RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

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


Testing Method

Testing was done on a Leadtek GeForce 2 Pro, running a 3dMark 2001 demo loop in 1280x1024.  The loop was run until the temperature stopped increasing.

Max temperatures were read with a flat Thermistor placed directly next to the GPU.  Arctic Silver heatsink paste was used in all applications.

We put the Crystal and Blue Orbs up against the stock Leadtek cooler, which is actually quite a bit bigger than most GeForce card coolers around... Here's a look at it from our GeForce 2 Review:

I would have liked to use Leadtek's onboard Thermistor, but their temperature reading software does not work in Windows XP, and I am not sure how to get it to work with other software such as Motherboard Monitor...

The Results Are In!

Just as I thought, the Crystal Orb is more of an update than an upgrade, and it shows in testing results.  Note that it does cool a little better than the Blue Orb, and they both make a notable improvement over the stock heatsink.

If you want to take your video card to a higher level, there's no doubt that the Crystal Orb will help you get there.  It offers a high end cooling solution, without being ridiculous, such as using a CPU heatsink and blocking off 3 or 4 PCI slots.  While it does block off a single PCI slot, chances are you have some to spare.

While it isn't a huge improvement over the Blue Orb, I think it might be worth waiting for this if you are looking into a video chipset cooler.  It shouldn't be too much more than a Blue Orb (which goes for around $13 or so), and it most certainly LOOKS better, and that is saying a lot.  Judging by some of the PC's in our "SHOW OFF YOUR RIG" Gallery, looks is a major factor in choosing a cooling product.  And hey, this will match up perfectly with that Volcano 7 you've been eying ;)

  • Looks great!
  • Probably the best video chipset cooler around right now
  • Will work on pretty much every application you can think of

  • Not that big of an improvement over the Blue Orb
  • Why would they cover their copper with nickel plating?
  • Only comes with one application of thermal tape.

Final Score: 90%