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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [04.10.01]
Manufactured by: ThermalTake
Suggested Price: $??


The Test 

To test the temperatures, we brought the CPU to absolute full load by running the Prime95 Torture Tests for about an hour.  I'm not going to bother you with Idle Temp scores any longer, they are pretty much irrelevant if you have the stress temps.

NEW! From now on we will give you Noise Level results! For me, noise is very important in picking a CPU cooler, and now I have a standardized way to test this.  We use a regular old Radio Shack Noise Level Meter, and hold is 1 inch from the top of the cooler (so no air is blowing on the microphone).  Note that the noise level given WILL include that of the case and any other surrounding noise, but our tests will serve as a means to compare noise levels of the coolers we review from now on.

The CPU used is an AMD Duron 750 clocked at 950 Mhz (1.85 volts).  The computer case is closed, to reproduce an actual environment most people will have at home.  Case temp was around 30 degrees at all times.  You might want to read up on our testing method below, we use a new HIGHLY ACCURATE method of measuring CPU core temperatures.

HSF Unit Noise Level (Db) 60 Minutes of Prime95 (C)
Thermaltake Volcano II 70.5 52
Thermaltake Mini Copper Orb 72 53
Thermaltake Mini Super Orb 77 56
Stock Heatsink 65 57

Unfortunately, the only heatsinks we have around here are Thermaltake products... Well that isn't such a bad thing in itself, except it makes it a bit hard for comparison purposes.  I'd love to have a Globalwin or something in there, just to put some variety in our benchmarks...

Oh well, you'll see that the Mini Copper Orb doesn't quite perform as well as the venerable Volcano II.  That is too bad, since the Volcano II is also quieter and likely much cheaper.  Maybe we'll have another look at these heatsinks when the 1.5's come out...

A Note About Our Temperature Measuring Method

We have started using a new method of temperature reading that is MUCH more accurate than the 'lazy' way of doing it (the way we used to do it, and the way most review sites do it now).  The 'lazy' way would be to simply use the pre-installed thermistor that many motherboards have installed below the CPU.  This is actually a very inaccurate method of reading core temperatures.  Rather than go into full detail of this, I'll point you to a site that has excellent documentation on this matter.  Needless to say, this is the method we'll be using from now on, if testing in-house.

And here is the 'right' way to do it.  This will get us the most accurate core CPU temperature readings, and will present a better way to compare heatsink performance.  Let's make sure other sites start doing the same!

The numbers don't lie folks.  The Mini Copper Orb sits somewhere between "blah" and "uhh".  It has a nice feel to it, and it looks REALLY cool, but it just doesn't have the "Oomph" we would like to see from a "Highest Performance" cooler from Thermaltake.  I was expecting their first high-end CPU cooler, but this just isn't it.

I wish Thermaltake would have skipped this one and went right to a Super Copper Orb.  We just don't need 3 coolers from them that all perform about the same but vary in price.  I guess we'll see what happens when the hotter CPU's come out.  By the way, I also tested it against the Volcano II on my personal 1 Ghz system, and the results were the same.  Too bad.

  • Good temperature scores
  • Easy to install
  • Innovative clip design, have it both ways!

  • While it performs well, others still perform better
  • Weight can be an issue
  • Where is the Super Copper Orb???

Final Score: 78%