Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct – Test and Review

These days Thermalright TRUE Spirit series can be recognized as an iconic series which has been constantly expanded for the past 10-15 years and always completed with high tech models with innovative features and most of all reliable performance. Back in 2014 I was lucky enough to receive for test and review the previous model Thermalrigh TRUE Spirit 140 Power, which was an outstanding performer and for that reason I am really excited to check what the new version – TRUE Spirit 140 Direct has to offer and how it will perform with my power hungry AMD Vishera FX8350 processor.

To perform this test and review I received Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct, which is a pretty sleek and very promising looking product, so let’s proceed with the article by opening the carton package and checking the content inside of it. After that I am going to pay attention to the features of the product and of course run some cooling stress tests.

 The back side of the box Sneak a peak inside the package


On the front panel of the typical for the company pretty tight carton box we can find a big picture of the cooler itself and the model name on top of a black background. On the other black sides of the box we can see additional pictures of the cooler, while the full technical specification is included on the back red side of the box.

The carton package looks pretty nice and very aggressive but let’s open it and check what is inside.

The first thing to spot after I reached the interior of the package for the first time was the installation manual plus additional Ryzen related leaflet on top of two vertical styrofoam sheets on each side of the heat sink. Inside the space between the styrofoam sheets and the cartoon box there were the fan and the additional small white carton box holding the additional accessories on each side of the cooler.

Let’s leave the package aside for now and proceed the article with checking the contents placed inside.

I believe it is time to put the cooler, manuals and the carton box aside and check the content inside the white carton box holding the additional accessories.


Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES

Since this is a product part of the Thermalright’s portfolio the quality of the additional accessories is maintained high and they were thoughtfully packed in separate nylon bags according to their purpose.

After I took all of the accessories out of their packages and arranged them for taking shots, this is the view I got.

The standard Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct additional accessories pack includes:

  1. Very solid black metal back plate required for all of the Intel and AMD sockets
  2. A semi-transparent white isolation pad to protect the motherboard from short circuits with the metal back plate
  3. Silver metal square front plate required for all of the Intel and AMD sockets
  4. 4 x Nut thumbscrews with rubber dampers for all of the sockets
  5. 4 x LGA2011 Type B thumbscrew pillars
  6. 5 x M3 L8 screws (one is spare)
  7. 3 x M3 L7 screws (one is spare)
  8. 5 x M3 L6 screws (one is spare)
  9. 4 x fan clips for installing up to two fans in push-pull setup
  10. 4 x AMD back plate washers
  11. 4 x Intel back plate washers
  12. 8 x anti-vibration tubes for installing up to two 140mm fans
  13. Plastic back plate cap needed for AMD sockets
  14. Chill factor thermal compound
  15. An installation manual

By checking all of the accessories, part of the really extensive accessories pack delivered with the cooler, I can say that even though this is a model for people on a tight budget there are absolutely no compromises. The cooler is supplied with really solid, very high quality and most of all really reliable mounting kit. The only thing that was removed from the kit is the Philips screwdriver.

Enough about the additional accessories, so let’s put them aside until they are required for the actual heat sink installation and the following testing.


Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct HEAT SINK STRUCTURE

To deliver the best possible and the most accurate review I spent quite some time examining the cooler’s structure which includes a heat sink formed as a pretty sleek single tower, a single TY-140 Black PWM cooling fan and the very solid mounting system provided by the company.

The heat sink itself is with dimensions of 161 mm(Height) x 42 mm(Deep) x 140mm(Width) and weight of 500 grams without the fan. Of course, when the TY-140 Black PWM is installed the overall dimensions of the cooler gets slightly bigger and are 161 mm(Height) x 68.5 mm(Deep) x 152mm(Width) and weight of 760 grams.

In addition, with or without the fan the widest part of the heat sink remains the top side of the contact plate with dimensions of 77 mm, which is actually also a mounting bar to be used when the heat sink is connected with the other part of the mounting kit.

I believe it is time to check the contact plate structure.

 The Heat Pipe Direct Touch contact plate  Side view


Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct is equipped with T-shaped aluminum contact plate which is formed of two section. The top segment is with dimensions of 77 mm(Deep) x 40mm(Width) and is acting as a cross bar, while the bottom section is almost square with dimensions of 39.7mm(Deep) x 40mm(Width) and it is actually forming the contact surface. On the bottom of the contact surface there are 5 x Ø6mm symmetrical according to the center of the cooler nickel coated copper heat pipes aligned according to the company’s patented convex form design, which are intentionally not ground flat. A feature which gives the True Spirit 140 Direct an amazing cooling performance for a HDT cooler.

