Thermaltake Coolers from Mild to Wild: A Three Sink Comparison :: The Blue Orb II

04-05-2006 · Category: Hardware - Cooling

By Tulatin

Now, to those of you wondering why the Blue Orb II is the "middle weight" in this family rather than the boss, you can consider its surprising girth in substitution for height a prime reason. Packed within the confines of another formed plastic casing, the Blue Orb II draws its design from the natural evolution of the prior ORB coolers, as well as the highly successful Zalman CNPS series. In a move to further advance the design, Thermaltake uses a large, slow spinning fan that's virtually silent (apart from the occasional ticking sound), blowing across a huge surface area comprised of "Crotched" fins.


Thermaltake Coolers from Mild to Wild: A Three Sink Comparison
Thermaltake Coolers from Mild to Wild: A Three Sink Comparison

The idea behind these "Crotched" fins is to divide and conquer - that is, provide more heat dissipation area for the meager airflow provided. Along with these uniquely designed, rigid fins, each of the sink's plethoras of fins is ridged, just like many of the sinks of old, to help maximize surface area. In order to ensure that the air coming down into the sink cannot be reflected back outward around the edges (an issue commonly seen with Intel's reference cooler), Thermaltake has chosen a fan with blades similar to those employed by companies such as Cre-Air. Thanks to the steep curvature of each blade, air is forcibly driven down and held there, with any additional escaping air caught by the next blade. Tucked in below these blades is a pair of spring loaded screws, affixed firmly to a chrome bracket with locking washers. It is these two spring loaded screws that will plant the flat, concentrically milled base well on your processor.


Thermaltake Coolers from Mild to Wild: A Three Sink Comparison
Thermaltake Coolers from Mild to Wild: A Three Sink Comparison

While installing the Blue Orb II may have felt like a pain at first, it came to feel much better after fuddling with some of the mounting hardware the Sonic Tower utilized. Future gripes aside though, what we can tell you is that no matter what, you'll have a perfect mount every time with your Blue Orb II. Users of AMD's K8 Platform may not even have to remove their motherboards, but in the case that they aren't equipped with an aftermarket bracket that has protruding metal mounts, Thermaltake bundles one in the box. It is then as simple as screwing two threaded chrome standoffs in, and screwing the sink down to them. It may take a little practice at first, but it's worth it. Getting things secured for the Socket 775 user is a little more troublesome though - you will have to first remove the motherboard and screw down a pair of brackets. Then, to these brackets you screw the Blue Orb II down. Simple, right? Not quite. In both these scenarios, we found the threaded standoffs to be fonder of mounting screws than brackets, resulting in quite a few instances where the bloody things came right off their brackets, and required us to grip them with pliers and use a screwdriver to break the bond made. Another (major) issue found with the heatsink is its stepped girth. On many motherboards (our own DFI SLI-D test bed, for example, as well as our old C19-CRB LGA board), the heatsink will block whatever is closest - memory slots, Northbridge coolers, you name it, and this Blue Boy's girth will block it. While it may still be possible to use said slots, individuals with tall DIMMS (such as us) would be SOL, unless some serious modifications were to take place, of course. As to any installation though, preparation is king and key here - so don't lose the bundled satchel of cake frosting, or the explicitly well done, full colour and photographed manual, and you'll be just fine.


Thermaltake Coolers from Mild to Wild: A Three Sink Comparison
Thermaltake Coolers from Mild to Wild: A Three Sink Comparison
Thermaltake Coolers from Mild to Wild: A Three Sink Comparison
Thermaltake Coolers from Mild to Wild: A Three Sink Comparison