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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [02.19.01]
Manufactured by: ThermalTake
Suggested Price: $25 


The Test 

To test the temperatures, we brought the CPU to absolute full load by running the Prime95 Torture Tests for about an hour.  We also measured the idle temp.

The CPU used is an AMD "Blue Core" Thunderbird 750 clocked at 1000 Mhz (1.85 volts).  The computer case is closed, to reproduce an actual environment most people will have at home.  Case temp was around 26-30 degrees at all times.

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

HSF Unit Idle Temp (C/F) 60 Minutes of Prime95 (C/F)
Thermaltake Mini Super Orb 34.0/93 45.0/113
Thermaltake Volcano II 33.0/91 44.0/111
Thermaltake Super Orb 34.0/93 45.0/113
Copper Hedgehog 34.0/93 41.0/107

That's what I was hoping for; all the cooling power of the Super Orb, and it fits on the KT7-RAID no problem! It is still almost half the price of the Hedgehog (look for our Hedgehog Review tomorrow).

A Note About Our Temperature Measuring Method

Please note that the method we use to measure temperatures is not entirely accurate.  Basically, by using the thermistor under the CPU, we are not getting the exact CPU core, and temperatures differences can be off by as much as 10 degrees!

Chances are, though, that if our indirect method of measuring temperatures show a difference in performance, it is really there.  IE the Copper Hedgehog does cool better than the Volcano II.  However, it could be more than 3 degrees, as shown in our tests.

In the future, we will take greater care to make this clear, as well as develop a better method of measuring CPU temperatures.  In the meantime, know that the Super Orb and Volcano II still cool quite well for the price, but are probably further behind the Copper Hedgehog than our tests show.

Thermaltake is releasing this cooler right along with their Volcano II.  I just don't understand that.  The Volcano II is cheaper at most places, it is quieter, and it cools better! The only reason I see people picking a Mini/Original Super Orb over a Volcano II would be for the looks.  Thermaltake is riding the wave of hype created by the original Golden Orb.  How long will it last? I don't know, but they seem to have found their niche, in the cheapo coolers market ;) All the power to them for that, but don't be fooled and think that this will beat out a GlobalWin or Alpha.

DO know that it is quite a bit cheaper than those coolers though.  If price is a bigger issue than cooling performance, Thermaltake is the first place I would recommend.

  • Decent temperature scores
  • Good price
  • Easy to install
  • Good Price/Performance ratio
  • Good clip

  • While it performs well, others still perform better
  • Quite noisy
  • The Volcano II cools better, for a lower price, and is quieter

Final Score: 86%