Also the HDT structure reduces the installation height of the cooler so it will also fit in cases where the “normal” True Spirit 140 BW Rev. A is too high.

The quality of the product is also stated with a Thermalright sticker on top of the crossbar.

So let’s proceed the article with checking heat dissipation part of the cooler, which is actually the aluminum fins stack.

Top view  Front view


TRUE Spirit 140 Direct offers a symmetrical to the center of the cooler single tower heat sink featuring counted from bottom to top of the fins stack:

  • 1 x full aluminum fin with dimensions of 42 mm(Deep) x 140mm(Width) and thickness of 0.4mm
  • 6 x aluminum fin with dimensions of 42 mm(Deep) x 140mm(Width) and thickness of 0.4mm featuring cuts on each side, which will hold the rubber dampening tubes to absorb the fans vibrations
  • 34 x full aluminum fins with dimensions of 42 mm(Deep) x 140mm(Width) and thickness of 0.4mm
  • 6 x aluminum fin with dimensions of 42 mm(Deep) x 140mm(Width) and thickness of 0.4mm featuring cuts on each side, which will hold the rubber dampening tubes to absorb the fans vibrations
  • 1 x full aluminum fin with dimensions of 42 mm(Deep) x 140mm(Width) and thickness of 0.4mm

All of the aluminum fins are with 2.2mm gap and are perforated so they act against the heat buildup between the individual lamellae layers and to boost the temperature reduction efficiency. And as you can see from the pictures so far, the top fin is also aesthetic to improve the appearance of the product itself.

In addition to that, the heat sink itself is compatible with up to two 152 x 140 mm fans which should be attached with the provided in the package 4 x metal brackets and 8 rubber noise reduction tubes.

I believe the time to check what the included in the package fan has to offer.

Thermaright equipped the heat sink with just one especially optimized TY-140 PWM cooling fan entirely in black matte colours with dimensions of 152 x 140 x 26,5 mm and 125 x 125mm screw hole pattern. The fan itself features a pretty solid octagon frame and propeller with 9 pretty wide and at the same time not very sharply angled blades working at 300 – 1.300 revolutions per minute range, with operational voltage range of 6 – 13 V, providing airflow level of range of 28,7 – 125 m³/h, with static air pressure of 0.08 ~ 1.56 mmH²O at noise level range of 15 – 21 dB(A).

The connection between the propeller and the frame is done by а 4-pin PWM powered and regulated Enhanced Hyper-Flow Bearing to deliver stable, long life operation and of course really quiet operation.

To perform its cooling duties the fan should be attached on the front of the heat sink via the 2 metal brackets provided in the package.

The fan brackets The fan installed


To do so I had first to install 4 rubber tubes in the designated cuts on the front of the heat sink and to add the 2 metal clips to the heat sink’s pre-drilled holes and after that attach the fan to the front side of the heat sink.

The guys from Thermalright also included a second pair of metal clips and 4 rubber tubes, so if anybody decides to, a second fan for maximum cooling performance could be installed on the back side of heat sink in push-pull setup.

With the fully assembled cooler, let’s pay attention the mounting kit and proceed with the tests.

According to the official technical details, the cooler is compatible with:

  1. Intel sockets: Intel® LGA 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1156 / 1155 / 1151 / 1150 / 775 socket
  2. AMD sockets: AMD® AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 socket

In addition, the cooler is equipped with mounting material for the new AMD AM4 Ryzen processors and can be mounted on the new Intel LGA 2066 processors. The installation is simple and self-explanatory – and illustrated inside the included additional Ryzen manual.

Of course, for doing the tests with my AMD FX8350 rig, which is AM3+ socket I will use the already provided in the package AMD brackets and these are the parts needed so the cooler can be installed on the motherboard.

As always when dealing with products from Thermalright the first thing to do is to prepare the back plate. Of course, first thing to do was to add the semi-transparent isolation pad for avoiding short circuit with the motherboard, the bolts which will be used to hold the back plate to the motherboard and the four AMD plastic washers. And the last step before I attach the back plate to the motherboard is to add the plastic back plate cap needed for AMD sockets.

To attach the ready back plate I had to add it on the back of the motherboard and fasten it with the 4 nut screws with rubber dampers and fasten them by hand.

And the final step before installing the cooler is to add the front metal plate to the motherboard and fasten it with four small bolts.

And here I would like to underline something which is really important!

 The thermal compound should be applied as a thin layer and the preferred by many users “pea” method is not practical for this cooler because of the deep gap between the heat pipes.


