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Reviewed By: Ed Lau [08.22.02]
Edited By: Carl Nelson
Manufactured By: Thermaltake

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Other Improvements

Aside from the sensor design on the V9's smart-fan, the airflow and RPM range has also been improved upon. If you thought the 2900rpm of the V7 was quiet, I'm sure you'll find the 1300rpm of the V9 dead silent. At 1300rpm, the A1357 still moves 20.55CFM and 75.7CFM at the max setting of 4800rpm.

Installation, as usual, is a breeze with Tt screwdriver clips, which are solid and easy to use, unlike the abominations from Global Win. We already love these clips but Thermaltake has improved on the design further, expanding the clip to attach to all three points on CPU socket. Some people may find this more frustrating but if you know how to use the previous clip design, you should have little trouble with this one.  The CoolMod version even improves upon the regular V9 by adding side brackets to the screwdriver slot, to help hold things in place.  Earlier revisions of the V9 had just a single bracket.


Anyone that knows me knows I'm big on looks when it comes to hardware. Hell, I originally didn't want the MSI GF4 Ti4200 simply because it was red and didn't match very well with my GA-7VRXP. (Don't get me started on that mobo, needless to say, I switched it for a MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU, which matches with the MSI Ti4200 perfectly.)

At first, I didn't like the look of the V9. The strange orange that Tt selected for the smart fan REALLY doesn't match anything. It might if it was either lighter or darker but half-pastel orange is kind of weird.  It will definitely stand out in your case as a Thermaltake product however, and I guess that was their goal.

Then the CoolMod version came along.  The only thing it replaces on the V9 is the grille (and the clip, as shown above), so performance should be identical on both.  The CoolMod grille has 4 LED's that connect to the Power LED and HDD LED outputs on your motherboard.  When your PC is on, 2 LEDs light up in a gorgeous blue.  When the HDD is active, 2 red LEDs light up, just like the front HDD LED.  This makes for a very active light mod that looks REALLY cool in low light in a windowed case.  The perfect accompaniment for the Tt Xaser II case, one could say! ;)

We'll show you what it looks like later in the review ;)

Other Various Stuff

Why do people still include this "thermal paste" with their heatsink-fan combos? Oh well, either way, immediately throw this junk in the garbage in favor of the current thermal compound of choice for all overclockers; Arctic Silver 3.  Double sided thermal tape is also included, to aid placement of the thermistor under the AthlonXP CPU (if you choose to do so.  We prefer fixing the thermistor on top of the CPU face, right next to the slug.  This gives as accurate a reading as possible).

The Volcano 9 still features the same shroud around the heatsink that was introduced with the Volcano 7, which keeps more airflow over the aluminum fins.

Just like the Volcano 7, a copper slug is used, rather than a full copper heatsink.  The V9 is not intended to be the BEST performing heatsink, in fact no Thermaltake products are, really.  It is, however, a very robust solution for everyone whether they are running their CPU at stock speeds, or overclocking moderately.  Don't ask me what that stain on the copper is; it came like that...

So how much does this thing cost? MSRP is $40, but it will probably sell for less than that.

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