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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [11.26.01]
Manufactured by: Thermaltake


The Best Just Gets Better

For some reason, video chipset heatsinks don't have a very big market.  It's hard to imagine why; I mean we all overclock our video cards, right? It seems that there is a bigger market for memory heatsinks than there is for video chipsets, and that's just ridiculous (how hot does memory get, really?

I guess there hasn't really been the need for us as consumers anyway, since Thermaltake's original Blue Orb (reviewed here) pretty much blew every other video chipset out of the water...

The only other video chipset heatsink we have looked at in person is the Lasagna Cooler from Tennmax (reviewed here).  While Tennmax's product was slim, and performed quite well, it just didn't have the raw power to beat the cooling performance of the Blue Orb.  Short of putting a CPU heatsink on your video card, not much else will... Until now?

So What's New?

The Crystal Orb improves on the Blue Orb design in a few ways.  First of all, as you can see, it is one sweet looking cooler! Nickel plated, and with a nice fan shroud to get Thermaltake's name across as a high end cooling brand, this is definitely going to catch peoples' attention in a windowed case!

In addition to the nickel plating, there is also a copper base in there.  I am not sure how much copper is there, since it, too, is nickel plated, but it is definitely there, as you can feel it in the weight of the Crystal Orb.  I question the effectiveness of covering the copper up with nickel, however... We all know that the whole idea behind using copper in heatsinks is that it is pretty much one of the most thermally conductive metals that is affordable for everyday use.  By covering it with nickel, you are limited to the thermal conductivity of nickel (which is a LOT lower than Copper).

There's one thing I found to be a very good improvement over the Blue Orb, and it is actually something we mentioned in our original review...

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