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Thermaltake MaxOrb EX Heatsink Review
Thermaltake MaxOrb EX Heatsink Review
Abstract: Thermaltake's MaxOrb EX heatsink comes with a manual fan speed controller on the side of the 120mm diameter fan, allowing users to adjust speeds from 1300-2000RPM.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Thermaltake   Cooling / Heatsinks   Oct 30, 2008   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: 360° View - Thermaltake MaxOrb EX Heatsink

360° View - Thermaltake MaxOrb EX Heatsink

Information on Frostytech's test methodology is available here.

The 120mm fan in the Thermaltake MaxOrb EX heatsink is illuminated by a couple blue LEDs. A small manual fan speed controller allows the user to adjust speed between 1300-2000RPM. Power is supplied by a 3-pin fan header. The body is roughly 140mm wide, while the bulk of it is elevated 42mm above the base for good clearance of nearby motherboard components.

A small dial on the front of the Thermaltake MaxOrb EX heatsink allows the user to control fan speed. In this day and age it would have been better if the fan were PWM compliant, allowing the PC to keep a handle on speed & noise itself. The mounting bracket for this heatsink is a little metal clip permanently attached to the base, it requires manually installed brackets on the motherboard before use. Each copper fin is 0.2mm thick, and spaced about 2mm apart at the edge.

The 40x45mm copper base of the Thermaltake MaxOrb EX heatsink is ~2mm thick over the heatpipes. The six 6mm diameter copper heatpipes are supposed to be soldered to the base. The fins are comprised of three independent rings of fins 15mm wide, and of various height. Note how fin pitch remains constant across the entire surface of the heatsink. The purple colour is a chemical reaction left over from the manufacturing process, which for some reason occurred... It's not supposed to be purple, but isn't significant either.

Base Finish and Flatness

Flipping a heatsink over to inspect the business end is often a simple indicator of overall cooler quality. More practically speaking, a heatsink is in many ways only as effective as the contact it makes with the processor - the flatter and smoother the better. Base finish is one of the criteria that Frostytech measure in the course of evaluating heatsinks, and it involves two distinct aspects. Surface Finish is the first; this is calculated with the aid of Surface Roughness Comparator that has a cross section of common machine surface finishes and their numerical surface roughness equivalents in microinches. The second is Surface Flatness. This is tested with an engineers straight edge or proven flat surface, in two axis.

The copper base of the Thermaltake MaxOrb EX heatsink has a surface roughness of ~8 microinches. The base is 45x40mm in size and generally flat in both axis. There is a visible gap between the heatpipes and copper base, enough to see light coming through from the opposite side. The two halves of the base and copper heatpipes are soldered together, but the joints aren't particularly tight.

Let's see how this heatsink handles the heat, but first the acoustic tests!

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Table of Contents:

 1:  Thermaltake MaxOrb EX Heatsink Review
 2: — 360° View - Thermaltake MaxOrb EX Heatsink
 3:  Acoustic Sample and Heatsink Sound Levels
 4:  AMD K8 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons
 5:  Intel LGA775 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons

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