The sink of the Volcano 7+ is just a little smaller than it's older brother. While this may cause some concern, it shouldn't since the newer version is all copper. The original was an aluminum heatsink that had a copper pillar at the core. Thermaltake has decided to take the size down a little, but managed to maintain a hefty mass to help in the cooling chores.
The sink measures in at 70mm x 70mm x 25mm, and consists of 36 copper fins that use a process called Thin Fin Technology. We have seen in the past that the greater the mass and surface area, then the better the overall cooling. The thin fins will allow for more to be used in the same amount of space, so it gives more surface area for the heat to spread to. This makes it much easier for the fan to dissipate the heat and give an effective cooling solution.
Like most of the coolers that I've received from Thermaltake, this one had a very smooth base. It was all copper and was polished to a mirror finish. One thing that I was particularly happy about was the missing frag tape that is normally on the base of these heatsinks. Instead, the folks at Thermaltake decided to add a small packet of a thermal compound in the package. Very nice since it saved me the time it normally takes to remove the offending substance.
The Volcano 7+ has a full shroud similar to it's older brother, but they have elected to reduce the size of the fan. You'll remember that the original had an 80mm fan, but the newer version has a 70mm model. It still wears the Thermaltake tag on it's belly, but manages to put out a better airflow than the larger version.
The fan included with this sink measures in at 70mm x 70mm x 25mm and puts out a maximum airflow of 49-CFM @ 6000RPM while only emitting 47 dBA of sound. When I was running the fan at full speed, I could hear it above the case fans in my system, but it didn't have that ear-piercing whine that is common with the high-speed Delta 60mm fans. This made for a nice change of pace and didn't bother me at all while working on the system.
Fan Speed Controller
Remember when I stated above that the maximum airflow of the fan was 49-CFM? That's because there's a little gem included that allows the user to manually switch the speed of the fan. This gives you the flexibility to use a slower fan speed setting when you're not trying to save the world by killing everything that moves. The benefit of this? LESS NOISE! With so many consumers looking for cooling that is not only effective, but quiet as well, this helps set the Thermaltake unit apart from the crowd.
The Fan Speed Controller has settings for High, Medium and Low speeds. Here's how it breaks down:
This is the first heatsink that I have seen that is designed to work on either an AMD platform or an Intel one. Depending on which setup you are cooling will determine how to assemble the heatsink (yes...some assembly required). Included will be enough screws and clips for either setup.
Since I have an Athlon based system, only a single clip is required. Assembly is a no-brainer, and the installation of the sink was very easy as well. In the past, Thermaltake has had a few coolers with clips that are very hard to put on (and therefore dangerous to the core), but that seems to be ancient history. This clip slid easily onto the back lug, and with a small screwdriver, it was easily attached to the front lug of the socket. Pressure was not too heavy, and there should be no concerns about damaging the processor. Once attached, the clip held the heatsink firmly in place without any movement.