Cooling: Thermaltake Volcano 9 Review :: Features

10-18-2002 · Category: Hardware - Cooling

By Tolemac

Thermaltake started manufacturing heat sinks in 1999 and have given us some really outstanding products over the years. Most notable are the Volcano series for the CPU and the Orb series of chipset heat sinks. Always on the move to improve their company and products, they have branched out into memory and hard drive cooling as well as producing their own cases and power supplies along with a variety of accessories. Today, we are going to examine and test their latest effort in Air Cooling, the Volcano 9. I would like to thank Weller Chen at Thermaltake for providing it to us for testing and review.

The Volcano 9 is an aluminum body/copper plug insert heat sink similar to their earlier success, the Volcano 7, and is designed for use on AMD socket A and Intel socket 370 motherboards with a rating up to XP2600+ for AMD CPUs and all of the Pentium III line.

Unlike the Volcano 7, the Volcano 9 comes with some needed improvements, as you will see. Although neither the accompanying information sheet nor their web site mention what grade the aluminum and copper are made from, they appear to be of high quality. One thing that I am happy to see is that they have done away with the thermal pad interface, as I'm sure they have seen most people simply removing those in favor of using good quality thermal paste such as Arctic Silver III.

Here are the specs as provided by the web site and on the box that the heat sink/fan comes in:

  • The cooler comes in at 80x80x77.3mm (including fan) and should fit almost all AMD motherboards.
  • The fan is an 80x80x25mm dual ball bearing Thermaltake Smart Case Fan 2. It is rated from 1300 RPM with 20.55 CFM and 17 dBA up to 4800 RPM with 75.7 CFM and 48 dBA. It has a standard Life Time of 50,000 hours.
  • The heat sink incorporates a mounting clip with three holes on both sides of the sink to ensure maximum stability. With this clip on, it is not going anywhere! This clip also made the heat sink very easy to install and remove.

Unlike the Volcano 7, which has a fan sensor that had to be pushed down into the heat sink to work properly, the Volcano 9 has several features for setting up the fan at various speeds. It comes with a thermal sensor with thermal tape to attach it to the back of the CPU, a fan speed adjustment switch, thermal paste (the white kind), and a three-pin to four-pin Molex adapter with an RPM plug so that you can use the motherboard's RPM sensor through the BIOS or through software such as Motherboard Monitor.

With this adapter, you can connect the unit to the power supply instead of to the motherboard. On the fan itself, you will find the normal three wire/three pin power cord, a short, two-wire cord with a jumper attached, and another short, two-wire cord for attaching the variable speed switch.

It also comes with a single page glossy instruction sheet that has pictures demonstrating the different set-ups.