Thermaltake Super Orb Review
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.
This is where Orb fans can be a real bitch. I checked with some other reviews including HardOCP's and Insane Hardware's to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong. Both Kyle and Jai made comments on the struggle of installation and removal as well, so I was a little relieved.
Installation can be a bit tricky. My very first note: if you own an Abit board or any Socket A board with the capacitors too close to the back of the socket: beware. This diameter of the heatsink will often times (no doubt on KT7 family)cause the heatsink to make contact or even scratch the surface of said capacitors...which is a very bad idea. I heard one story of a tech at a local hardware store killing his own KT7-RAID and 1 GHz Thunderbird after powering up his system with the Golden Orb installed. Ouch!
While writing this review, I came across this page that discusses modifying the Super Orb an putting some protective tape on the KT7 motherboard to prevent damage if you want to use the Super Orb with your motherboard. It simply says that you can file away the edges of the heatsink that are guilty of contact with the motherboard components. Due to the softness of the Aluminum used, it is a fairly simple project.
Its also important that I remind you to be very careful when installing any Socket A cooler to keep the heatsink balanced and centered on top of the CPU during the installation process. Having too much force on any one side of the HSF could cause the processor to crack or chip. Either one in my opinion would be a raw deal. And I don't think AMD will RMA processors on account of stupidity! :)
Taking the fan off the CPU (for upgrades, or just to tempt fate) is more of a pain in the ass than installation. The clip that Thermaltake used keeps the HSF very close and tight to the processor (they are close like that). This is good for heat transfer to the aluminum, but not for ease of removal. Using your hands or fingers is almost sure a bet towards cut, scares or sores. The best method that I have seen is to use some pliers (preferibly needle-nose) to take grip of the middle of clip, and pull down and away, in two distinct motions. This will give you the best chance of removal on the first attempt and the least chance of damaging that all important CPU core.
Ok, enough chit-chat. I guess I'll show you some numbers. Here is the test setup for the temperature readings:
Test System Setup
AMD Duron 800 @ 1 GHz (supplied by iBuyer)
Epox 8KTA+ (supplied by Epox)