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Reviewed By: Brad Phau [02.20.01]
Manufactured by: Kanie
Suggested Price: $50 


You Know What You Doing!

I was having a conversation with a friend a while back about how his new system is going to "kick so much ass." I told him that I'd help him put it together and tweak it out. He's more or less an average user, upgrading his ancient Pentium II 350 system to something that can accommodate 3D games
and modern everyday applications. The man's a smart guy, but he's more of a newbie when it comes to hardware. I brought him up to speed on overclocking and various other performance related things, so I figured that with my guidance his new system would be a sweet rig. After this conversation he got excited and mentioned that he was hoping to push his T-Bird 850 up to a GigaHertz and everything was going to be sweet. I nodded and replied that it was possible that he might be able to get that CPU to go even a little faster than that with proper cooling.

The Sales Pitch

After a lot of surfing around and looking for the best prices on the net, his components were ordered and on their way. Everything arrived as it should except for one very important thing: a heatsink for the CPU. The following conversation ensued:

"You mean I need to put something on this thing before it will run?" Motioning toward the processor. "Well, if you want to see how fast it will burn up, go right ahead. Otherwise, your going to have to find a heatsink for it. We COULD try, though it will probably burn up in around 5 seconds. You don't want that." I replied.
"Can't we just put a fan on it?"
"Uh... no."

This conversation went on for a while, and at last he realized what a heatsink is, and what it does. I breathed a sigh of relief.

After pointing out that he needed to find a Socket A heatsink, he did a little research of his own at a favorite hardware site and found the infamous Thermaltake Chrome Orb (reviewed here). "Is this any good?" he asked. "Yeah, it's ok, but you'll need something a little better to hit a Gig." I replied. "How come?" Because the faster you clock the CPU, the more voltage it may need, the hotter it runs, and the need for adequate heat dissipation comes into play." I explained. "Yeah but I don't want to spend that much on just a heatsink."

I left the decision up to him and soon his Chrome Orb arrived and he wanted me to install it. Luckily he went out of town so I could do the pencil trick and do some of my own overclocking tests. Well, lets just say that the orb is a very economy friendly CPU cooler, but when it comes to pushing your CPU to it's limits, it's not going to do the job. Being the shifty little rat I am, I had the Kanie (pronounced "kah-nee-eh", a Japanese name) Copper Hedgehog on hand to see how she benches.

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