The idea of placing a fan inside of a heatsink has been around for a very long time. The first time an "Orb" style cooler was used on a CPU was around 1998 when a product became available through surplus catalogs that didn't have any markings other than on the fan. The fan was Panaflo branded and so this product became known as the Panaflo Orb.
In reality this super cooler designed like a metal circle with a fan tucked in the middle was developed with HP's war chest in one of their secret Skunk Works style projects, and it was actually called the Polar Logic inside of the company. Back in the early Pentium III and K6-2 days companies were scrambling to make coolers that were able to handle 80 watt CPU loads coming from Xeon and Alpha super computer processors. Luckily the 80 watt processor never happened but the cooling technology that came from this 'cold' war did.
It wasn't long before Thermaltake learned about the Polar Logic and made the design mainstream. The Golden Orb was the result, one the enthusiast welcomed. Since the Polar Logic was not designed for either AMD or Intel commercial processors the mounting mechanisms did not line up, thus leaving the door open for Thermaltake to make a consumer friendly Orb. The Golden Orb was followed by a new design called the Dragon Orb; this featured two fans inside of a taller circular heatsink. Since releasing the Dragon Orb, Thermaltake has been through a rainbow of colors and super sounding names for their Orb line and today we are going to take a look at the latest Orb. This heatsink uses the decade old Orb philosophy and merges the latest heatpipe technology to make the MaxOrb.
HP Polar Orb cooler on an early modified AMD Athlon slot processor.