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Thermaltake Volcano 9 HSF Review

By: Mike Wright | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jul 14, 2002 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Thermaltake



All right then, let's take a gander at what this monster can do. During my initial inspection of the unit I was a bit concerned about the thick fins and the aluminum material used throughout most of the cooler. But then that massive fan makes me sit back and take notice. It is time to put everything on the table and see just how well the newest incarnation of the Volcano series HSF can really perform. Here's what we'll be testing it on:


Antec PLUS1080 Tower Case


EPoX 8KHA+ Motherboard


AMD Athlon XP 1800+ Processor


512MB Crucial PC2100 DDR Memory


X-Micro Impact Ti4200


Seagate Barracuda 40GB Hard Drive


Arctic Silver III


I'm still using the Arctic Silver TIM so that results will remain consistent, so for those who saw my recent review on the Evergreen goop, this should explain why the AS is still being used. I also make certain that the HSF has been running for at least 72 hours so that the Arctic Silver compound can set in like it needs to. Core voltage is set to 1.8v and memory is set to 2.6v. Ambient temperature during all tests was a steady 21C.


Testing will consist of my standard battery of tests that I run the heatsinks through. I will begin by taking the temperature at idle. From there I will run through the processor through a fragfest in a Quake III Arena Deathmatch. After the system has had the chance to cool back off to idle temperature again, I'll run a continuous looping of the 3DMark2001 Demo. And just to make thing even more interesting, I'll do the same tests again after boosting the FSB to 145MHz. This will result in two sets of results; one at 1533MHz and one at 1668MHz. By overclocking only the FSB, I'll be ensuring that the processor is the main component heating up and not the rest of the peripherals.


Also of note is that fan speed will be at maximum for the tests. The goal of the testing is to see just how well this new cooler can do at its optimal settings. While the variable speeds function just fine, these aren't optimal so won't be considered for final results.


Off we go!


- Temperature (Idle)




Due to recent upgrades in the test system, I have had to begin a new set of results for coolers. To give you an idea as to the effectiveness of the Dynatron unit, it performed at about the same level as the OCZ Gladiator HSF. And regardless of what folks may feel about the OCZ Company, their Gladiator was one of the better coolers to hit the market.


That said, we can see right from the beginning that the new Volcano 9 cooler is playing for keeps. While there is only a small difference at the default speed, the Volcano only rises one half of one degree when we boost the FSB. This is the first heatsink that I have ever tested that was able to maintain this small a rise when overclocking.


- Temperature (Quake III Arena)




The numbers speak for themselves here. This is the lowest overclocked Q3A temperature to date since I switched over to an Athlon XP. This is where that whopping 75-CFM fan is really showing what it is capable of. And considering that the noise level is really less than the fast-spinning 60mm fans, it makes this one even sweeter.


- Temperature (3DMark2001 Demo Loop)




Though not as large a difference in this test, the Volcano 9 has still shown that it can take the rigors of anything that is thrown at it. No matter if you run a default system or an overclocked one, this cooler just keeps on going.


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