Yes, I know what you all are thinking. Sheesh, another Super Orb review. Well, I'm going to try and put a different spin on things with this review and hopefully you will walk away with a little more info than you had before.
Introduction: Yes, I know what you all are thinking. Sheesh, another Super Orb review. Well, I'm going to try and put a different spin on things with this review and hopefully you will walk away with a little more info than you had before.
Firstly, I'd like to thank Thermaltake for providing us this product for review. I have been buying products made by these guys starting with the Golden Orb and they just keep getting better. We also appreciate them supporting a small site like us, where most vendors treat the OCA like a red-headed stepchild.
Looking pretty sweet to say the least. To date, I think this has got to be the prettiest HSF unit out there. Here are the official specs as well, seen on Thermaltake's website.
AMD SOCKET462/A upto 1.5GHz
69dia x 74 mm tall
TCS09 Clip on Clip
TOP FAN1 RATED VOLTAGE (V)
Air Volume (CFM)
BOTTOM FAN2 RATED VOLTAGE (V)
Air Volume (CFM)
Heat Sink Material
The only thing I'd like to comment on here, is that I believe the actual noise level of this unit is a little higher than spec. I guess what throws you off is seeing 30dBA for the top fan and 28dBA for the bottom fan, making this a total of 58dBA! That's pretty loud folks. Here are a few homebrew pics to take a look at. I apologize for our low-budget digital camera. They are pretty low quality, but hey, they are better than nothing!
To the left we see the unit as it comes in the box from Thermaltake. It also came with one, 3 to 4 prong power adaptor (nice for mobo's with only one or two 3prong fan headers) as well as 1 tube of thermal paste. Possibly not the best stuff on the market, but a awfully nice of Thermaltake to include it with the unit. I also used this thermal paste on all heatsink tests throughout this review. Lets move on.
Benchmarks: Ok, I know your dying to see some stats, and I'm going to give them to you. However, please bear in mind, this HSF was built from the ground up to cool the AMD socket A processors which run MUCH hotter than the Intel P3 FC-PGA's. Therefore I am guessing that's why we see not more than 3 degrees difference with no load using any of the HSF's we tested. Oh, did I forget to mention we tested the SORB on a P3, not an AMD Socket A processor? Oooops ;-) Anyways, that is why I'm choosing to only show you the results with the CPU under load. That's what counts anyways right?
Test system used:
FC-PGA 700Mhz P3 processor (@933Mhz and 1Ghz)
256megs Kingmax Tiny BGA
Abit BX-133 RAID
Maxtor 40G 7200rpm ATA/100 HD
Visiontek Geforce2 GTS 64meg
Lets take a quick look at all 4 of these HSF units. Also as a side note, notice the Intel heatsink. It is one I actually received with a P3 750Mhz processor. The ones that come stock with the 700's are MUCH smaller. This unit is very beefy compared to the old ones and has a bigger fan as well. I actually would not be ashamed to be caught with this cooling my processor. Here is a quick pic of what I'm talkin' about.
You thought I was trying to bullshit you guys didn't ya? NOPE. Ok, lets drive on.
Now here are some pics with all 4 of the tested heatsinks. This will give you a good representations of how the products size up next to one another.
Again, I apologize for the quality of these pics, but we only have a cheapassed digital camera to work with.
Lets start out with 700Mhz Under Load.
Ok, here we see the SuperOrb kicking ass right off the bat. Followed by the Gorb. Surprisingly, we see the Intel Stock HSF (the beefy version) beating out the Alpha Pal 6035. I know a lot of you folks are probably wanting to pummel me for these results, but I checked and re-checked and that's how they just come out. One thing I would like to mention is, Damn, the Alpha is a beautiful and quality unit, no doubt. However, the clip device seems very week, maybe it just was not holding to the CPU as tightly as the Intel stock HSF, therefore not mating properly with the CPU and cooling it as it should. Ok, lets checkout the P3 700 @933Mhz.
Again, the SuperOrb is taking no prisoners and the Gorb is actually not too far behind. We see the Alpha and Intel HSF very close to one another. How bout the P3 700 @1G?
Similar results continue with the Sorb taking first, Gorb taking 2nd and now we see the Alpha kicking it in and cooling a few degrees better than the Intel HSF while blowing air onto the heatsink itself. Still lagging behind sucking air off the Heatsink (as Alpha instructions direct us to do).
Conclusion: I think it's quite safe to say the Thermaltake SuperOrb is a very high quality HSF unit. Even though it was built to work wonders on the AMD socket A's, it still has something to offer those of us running Intel P3 FC-PGA's. I have seen other sites state this unit is not safe or reliable with the P3's, but I beg to differ. I have been using the SORB on my P3 for over a month now and I am very pleased with it's performance.
Will cool your CPU very efficiently
Works well with both Socket A and FC-PGA type chips
Dual-Fan, high quality constructed unit
Installs very easily
Comes with thermal paste and a 3pin to 4pin adaptor
Great price for this type of performance
Very tall (may not fit on some motherboards/configurations)
Would not recommend for FC-PGA users with Slockets
Louder than most CPU coolers (a minor inconvenience for most hardcore overclockers)
Sidenote: I had previously listed an additional con being that the SORB is somewhat tough to get on Abit KT7 and KT7 Raid mobo's due to the capacitors being so close to the socket. However, since this is a P3 SORB review I chose to omit it.
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