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


The ONE thing they did better...

As you can see, the bottom of the Blue Orb doesn't have enough surface area to completely cover most chipsets.  While the Blue Orb performed better than any other video chipset I've seen, you just know there's room for improvement.  This is the one reason I was looking forward to seeing a new version.

They didn't get it perfect, unfortunately.  As you can see, there are 3 holes on the bottom of the heatsink (meant to hold the fan down).  I am not sure how much of an impact this will make on performance, but just knowing that you're not getting the most out of your heatsink is kind of disappointing.

The Crystal Orb is pretty much the exact same as the Blue Orb in every other way.  They both use 5500 RPM fans, making for 12.4 CFM of air flow.  They are both 25mm in height, which WILL block off the PCI slot directly below the AGP slot.  Basically this is a revised replacement for the Blue Orb, not really much of a step up.

What Does it Come With

The Retail Crystal Orb comes in an attractive package (a picture of which I lost in a hard drive crash, and the package has since been thrown in the garbage; sorry).  In the package you'll find everything you need to get the Crystal Orb working on pretty much any chipset application you can think of.

Thermaltake designed the peg placement to NVIDIA's reference specs, so it should work with most GeForce video cards.  Those with other cards, such as ATI's Radeon lineup (ATI still glue their heatsinks on for some odd reason), will be left having to use the thermal tape included in the package.  This is a one-time application.  After you use your tape, you're going to have to find another way to stick the Crystal Orb onto your next video card, if it doesn't have proper peg placement.

Also included in the package is a 3-to-4 pin Molex adaptor, if you don't have a 3 pin header available on your motherboard (nobody puts enough of those on their motherboards!).  If you use this adapter, you'll be missing out on RPM monitoring, however.

There's not much else I can bring up about a video chipset cooler, so let's just cut to the chase and get to the cooling performance test results...

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