Thermalright is releasing a "heatpipe direct touch" version of its True Spirit 140 heatsink, aptly named the True Spirit 140 Direct. Like the Macho Direct before it, the new heatsink takes an existing design and drops the baseplate to bring its heatpipes into direct contact with the CPU. The cooler includes a 140mm PWM-enabled fan, and mounts up to pretty much every socket that's newer than LGA 775.
In the world of aftermarket tower-style air-coolers, Thermalright's True Spirit occupies a curious niche. As a sort of "slim 140mm" cooler, it's small enough to avoid blocking memory slots or top case fans, yet large enough to cool even overclocked CPUs. The new cooler is some 1/6" shorter than the standard True Spirit 140, which might help it fit into some cases it otherwise wouldn't.
The heatpipe-direct-touch design means that the bottom of the cooler consists of the beveled edges of the five heatpipes mashed up against one another. Perhaps because of this, the 140 Direct is "only" rated for processors up to 200W TDP—a sharp dip from the regular True Spirit's 300W rating. Thermalright is careful to advise builders that applying thermal paste in the typical "pea" style is inappropriate for this cooler, and offers detailed installation instructions.
The fan on the True Spirit 140 Direct is one of Thermalright's TY-140 PWM-enabled models. The company says this particular design is specifically optimized for the new cooler. The fan has a curious shape, and according to Thermalright it has a larger inner diameter than conventional 140mm fans despite accepting mountings for 120mm fans. We're not quite sure exactly what an "Enhanced Hyper-Flow Bearing" is, but Thermalright seems confident in the technology. The company specs them for 50,000 hours between failures on average.
Unfortunately for most gerbils—this writer included—Thermalright hardware can be hard to find on this side of the pond. Thermalright's countrymen at Computerbase.de report that the new cooler will be 38€ (or $41.70) when it hits European stores.