And this is what this massive CPU cooler looks like installed on the motherboard:

 Heat sink seen from the front Heat sink seen from the side


As you can see from the pictures above, with the heat sink installed on the motherboard the cooler is not blocking any of the DRAM slots and can be used even with memories with taller heat spreaders.

And this is what the cooler looks like installed on the motherboard and inside the case ready for testing.

Since the CPU cooler is already installed on the motherboard and back inside the case and I believe I should proceed with testing its cooling capabilities.

But first, let’s check my testing rig and continue the article.


Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct TESTS

CPU: AMD Vishera FX-8350

  1. At standard frequency 4.020 MHz (at 1.356V)
  2. At low overclock frequency of 4.220 MHz  (at 1.392V)
  3. At medium overclock frequency of 4.420 MHz (at 1.428V)

Motherboard: GigaByte 990FXA-UD3

Video card: 2 x Gigabyte GV-R927XOC-2GD

Memory: 2 x 4GB Geil Black Dragon 1866 MHz

Hard drive: Kingston SSD SV100S264G

Hard drive:  WD Server Edition WD1002F9YZ 1TB

Case: SilverStone Raven RV-03

Power supply: Antec HCP-750W

Cooler: Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct

Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound

The tests will be conducted in a closed system with:

  1. 2 x SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans on the bottom panel of the case putting fresh air in and spinning at about 1200 rpm
  2. 120mm fan behind the motherboard cooling the socket and spinning at about 1000 rpm.
  3. Room temperature of about 21 degrees.

Both SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans were connected together to the chassis 1 connector and were rotating at maximum speed.

And here I want to describe my testing method.

I will install Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct and do stress tests using Prime95 AVX software with constant load on the AIO for 14:30 minutes with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 4.020 GHz (at 1.356V), at low overclock frequency of 4.220 GHz (at 1.392V) and at medium overclock frequency of 4.420 GHz (at 1.428V) using the TY-140 fan installed on the front of the heat sink, rotating at maximum speed of 1300 revolutions per minute.

Now let’s check out the test results:

TRUE Spirit 140 Direct @4020MHz 1.356V TRUE Spirit 140 Direct @4220MHz 1.392V
TRUE Spirit 140 Direct @4420MHz 1.428V  


All of the test results have been summed up in the following charts:

And the fan speed during the tests:

I am 100% sure the time for conclusions has arrived.


Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct CONCLUSIONS

1. Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct performance:

Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct is a cooler, which I’ve been very excited about and really eager to test and review since I still believe its ancestor True Spirit 140 Power is one of, if not the best single tower cooler on the market. And there is no doubt that I find the new model also a pretty serious product, especially for people on a tight budget.

To reach this conclusion section of the article I really spent a lot of time with opening the package, examining the cooler’s and fan structure and last but not least enjoying the amazing accessories pack and I find this time very well spent.

The cooler itself is with a bit tinier dimensions, less and thinner heat pipes than True Spirit 140 Power and still it is capable to provide very promising cooling results and maintain my processor running cool, stable and very quiet through all of the tests I usually perform. According to what I saw, I believe this cooler is a very good choice to work with low, average and high grade processors working at normal and even overclocked frequencies without any doubt. On the other hand for the overclocked extreme processors the fan is not fast enough and the pipes are not thick enough or in the right quantity. But for this there is True Spirit 140 Power.

Anyway through the tests the fan was working at full speed and was really quiet and after the tests when I set it to be PWM powered and regulated it was running at very low speed range and was impossible to be heard. Of course, when there was a serious CPU load the motherboard was increasing the speed for a few seconds, but still the TY-140 was dead silent.

And to be honest since this CPU cooler is rated as a budget product I was expecting worse performance and after the test results were summed up I was pleasantly surprised and overall pretty satisfied with what this model can achieve.

2. Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct appearance:

Regarding the appearance there isn’t really much to say. This cooler is shaped with the typical for the company black/silver matte colour scheme, which remains neutral and very stylish inside every modern rig with internal black coated middle or full tower case. Yet with its dimensions and structure it is a real eye catcher and will definitely attract the attention.

According to my review, I think that Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct deserves the following award:

Official price (MSRP) for Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct: unknown

Official warranty: 24 months

I thank Thermalright for the test sample.


Thermalright TRUE Spirit 140 Direct – Test and Review
9.8 Total Score
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Dobrin Krastev is the owner, reviewer and newsman of with more than 15 years' experience in personal computers, server and storage systems, UPS, peripheral devices and software. Passionate about testing and reviewing, AMD overclocking using AM3 990FXA and AMD FM2 A85X test systems and building modding projects.
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