The Thermaltake Super Mini Orb is an aluminum unit that is comprised of 61 fins that circle the entire structure. The unit itself towers in at a staggering 74mm from base to crown, and has a diameter of 65mm. To put it simply, this is one big cooler! Thermaltake rates it for processors up to 1.5GHz. It is also just slightly smaller than the normal Super Orb so that it will fit on the Abit KT7 series motherboards. It boasts not one, but two internal fans to get the heat out of the way of the processor.
There has been a rash of Thermaltake knock-offs, so make sure that you get the real thing if you're shopping for an Orb cooler. Just take a trip to their website and you will be able to see what to look for to make sure that you have the real thing.
But enough of the generic stuff what makes it tick?
The heatsink itself is unlike any other variety that I have ever seen. It is a circular design that is made up of 61 fins. These fins form a tunnel in the middle of the unit that is used to house a pair of fans for it's cooling functions. It is lightweight, and while seeming odd, it holds up well to pressure. It is durable and sturdy, and shouldn't have any problems with being smashed or damaged from normal handling.
The clipping mechanism is a simple design that houses three holes on the backside of the unit, and a single holed clip on the front portion of the HSF. It took little pressure to install the heatsink and it was done while the motherboard was still mounted in the case. It does seem, however, that the clip is made of a very thin metal. This concerns me due to the fact that avid overclockers who remove the heatsink regularly to do different tweaks might have some problems with the latch breaking after repeated use.
The base of the unit is made of a very low-grade aluminum. It is difficult to dissipate heat when the materials being used are inferior, but that seems to be the case with this sink. It also has a circular ridge in the center of the base. It would be understandable if there was a nice copper insert here, but there is not. Just some more inferior aluminum. It has also been noted in a number of forums that this ridge will not allow the use of a copper shim. It will keep the core from making contact with the base of the unit, and give you the awesome feeling of watching your processor burn to a crisp. DO NOT use a copper shim with this HSF unit unless you're looking for an excuse to buy yourself a new processor!
As stated before, this unit comes with not one, but two fans housed within its towering form. The inner fan (or the one closest to the processor core) measures in at 50mm x 50mm x 25mm. It is rated at 5500 RPM and circulates up to 25.45 CFM. It puts out a meager 32 dba and will run for 50,000 hours before burning out.
The exterior fan (the one towards the top of the unit) measures 50mm x 50mm x 20mm. It is rated at 5000 RPM and blows air at a maximum of 17.3 CFM. Though it is a smaller fan, it creates a bit more noise at 34 dba. It will also last for 50,000 hours before giving out.
Now that we have the technical stuff out of the way, lets look at this thing realistically. The entire unit is forcing air at a rate of over 42 CFM. This would normally be a very nice figure, but where you have two fans doing the work; they are just doubling up on the same function. There seems to be no added advantage to having the topmost fan pushing air down to the bottom fan so that it can push air down onto the top of the heatsink base.
Now for the most important question of all...How does it work?
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