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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [06.20.01]
Manufactured by: ThermalTake
Suggested Price: $??



Many people had problems with the twist-on clip used by the original Golden Orb for Pentium CPU's... Personally, I found it to be a heck of a lot easier than pretty much every other heatsink I had ever used in my entire life, but some people did... I guess they should listen to their Moms and stop playing Quake for a while, and go outside and get some fresh air and exercise...

The later Orb series coolers, such as the Chrome Orb and Super Orb use a variation on the old standby clip-on technique.  I would have preferred another twist on, but that wasn't going to happen after the cracked Duron nightmares, and the Little Rubber Feet (tm) getting in the way...

Thermaltake took the clip one step closer to perfection with a handy screwdriver fitted clip on their Volcano II.  Basically, rather than have a cheap ass clip gouge into your thumb before breaking off *cough*Globalwin*cough*, you can simply insert a flat-head screwdriver, and use that to put downward force on the clip.  This was the best clip I have ever seen, besides the Golden Orb twist-on method! Great work!

Now, with the Mini Copper Orb and all future coolers, Thermaltake had to decide which clip to use... Should they go back to using the great clip found on all recent Orbs, or should they use their screwdriver-fitted clip that people either loved or hated...

Why not use both? That's right, the Mini Copper Orb (above) had a clip that used BOTH methods found in earlier Tt products! If you prefer to manually push the clip down with your thumb, you are welcome to do so, and if you love the leverage a screwdriver adds, be my guest! Be careful with the screwdriver though... Again with the weak little arms thing...

The Dragon Orb (above), as you can see, has a slightly different clip.  While it looks like it may accommodate the non-screwdriver method, I fount that the clip was VERY tight, and it was much easier to use a screwdriver.. That had been my preferred method anyway.  Let it be known, though, that Thermaltake definitely makes the best heatsink clips around.  No matter which Orb or Volcano (or other as you'll soon find out!) you choose, you know you are getting a good sturdy clip that will not snap on you, or crush your CPU.

I have some bad news for those who are weary of the electrolytic capacitors on their KT7-RAIDs... The Dragon Orbs only come in the original Orb size (not the Mini series).  If you're like me, you don't mind slightly bending the caps... As long as you're careful, you shouldn't harm anything.  Some boards are even tighter, so be sure to find out if it will fit on your board before buying this enormous heatsink!

That's a Whole Lotta Copper!

I just have to show you this; it's so damn cool:

Like the Mini Copper Orb, the Dragon Orb III is not made entirely of copper (duh).  There are likely a couple reasons for that.  When we got our first Mini Copper Orb in, we thought Thermaltake would be trying to prevent weight issues by using aluminum fins on a full copper base... Well if that is the case, they threw that out the door with the Dragon Orb III! This thing weights a TON! As shown on the previous page, there is almost twice as much copper on a Dragon than on a Mini Copper.

My new guess would be that because copper is so soft, Thermaltake did not want to construct the heatsink entirely of it.  Or maybe because while copper absorbs heat faster than aluminum, aluminum actually releases it faster... This was the theory used in the Alpha coolers with small copper plates on the bottom.

In any case, there is a LOT of copper on these coolers.  Does that mean high performance? Or is the 7200 RPM fan doing all the magic? We'll get to that on the next page.

Other Notes

  • The power cable was plenty long enough (the earlier Golden Orbs had shorter cables, but never enough to really cause problems). 

  • Although touted as an ultra-high-end cooler, the Dragon Orb will come with thermal interface material on the bottom.  Our recommendation is to always remove this stuff and use your own paste, even if it is the regular stuff.  We used Arctic Silver II in our testing.

  • A price has not been announced yet... When one is announced, we'll let you know.

  • The top fan shroud is the same one used in a product we'll be reviewing next week, The Storm Fan.  It is a shroud with a 7200 RPM fan that can be attached to any orb product as an upgrade! In that review, we'll let you know if the Dragon Orb is worth it, or if you should just buy the Storm Fan and upgrade your current Orb cooler!

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