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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [10.25.00]
Manufactured by: ThermalTake
Suggested Price: $13


The Test 

To test the temperatures, we used a GeForce 2 GTS (The Elsa Gladiac - reviewed here).  We ran the Unreal Tournament timedemo until the chip got nice and hot.  It was not overclocked, however.  Before running UT, we quickly measured the idle temperature.

We placed a Thermal Probe as close to the chipset as possible.  Yes, I know this doesn't actually reflect the actual temperature of the chip, but people are so damn anal about that.  We are just using temperatures for comparison purposes only.

I'll put in some Fahrenheit numbers as well, since a lot of our readers are still stuck in the 70's ;)

HSF Unit Idle Temp (C/F) Unreal Tournament (C/F)
Thermaltake Blue Orb 27/80 35/95
Tennmax Lasagna "B" 31/87 41/105
Stock Heatsink, glued on 33/91 45/113

So even though the Blue Orb didn't cover the entire graphics chipset, it still cooled admirably well.  The Tennmax only cooled slightly better than the stock heatsink, but it isn't blocking any PCI slots.  It should be interesting to see how the new model performs (look for a preview very soon).

I was overall very happy with the Blue Orb, as a video card cooler.  I was not so happy about my failed attempts at installing it on 2 popular motherboards, but I think most people will be getting these for their video cards anyway.

Even if you can't use the pegs and thermal paste for the best installation, you can use the thermal tape that comes with it, ensuring that it will likely fit on any video card out there.

I wasn't thrilled about the fact that it didn't cover the entire GeForce 2 chip, but hey, when you look at the numbers, it's hard to be that disappointed!

My feeling is, if you are going to overclock your video card, cooling it may get you just a little bit further.  If you can afford to give up a PCI slot, I'd have to say there is no better choice than the Blue Orb!

  • Very good temperature scores
  • Good price
  • Looks cool
  • Fits on virtually ANY video card, with use of thermal tape (included)
  • Includes thermal paste and 4 pin adapter
  • Quiet enough

  • Blocks off a PCI slot
  • Doesn't cover the entire chipset!
  • Won't fit on all motherboard chipsets

Final Score: 90%