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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [11.05.01]
Manufactured by: ThermalTake
Suggested Price: $??


So, We Meet Again

Before our site took a brief (3 months, ugh) hiatus, we were constantly getting new Thermaltake heatsinks in for review... In fact, almost every single one of our heatsink reviews has been a Thermaltake product! Not that I mind; for the most part they have been great mid-end coolers, and lately they have been more and more geared towards the hardcore overclocking crowd.

As with all our latest Thermaltake reviews, I'll start off with a basic roundup of our experiences with their products:

  • Golden Orb - The original cooler that made Thermaltake famous.  This cooler is all but out-of-date now.  I wouldn't suggest picking one up anymore, but in their time, they were great for the cooler P3 chips, such as the P3 500... Old news now, however.

  • Chrome Orb - As soon as Thermaltake started hearing of people crushing their AMD Durons and Thunderbirds with the Golden Orb, they redesigned it and released it as the Chrome Orb.  It now fits those AMD CPUs, and they also improved on some things.  They put a better fan on it, and it has a smoother surface.  It cools better, and if you want a good middle-end cooler on the cheap, definitely look into a Chrome Orb.

  • Super Orb - Currently the most expensive orb you can get (at $25.. gee).  It is basically a Chrome Orb that is double the size and has two fans, on top of one another.  This makes for a very unique cooler, and it performs quite well for its price.  The two fans make it quite loud however.

  • Blue Orb - This is a great little chipset/video card cooler! Definitely better than the stock heatsink that comes with most video cards.  It comes with everything you need to install it on any video card.  It will even ship on Hercules video cards in the future - Highly recommended! 

  • Volcano II - A bit of an 'unconventional' cooler for Thermaltake, this low-priced heatsink is their best performer yet, and it is VERY quiet!

  • Mini Super Orb - All the power of a Super Orb in a narrow form factor to fit Abit (and other) motherboards!

  • Copper Orb - Not actually 100% copper, this is Thermaltake's one true disappointment.  It didn't cool much better than a Volcano II or Super Orb.  This was a sad entry for Tt into the realm of copper heatsinks... Let's see if they did any better...

  • Dragon Orb 3 - Now this is how you do it! This is what some would say Tt's first true hardcore cooler.  Sporting a huge copper base, and a 7200 RPM fan, this cooler is loud and heavy, but it cools with the best of them!

Something a little different...

Thermaltake first gained peoples' attention with their Orb products.  While admittedly these weren't the highest performing products, they were always of utmost quality, and cooled quite well for their given price.  This was a far cry from other Orb wannabes, and other 'gimmick' coolers that started showing up...

Tt actually always had a 'conventional' cooler with their original "Volcano", but there was nothing at all to set it apart from any other basic HSF unit.  With the Volcano II, they introduced a very quiet, yet somewhat high performing product, but nothing to really get excited about.  Time went by, and I guess Volcanos 1 thru 5 came and went (I don't know, I never got one), then came the Volcano 6Cu series.  We actually have a couple of these, but I haven't been able to test them since I lost me only thermal probe (read why we insist on using these later in the review).  Luckily I found the probe just as the Volcano 7 was announced! I'll certainly get to the 6Cu and 6Cu+, as they were worth looking at (the + is anyway), but for now I have to get to the Volcano 7...

VERY different!

As with most of their coolers, Thermaltake had to offer something that sets them apart from the crowd.  Anyone can slap an 80mm fan on a fat heatsink and call it a day, but Thermaltake went one step further... A giant leap for overclocking kind. :)

See that little green thing attached to the fan on the bottom? That is a thermal sensor.  That's right, this is the world's smartest HSF!

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