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3D Spotlight : Hardware : Tennmax Detonator Cooler review


Tennmax Detonator Cooler review
Posted by Adam Klein on September 02, 1999
Company: Tennmax      Product: Detonator TNT Cooler

Cooling your video card to be able to get better performance hasnít been done a lot until recently, when video cards have gone past 100MHz. In the past, you were lucky to get 95MHz from the 90MHz default clocked Voodoo 2. That was only 1 and Ĺ years ago. Today, you can get over 210MHz from a 183MHz default clocked Voodoo 3 3500 and having a TNT2 Ultra running at 175MHz core and 215MHz memory from 150MHz core and 183MHz is attainable, but there is one thing you need. In steps TennMax with their cooling solutions.

I wanted to review the TennMax TNT Detonator to see if the efficiency the slim aluminum design was all that it was hyped up to be. Was it what I expected, or was it lacking something? The answer to both these questions is yes. In the following review you will see what I am talking about.

Initial Impressions

Seeing the TNT Detonator pictured in other reviews made me eager to try this unique cooler out. The thing that makes this cooler unique is the thin layer of metal placed on the side for air to pass though and cool. The fan inside the center of the heatsink pushes the air onto the thin layers of metal. The entire unit is light and may feel underpowered, but like I said before, efficiency is the key to a good heatsink and fan combo. When I first saw the unit with a thermal pad on the bottom of it, I thought to myself, if TennMax can make a cooler of this quality then surly the thermal pad is a good idea also. The power connection is made to go straight to a power lead from the power supple rather than the fan connection of the TNT2 board. In my case, I have the Creative Labs unit, which does have a fan connection, but I suppose it would be hard for a cooler made for many TNT2 cards to run from just a single board.


The TennMax TNT Detonator cooler is probably the easiest heatsink and fan combo to install. The hardest part of the whole process may be to get the original heatsink or heatsink and fan structure off. You donít want to twist the original heatsink off.

A simple way to remove it is to place the dull side of a butter knife under the edge of the heatsink and turn your wrist so the knife move in a 45 degree angle and pops off the heatsink. After that, you will see glue still on the chip. Donít leave it there, as it will make the heatsink a lot less efficient. You should take a sharp knife and evenly scrap the old heatsink glue off. Once youíre done with that you can install the TennMax cooler.

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