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Review: Chrome Orb

by David Ross on 20 September 2000, 00:00

Tags: Thermaltake (3540.TWO)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacl

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Chrome Orb

Since having my Duron 700 Socket A CPU I have been doing what most of us like to do and have been pushing this CPU to its Mhz limits which, to date hits a whopping 950mhz (1.85 VCore) and hits a temperature of 51c after playing Quake3 for a few hours...I have experienced a few lockups when playing for this long and so decided that more CPU cooling was needed. So when the Postie came this morning with a package containing the new Thermaltake Socket A Chrome Orb, I decided work can wait... When I opened the box and took the ORB out I thought to myself. Quite Sexy looking thing isn’t it

Chrome ORB Specifications.

Application AMD S ocket 462/A
Dimensions 69mm diameter x 45mm high
Clip Type TCS09 Clip on Clip
Fan Size 43x25mm 3-wire with Rpm Sensor
Rated Voltage 12 Volt
Noise Level 29 dBA
Air Volume 25 CFM
Rated Speed 5500 RPM
Bearing System Ball Bearing
Interface Material Chormerics T725
Fan safety UL/CE/CSA
Thermal Resistance Theta JA=0.81c/w
Special Feature Square base plate (Fully covers all 4 CPU rubber feet)

Here is a picture of the Chrome Orb, showing the base with the wide metal plate which covers the CPU's 4 Pads.

Here is a picture of the Golden orb next to the Chrome one, as you can see the golden orb has a twist fit which will crunch a Duron, but the Chrome orbs sits nicely over the top of the Socket A Cpu and doesn't damage it ;)

As you can see the differences between the Golden orb, left, and the Chrome orb on the right be careful how you fit your orb as this could happen :-

Test Set-up.

  • Global Win 802 case 2 x Sunon 80mm case fans (1 intake, 1 exhaust)

  • 300watt power supply

  • Duron 700

  • Abit KT7 Motherboard

  • 2 x 128Mb Crucial PC133 Cas2 Ram

  • IBM GXP34 34.2gig 7,200rpm Hard Drive

  • Panasonic 8/4/32 CDRW

  • Acer 40x CD-Rom

  • Ge-Force 2 GTS 32mb AGP

  • SoundBlaster Live X-Gamer

  • Microsoft Optical Explorer Mouse


Right then first things first I cleaned off the thermal pad that came with this, this is the pink stuff make sure this goes! Also remove the pink tab from the cooler. (you don’t have to do this but I am a Perfectionist!!) and clean the surface with medical alcohol (No this isn’t my favorite tipple) and apply a thin amount of white heat sink compound to the CPU and ORB. Mounting of the ORB was very easy even though it does get very close to the capacitors by the Socket A Housing. I was very impressed that on one side of the mounting clip there were three eyelets compared to the normal one on most Socket A heatsinks, this stopped the ORB from moving around whilst securing the other side of the mounting clip and thus gave me plenty of confidence that I hadn't spread the heatsink compound everywhere which is the general feeling I get when fitting me generic heatsink with only one eyelet either side and which also can rock about too much and chip the edge of your CPU off which is highly dangerous! To fully test this cooler out I first ran it with the Duron at default Mhz and Voltage and then at 950mhz and 1.85 VCore. I also did the same with the generic heatsink and fan combo that came with the CPU to compare the change in CPU temp. Note: Each time I changed the heatsink I cleaned off the old HSC and applied new to get consistent results.

Load = 3dmark2000 looped 3 times

Results. - Duron700 at 1.5vcore

Duron700 at 950mhz 1.85vcore

Conclusion... Well the results speak for themselves at load at 950mhz the Chrome ORB dropped the CPU temperature by 7c compared to the generic Heatsink & Fan, which works out at about 15% decrease in temperature. The fan itself is if much quieter that those heatsink combos that use 60mm High output fans but still manages to keep things cool.

Pros: -

  • Looks Damn Sexy

  • Quiet Running

  • Very Good Mounting Clip

Cons: -

  • Alpha may offer even better cooling, but then very noisy

  • You'll want to leave the side of your case so you can see it!!

Update, after playing with the CPU for no more than 20 mins, Ive got it stable at 1000Mhz, with Silver Paste and the Orb here is a picture :-

A Big thank you to Insane Hardware and Tweaktown for there help with images in this review