Thermaltake Schooner Review 4

Thermaltake Schooner Review



Our sample was provided by MadMoxx. Thank you.

From the manufacturer Thermaltake:
  • High performance fanless GPU cooler, 0dB cooling solution, reduce total system noise
  • No cooling fan is required, stay cool without suffering the fan noise
  • Much better heat dissipation is delivered by larger heat sink surface
  • Internal and external heatpipe modules dissipate the heat efficiently.
  • Universal clip for both nVIDIA and Ati
Heatsink MaterialAluminum
Dissipation AreaMain front heatsink: 1159cm²
Main back heatsink: 446cm²
External heatpipe module: 516cm²
HeatpipeInternal: 5mm x 2 and copper base
External: 5mm x 2 and copper fins
Compatible with Both nVIDIA / ATi video cards for AGP or PCI Express

Thermaltake has been creative - the Schooner is the first VGA cooler which uses a heatpipe to transport heat to the outside of the case.

By the way, a "schooner" is a sailing ship with at least two masts - usually a big one and a second smaller one. Schooners were first used by the Dutch in the 16th and 17th century.

This is how it works:
The GPU is located under the front heatsink (1). Some heat is dissipated there.
Part of the heat is transferred to the backside heatsink using two heatpipes (2).
The remaining heat is transferred to the external heatsink via another two heatpipes (3).


Box contents:
  • Front and Back Heatsink
  • Front and Back Heatsink Base
  • Two clip plates
  • Instruction Manual
  • Internal Heatpipe Module
  • External Heatpipe Module
  • Thermal Paste
  • Three screw packages A, B and C

The base finish is slightly concave and from production, there are some milling marks visible. The 'knife test' shows a good amount of light shining through near the edges. Our contact test later will confirm that.


The installation process is long and tiresome. However, the manual is good and tells you exactly where each part has to go. The big number of screws adds a bit of confusion.

Getting the heatsink base attached without moving it around in the next steps is close to impossible. There must be better ways to get this done, as other manufacturers' products show.

I noticed here, that the screw holes do not perfectly align. If you completely screw down each screw, the third or fourth will not fit. You have to put all four screws in the holes and screw them down just a little bit so that they are in the thread, but the heatsink can still move. When all four screws are installed you can screw them down without further problems.

On some other products there is a chance that you can break your video card or the cooler by overtightening a screw. I tried very hard to do this with the Schooner, but it's not possible.

The whole construction is fixed to the video card very well. I'm still a bit afraid, what will happen, if you move the case to a LAN party and someone accidentially hits the cooler sticking out of your case.

Getting the outside heatsink through the case was not easy, because the hole in my case (4 years old) is 11.9mm high and the heatsink is 11.9 as well. Lucky that the heatsink's copper fins are soft and can be bent a little bit, so it just fits through.

Another space issue is the northbridge cooler of my Abit IC7. As you can see, one screw of the cooler makes contact with the northbridge cooler. This is not that much of an issue, because the card still fits snug into the AGP socket.

On the edge of the external heatsink there are some sharp copper flashes which seem to be remains of the manufacturing process.

With just a little bit more planning/testing, all those issues could have been easily avoided by Thermaltake.
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