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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [11.04.00]
Manufactured by: ThermalTake
Suggested Price: $25



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 pretty much every 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, like the Chrome Orb, the Super 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, unlike other, more expensive coolers with cheap-ass clips *cough*GlobalWin*cough*...

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

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...

Some people would be more comfortable with modifying the cooler itself, rather than bending capacitors.  If that is the case, you have a few options.  One is to bend a couple of the fins right away.  This would be the 'fast and easy cheap ass' approach.  You could also file some fins at the bottom with a Dremel or a regular file.  This way looks quite better... The choice is yours.. I found it easy enough to shuffle the capacitors out of the way.

ThermalTake is in the process of manufacturing new models of both the Chrome and Golden Orbs.  The new models will be narrower by about 5 mm, which will be plenty to get it to fit on almost any motherboard out there.  There are no plans for a narrow version of the Super Orb.

Other Notes

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

The power cables were plenty long enough (the earlier Golden Orbs had shorter cables, but never enough to really cause problems).  Some motherboards only have one 3-pin power connector though, so ThermalTake, in its infinite awareness, supplies a 3-pin-to-4-pin power connector, so you can get both fans up and running.  You won't be able to check the fan speed, though (darn...).

Let's give you some performance numbers... I am happy to report that I am writing this review with the Athlon clocked at 1 Ghz.  Yes, the Super Orb can do what the Chrome Orb couldn't.  This in itself is probably the best thing about the Super Orb.

Want the Super Orb for free? How about an entire PC to go with it? Yes, we are giving away the 1 Ghz Athlon, now that we can confirm it as stable under 1 Ghz! The PC we're giving away for November also includes a GeForce 2 GTS, and a Pioneer slot-load DVDROM! You can enter EVERY DAY until the drawing, so get over to our contest page and do so now!  

You might want to see how the Super Orb performs against other, higher priced coolers first though...

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