competition:

  • Swiftech MCX462+ with Thermaltake SmartFan (4800RPM)
  • Spire VertiCool with Thermaltake SmartFan (4800RPM)

Test Procedures:

  • Idling at desktop for 45 minutes
  • Full load with 2 instances of CPU Burn-in for 45 minutes at high priority




Conclusion and Thoughts

Without a doubt, Spire's VertiCool outperforms Swiftech's MCX462+. The awesome performance of heatpipes triumphs again. The VertiCool's small size does not affect it's performance, but it performed far better than expected. With the VertiCool, I was able to add 220MHz to my system and maintain stability at 1.90v. With the Swiftech, I was only able to achieve 2.32GHz stable at ~1.80v. This heatsink was able to squeeze in-between the TTGI 450W power supply and the Northbridge heatsink while still leaving space for efficient airflow. The VertiCool is definitely a better buy for those people still looking to build a Socket A computer. With the VertiCool at about $30, it outperforms the $41 MCX462+. The Spire VertiCool thus receives the InsaneTek recommended award.


  • Extremely well performance
  • Small design leaves sufficient room
  • Heatpipe technology
  • Copper base and aluminum fins
  • Installation is extremely easy
  • Cheap price tag
  • Unique one way air flow design
  • Default fan can be used with slower clocked CPUs for silence


  • Not widely available

We would like to thank Spire for providing us the sample.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit us up in the forums. You can also check out more of our latest reviews on the front page.