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Review - Socket Cooler Roundup




One of the newer players to enter the cooling market is a company called Thermaltake. Founded in 1998, they attempt to make their mark with a truly cool looking unit dubbed the "Golden Orb". Click here to see the specs.

To start off, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the geeks over at Planet Savage for lending me one of their most cherished possessions. ;-)

Though this cooler wasn't designed for PPGA Celerons, I tried it out anyway for the sake of keeping in-step with our Socket Cooler Roundup. As expected and as you'll find out later on, this unit isn't up to par with some of the others when paired with a processor that's beyond it's specifications.

The clip design, though great when applied, leaves a lot to be desired where installation is concerned. It took quite a bit of pressure and twisting around to get the thing mounted securely. Once it's on though, it sure as hell ain't comin' off. It might help to use a small, flathead screwdriver when mounting. Be sure to take extra care so as not to break off those small plastic tabs on the socket itself. Doing so on an expensive, new mobo has been known to leave a geek with a very heavy feeling, sometimes even considering suicide. ;-)

One good thing when using this cooler is it's small profile. On most Slot-1 mobos (while using a converter card), you're not likely to lose any DIMM slots.

This cylindrical design may have some trouble fitting into slots with unusually high circuitry spanning the front. And for Socket mobos, capacitors alongside the socket itself may get in the way. Be sure to check the specs. page for dimensions before buying one just to be safe. 

Looking at the heatsink itself, I must say that it truly is a work of art. Aerodynamically designed, the "bended" fins give you a bit more area to dissipate heat, as opposed to just placing some straight strips of Aluminum which will extend the heatsink's height enough that it may actually block DIMM slots. And the 20CFM, 4500RPM fan attached, though small by my standards, is no slouch either. I don't have a decibel meter here to test for noise but it's rated at 26dBA which really isn't much.

And even if you can't buy one locally, it's still pretty easy to get one online if you want to take the extra steps and have a credit card. If not, the Globalwin FKP32 coolers are still available and ready for the taking.

Cost (ESP): US$15.00

Here's how it performed in our tests:

Idle, Ambient at 30.3C

Full Load, Ambient 30.6C

I know. The results aren't so great and some of you may be disappointed. But, I should remind you that this test was done with an Intel Celeron 366 PPGA overclocked to 550 which this unit wasn't designed for in the first place. Part of the heatsink's contact area wasn't even touching the processor's slug. Here a small illustration:

The black part is the processor's slug while the gray part is the heatsink's contact area. That definitely IS NOT the kind of contact you'd want to get.

That said, I have no doubt in my mind that this cooler will do very well on an FC-PGA processor since it already did so given the circumstances. Don't trust me? That's cool since I'll be making a comaprison soon using 3 FC-PGA coolers.




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