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Thermaltake Volcano7 HSF Review

By: Mike Wright | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Dec 2, 2001 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: Thermaltake

The Heatsink



The heatsink itself measures in at a healthy 70mm x 68mm x 53mm. It is made of aluminum, and has a copper insert in the bottom (of which you can see through to the base in the picture above). It has 21 fins housed within an aluminum shell, and then has a thin aluminum shroud mounted on top for placement of a whopping 80mm fan.


The shroud is screwed into the housing and allows for the fan to be mounted without having to drive screws though the fins of the sink. It is also angled inward a bit to direct the airflow from the 80mm fan into a 70mm cooling area. Airflow reducers don't normally work well, but with the overall size of the heatsink being 70mm, the turbulence is minimized and it is still an effective cooler.


The Base



Here is what you see right out of the box. Of course, we all know that the peel-off tape on the bottom indicates some sort of interface material hiding down there. I completely understand the inclusion of an interface, but it is really a pain for those who are truly Power Users since we will nearly ALWAYS use a silver compound of some sort.



Above is the actual interface that is applied to the base. It goes by the name Bergquist 225U, and is reportedly a decent interface. I won't be testing with it, however, because I try to keep all testing conditions the same so that I can compare the results to others models to see which is really best.


One nice thing about this interface is the ease that it is removed. It will come right off with a razor blade, and leaves a very smooth chunk of pure copper behind it. If you're the polishing type, then the base will need nothing more than a good polishing cloth applied to it to accomplish this. There were no mars at all in the base, and also none of that lacquer coating that some makers add to the copper to make it look shiny.


The Fan



This is the fan that has been attached to the Volcano7 unit. It appears to be a pretty standard fan that measures in at 80mm x 80mm x 25mm. It is rated at 53-CFM while spinning at 5,000 RPM and emits a tolerable 39 dBA of sound. But wait...there's something tricky here.



Pictured above is a thermistor that is mounted to the side of the fan itself. Its purpose is to automatically adjust the fan speed from a high rate of speed to a lower rate when the internal temperature is cool. This results in a much quieter sound output when the system is not under stress. The low speed drops the fan speed to 2,900 RPM, 46-CFM, and a very ear pleasing 27 dBA.


The thermistor is set to adjust the fan speed in a manner that will have it running at 2,900 RPM when the internal temperature is 25C or lower, and to adjust it to higher speeds as the temperature warms up. The fan is designed to be running at it's full 5,000 RPM rate when the internal temperature of 35C or higher. We'll see if this plan works or not in a bit.


The Clip



I was a bit surprised to see a normal clipping mechanism on this large a heatsink. Most manufacturers of the larger sinks are going to the four mounting screws that use the holes by the Socket, but Thermaltake decided to stick with a more conventional approach. While there are benefits to each method, the clip here was strong enough to hold this heavy sink in place, but also easy enough to install that you didn't need two screwdrivers and a buddy to get it in place.


All right then... now that we have an idea as to what we're dealing with, lets see how it handles some heat.


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