Well, it appears that Thermaltake has done it once again. They have manufactured a cooling solution that is not only effective, but also addresses one of the most common complaints of the power user; too much noise. Though I was hesitant at the beginning because of the aluminum sink design, this ended up being completely unfounded after the test results were in. The mass of the sink combined with the copper insert and the massive fan proved to be more than a match for the heat that was put out by the processor.
Also of note are the different means in which you can adjust the fan speeds. Whether you want to have complete control by using the rheo or a more automated way by using the thermal probe, the Volcano 9 delivers. I used the probe method and it does work, but as I stated earlier, I prefer to have control of my system. But if you are the type that doesn't want to be bothered by this, then the probe worked just fine. When the temperature reading measures 20C or less, the fan spins at its lowest speed of 1300 RPM. As the processor heats things up, the fan will gradually increase the pace until it reaches the maximum speed of 4800 RPM at 55C or more. Since I prefer to not have my temperatures quite that high, I will stick to the manual way of setting the speeds. But again, this is a personal choice.
Though I don't have any prices available as yet for this cooler, it will likely not be one of the cheapest available. Of course, you can just remember the old adage "You get what you pay for" and then go ahead and get one anyway. For the amount of performance that we're talking and the option for less noise added into the mix, I think that it will be worth the few added dollars.
Bottom line... If you've been looking at any of the new processors based on a Socket A/370, then you're talking about something that will be creating heat. A lot of heat. The Volcano 9 HSF is about the most effective cooler that I have yet tested to date and that says a lot. If you want a cooler system, then just go out and get one of these coolers. You won't be sorry.
Different speed options
Not too large to fit modern motherboards
Choice of manual or automated speed adjustments
Hard to get back clip attached
Rating - 9.5/10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice Award