Pros: Excellent RGB Color / New software
Cons: Price / Software needs a little work
Thermaltake has embraced RGB and has expanded their water cooling products to make creating custom loops easier than ever. Thermaltake is a company that pursues creativity and offers a variety of goods from peripherals for eSports to their RGB patented Riing design. Today, we will be looking at the Thermaltake Riing Plus RGB fans, which are a new iteration of their last TT Premium Riing design. These new fans sport more RGB lighting profiles and a new software interface for controlling the digital fans. Let's see if the new software and better lighting adds additional value over Riing's previous line of fans.
The specifications are as follows:
P/N CL-F053-PL12SW-A (Fan x3, Controller x1)
Fan Dimension 120 x 120 x 25 mm
Interface USB 2.0 connectors (9 Pin)
System compatibility Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
Fan Started Voltage 9.0 V
Fan Rated Voltage 12 V & 5V
Rated Current Fan 0.15 A (one fan)
Power Input 12V – 5.4 W . 5V – 9.5W (Fan*3)
12V – 9 W . 5V – 14.5W (Fan*5)
Fan Speed 500 ~ 1500 R.P.M
Max. Air Pressure 1.54mm-H2O
Max. Air Flow 48.34 CFM
Noise 24.7 dB-A
Bearing Type Hydraulic Bearing
Life Expectation 40,000 hrs,25℃
Weight 160 g
Why The Riing Plus Fans?
These new fans are very similar to the old Riing RGB fans except that the software is refreshed and the RGB rings themselves have improved. It would be very hard to convince someone who has the old fans to upgrade to the new ones considering the price, but in this particular case, the software improvements are enough for me to suggest that.
The previous software for the Riing fans was plagued with early driver development using open hardware monitor and enhancements over software through Windows 10. There was also issues with the hub not detecting the fans, and this has all recently been fixed through manufacturing and a new software interface. The main thing about the new design is that it allows you to have control over 12 single RGB LEDs and offers a new compression blade design for high static pressure.
The box comes more colorful than ever and sports a new photo of the fan design. The back goes over the product in more detail and also shows off the new look of the software.
You can also open the front of packaging to showcase more detail about the included lighting modes. This particular product contains a set of three fans and everything you need to get started.
The accessories included are as follows:
- 3x TT Riing Plus fans
- PWM digital fan hub
- Power and daisy chain cables
- Adhesive tape with velcro
- Warranty and setup manuals
Thermaltake has combined their patented LED lights to delivers a better RGB experience. The new radiator fans offer high static pressure, 16.8 million colors, 12 single controllable LEDs, and a compression blade design. These fans provide hydraulic bearings with a high volume of airflow, and each fan is digitally PWM controlled over the new RGB Riing software.
I'm also a fan of the new TT logo which to me seems very straightforward and appealing. The old logo was okay, but this new logo appears to fit nicely with their premium product line. I hope they continue to use it with all their products.
The included fans have a product number of TT-1225 and sport the patented LED design. This design offers the 12 controllable LEDs, built-in LED ring and offers 16.8 million colors over RGB control.
The hydraulic bearing self-lubricates with a friction reducing substance, which allows the fans to operate at lower noise levels while improving thermal efficiency. You can expect a long life span of these fans with a low noise profile.
The fans offer a nine fan blade design that was engineered to push out a higher amount of airflow. This unique blade design should provide excellent performance all with a ultra-silent operation.
The corners offer an Anti- Vibration mounting system. Each corner provides vibration reduction and also helps protect the edges of the fans from screws. The cables included on each fan are very long. You will have absolutely no trouble reaching the controller in any modern case I've seen. The best thing about having these long cables is it gives you the freedom to work with daisy chaining multiple fan controllers together. These fans are designed to operate in large cases that support a variety of radiator mounting.
The Digital HUB included can support up to five fans and includes a DIP switch that allows easy control through software. The software can accommodate 16 HUBs where each number can represent a controller that is daisy chained in sequence. The connection of each fan uses 9 pins similar to a motherboard USB 2.0 header.
The controller is low profile and can be mounted in a variety of ways inside your case. I had no problems installing the controller and the three fans behind my motherboard tray.
For testing, I overclocked my CPU to 4.5 GHz and will test noise, cooling, and the RGB settings. The recorded fan speeds and RGB setting will all be tested using Thermaltake's Riing RGB software which can be downloaded from their site here. I used
I used Prime 95 and Aida64 Extreme to test load performance. The load performance will consist of max RPM for fans during stress testing, and temperatures during gaming recorded. Gaming is more of a real world example of what temperatures you can expect. The stress test will push the fans to their loudest point. What's cool about the Thermaltake software is the fans are all digitally controlled via the fan hub including PWM control.
