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Reviewed by: Ed Lau [03.08.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson

Manufactured by: Thermaltake
Est. Street Price: $40

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It seems as though there's no stopping Thermaltake.  Their plans for world domination have included hardCOREware favorites like the Xaser II, Xaser III, Volcano 9 and their expansion into the world of water cooling and phase change cooling.  It seems to me that there is just about nothing these guys can't do.

It's been over 6 months since I looked at their last cooling product for a AMD processor however and since then, there have been products released that have simply raised the bar such as Vantec's Aeroflow and Coolermaster's X-Dream (which was given away in hardCOREware's D2OL contests!  Congratulations wilcox!) 

When I reviewed the Volcano 9 in late August, I was impressed that Thermaltake had listened to our feedback and made appropriate changes to the excellent Volcano 7.  Will Thermaltake improve upon the Volcano line and produce another winner in the Volcano 11?


Can Someone Figure Out The Naming Scheme For Me?

Why was there no Volcano 10?  Thermaltake has got to explain this to me one day.


The latest in the Volcano line features a lot of very thin fins soldered onto a copper block.  Most full copper heatsinks use the much improved skivving process, so it's disappointing that Thermaltake would continue with soldering.  Maybe once the new products start to arrive out of their new plant in China, we'll start seeing some improved manufacturing (they have been outsourcing manufacturing up to this point).


However, other than that, the rest of the improvements are purely skin-deep. 


Thermaltake has realized how ghetto running that tiny little disc out the back of your case through an open PCI slot cover is.  As a replacement, they've fashioned a great looking PCI slot plate with the knob.  With its gold bling-blingin' color and Thermaltake min./max. graphics, it's certainly eye-catching.

Too bad it's in a PCI slot where no one can see it.  Doh!

The fan spins just like the Smart Fan II that you've seen on the Volcano 9. 1300rpm/20.55CFM/17dB at low speed, 4800rpm/75.70CFM/48dB at high.  It has a temperature sensor which adjusts the speed automatically according to the temperature.  It works exactly the same as with the Volcano 9 and I, for one, do not like this mode and did not use it.  I suggest you follow suit.


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