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Reviewed By: Carl 'lowlight' Nelson [10.20.00]
Manufactured by: ThermalTake
Suggested Price: $15

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Many people had problems with the twist-on clip used by the original Golden Orb for Pentium CPU's... Personally, I found it to be a heck of a lot easier than any other heatsink I had ever used in my entire life, but some people did... I guess they should listen to their Moms and stop playing Quake for a while, and go outside and get some fresh air and exercise...

Nonetheless, Chrome Orb uses a variation on the old standby clip-on technique.  I would have preferred another twist on, but that wasn't going to happen after the cracked Duron nightmares, and the Little Rubber Feet (tm) getting in the way...

Installation is about as easy as clip-ons get... It installs night and tight, and the clip is of very high quality.  This thing isn't gonna break, and I find that pleasantly surprising coming from a ~$15 unit.

One problem that people have had with the Golden Orb, and will continue with this model, is installation on some motherboards.  Some manufacturers place Electrolytic Capacitors too close to the CPU Socket, and get in the way of the Orb.

I have installed this on two motherboard (luckily, the two most common that will be used with this heatsink).  The Asus A7V uses a riser to keep the capacitors out of the way, so there is absolutely no problem there.  On my current board, the Abit K7T RAID, you will have to bend the capacitors slightly, to get the Chrome Orb on, but once installed, there should be no problem.  I just wouldn't want to take it off and put it on too much...

You may have noticed that I said "this model".  That is because ThermalTake is in the process of manufacturing new models of both the Chrome and Golden orb.  The new model will be narrower by about 5 mm, which will be plenty to get it to fit on almost any motherboard out there.

Other Notes

Though I haven't tested it myself, the Chrome Orb might fit on older Celeron chips.. The Golden Orb didn't cover the entire face of the chip, but with the square bottom, it might just work now...

Noise isn't an issue with the Chrome Orb either.  I find Alphas to be pretty loud, and GlobalWin's to be excessively loud.  With the Chrome Orb's 5500 RPM fan, you will hear some humming, it's not like your desktop is situated on an Airport Runway.

The power cable was plenty long enough (the earlier Golden Orbs had shorter cables, but never enough to really cause problems).

Testing, Testing...

To record temperatures, we used the thermoster that Abit installed right under the CPU.  This might not be the most accurate way to record actual CPU temperature, but if used as a common benchmark, it serves its purpose quite well.  I really wish we had more reference heatsinks... The only other cooler we have that will fit on the Socket A platform is the Copper Hedgehog, which is WAY out of Chrome Orb's league (costing almost 4 times as much!).  We hope to get more coolers as time passes.  In fact, ThermalTake's newest cooler, the Super Orb, is headed our way from Taiwan as I write this.

How does it perform?

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