In this particular case, I wanted to test airflow on my test bench with the fans as intake. This will help me determine the maximum cooling performance of these fans because they will be blowing directly over my components. I have two that blow over the GPU and my radiator, and the other over my motherboard and hard drives.
For temperature testing, I will be using two tools. The first tool is an IRT207 infrared thermometer and the second is a very unique instrument called the FLIRONE! This tool is fantastic because it will allow tech enthusiasts and reviewers to show visible results for thermal testing. It is a next generation thermal camera that works with iOS and Android devices. If you want to buy one look here.
Being an open test bench, I will lose some air volume, but by using the Flir thermal imaging tool, I will be able to see any direct cooling advantages from having the fans air path directly over my systems parts.
My test bench is as follows:
- ViewSonic XG2703-GS Monitor
- Motherboard- ASRock z270m Extreme 4
- CPU: Intel Core I7 6700K
- Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB
- Cooler- Cooler Master Master Liquid 240
- Memory- Avexir DDR4 3000 MHz
- Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1060
- Storage- MyDigital SSD BPX 480 GB NVMe x2 RAID 0 Drives (Boot)
- Power Supply- Thermaltake PRO RGB 850W
- OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
- Mouse- Logitech G403 Wireless Gaming Mouse
- Keyboard- Coolermaster MasterLite Keys Keyboard
- Headphones- Logitech G533 7.1 Surround Sound Wireless Headset
The CPU was overclocked to 4.5 GHz using adaptive voltage. I validated the overclock and ran Prime95 for two hours before continuing. I have already validated my overclock with previous coolers, but I do the quick testing to make sure it still passes, and the cooling performance of the new cooler is still sufficient. You can see the Riing fans do ramp up quite a bit, but I can say there is audible noise when at max load, but it's no jet engine! They do a great job with the PWM control through the software.
For noise testing, I used a high gain microphone. I want to explain a few things about noise testing, and this unit in particular.
First: Testing noise levels can be difficult. First, don't expect the same levels even with similar hardware. There are too many differences and variables that go into sound testing. You have to account for background noise and other sounds in the environment.
Second: I am one reviewer, and am not a professional sound studio. I am not testing these items in perfect conditions. I do not have an anechoic sound chamber in my test studio.
The minimal difference here vs. the old set of Riing fans is very minimal like stated before. I wanted to see if any improvements have been made to the overall design of the fans themselves. It looks as if they perform a little better but is considered to only be a marginal difference. The noise level is at a normal conversation point, which is roughly (50dB). There can be a level of variances with noise level testing due to background noise, systems fans, and other parts of your system.
You can see from the thermal imaging above the coolest points are in front of the Riing fans. White is the hottest point, orange is warm, and as you get darker colors it gets cooler. Overall, my system temps during gaming stay around 31°C. During the full stress tests it gets warmer, but not by a lot because the fans are actually pushing more air volume at a higher RPM. I target just below the GPUbecausee there are two fans there and it's sort of a middle point for most of where the heat is generated. The fan above my test bench blows over the CPU cooler, and the two outside fans blow over my GPU. The center is where most of the heat is being thermally exchanged into the air most frequently.
I have to say the new TT Plus software is much better than its predecessor. There were some issues at launch, but Thermaltake did a fantastic job of fixing these problems quickly. You can download the new software here.
Best features of the software:
- Fan Speeds
- RGB Control
- Lighting Modes
The new software offers more control over the 12 individual zones and easy selection of each lighting mode. You can store up to 5 different profiles, and at the top right you can see how many controllers you have connected.
Each fan can individually be turned on/off, and also the software lets you chose the lighting, color, and speed modes. The software allows you to monitor the performance of the fans with adjustments to speed and PWM control. You can select performance or silent operation depending on your needs. I found that you can use those modes simultaneously with performance or silent. If you do this, the high limits will be different. Silent tops off at about 500 RPM, and the Performance selection goes up to 1600 RPM.
Setting PWM worked pretty well. If you're interested in PWM or what that means check here. Basically, PWM allows your fan speed to change dynamically based on temperature. It did ramp up and ramp down like it should. You can curve the fan speeds manually under manual mode; selecting whatever levels your comfortable with.
There are a few cons with this system. The Riing RGB software definitely needs some work but does offer something new to the table when trying to customize your systems color theme. It is also a large jump ahead of the older software with the premium fans. This new Plus software has more options for customization and color modes.
The best part of the Riing fans is the brightness and combination of RGB colors. I also love that you can digitally control the fans even with PWM. I feel they provide excellent cooling, but it does come with a high price tag. For people with the old premium fans, they are continuing to work on fixes for the software, but I would still recommend these new fans because they offer more control over RGB color as well as different effects. The new software improvements are also welcomed and provide an easier interface with fewer issues. You can buy the Riing Plus 12 RGB Radiator Fan TT Premium Edition (3 Fan Pack) on the TT premium store for $109.99.