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Thermaltake Volcano 11 "Xaser Edition" HSF Review

By: Mike Wright | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Apr 3, 2003 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: Thermaltake

The Heatsink



Well, the first thing that pops right out is the fact that this sink is made of all copper. They tried reverting to an aluminum hybrid thing in the last revision, so it is good to see that they went back to the quality components. It is a well established fact that copper has better thermal dissipation capabilities than aluminum, but when weight and cost comes into play it can sometimes be an alternative that manufacturers look at. Not so with the Volcano 11, though, and this is certainly a very welcome concept.


The sink itself measures in at 70mm x 66mm x 31mm and has a metal shroud that covers the sink and allows for installation of the fan (ala Volcano 7+). The fin technology that Thermaltake uses for this model is called "Opti-Fin Technology" and it utilized many very thin fins to help increase surface area. Considering that the copper material used helps add to the overall mass, we can see that we have the ingredients for a workable cooling solution. Here is a shot of the fin design a little closer:



The Base



The base of the cooler is very smooth with no serious marks from the milling process. Although not polished to a mirror finish, the quality of the finished base is far above many that I have seen. If you have the desire to get out the polish and take care of business yourself, the work involved will be minimal since the base is already smooth to begin with. Lapping will not really be necessary, just the polishing phase.


The Clip



The clip used to secure this cooler to your motherboard isn't anything fancy, but it is very functional and requires no abnormal amount of force to attach it to the socket. Also, the three prong approach pictured above will help make sure that your screwdriver doesn't slip out when installing the cooler and ruin the tracings on the motherboard.


It is also good to see that the folks at Thermaltake have decided to stick with a clipping mechanism that uses all of the lugs on the socket. I have seen a few manufacturers lately reverting back to a single hole and it is rather disappointing. Thanks for recognizing the needs of the enthusiast crowd!


The Fan



For those who have used some of the Thermaltake fans before, you will immediately recognize the Smart Fan II pictured above. It measures in at a hefty 80mm x 80mm x 25mm and spins at speeds upwards of 4800RPM. But the really impressive number that it pulls out of the hat is an airflow rating of up to 75-CFM! That's right, this fan is capable of pushing just over 75 cubic feet of air per minute when at maximum speed. Of course, the noise associated with this high-end performance is also staggering to the tune of 48dBA, but sometimes you just have to have that extra oomph to get the job done right.


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