The Thermaltake MaxOrb EX is almost an entirely copper heatsink based on a novel three-fin-segment circular design, featuring a half-dozen copper heatpipes and speed controlled 120mm fan. The radial heatsink resembles a few Zalman coolers, but the construction is completely different. Each heatpipe is given its own individual copper or nickel plated aluminum fin array, so essentially every fin is put to work evenly. Like the Thermaltake MaxOrb that came before it, the MaxOrb EX breaks new ground, allowing it to stand out from the crowd. 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. Like most after market CPU coolers, the MaxOrb EX heatsink is compatible with both Intel socket 775 and AMD socket 754/939/940/AM2+ processors. Noise levels are fair to moderate. Standing just 95mm tall, the Thermaltake MaxOrb EX weighs a hefty 580 grams - lots of copper here folks.
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. Like most after market CPU coolers, the MaxOrb EX heatsink is compatible with both Intel socket 775 and AMD socket 754/939/940/AM2+ processors. Noise levels are fair to moderate. Standing just 95mm tall, the Thermaltake MaxOrb EX weighs a hefty 580 grams - lots of copper here folks.
There are a couple details of the MaxOrb EX's design that warrant mention, the first that pops to mind are all those individual fin arrays. The heatsink is built from six sections of cooling fins, each of which is separate from the next. This technique keeps fin pitch even across the entire surface, meaning the fins closest to the center of the MaxOrb EX heatsink are spaced the same distance apart as the fins at the outer edge.
In traditional heatsinks where a single fin extends outward from the center, the spacing between each fins gradually increases from nothing to 1.4-2.0mm. Fins which are too closely spaced together prevent airflow from going between the fins.
The manual fan speed controller permanently attached to the side of the fan is another interesting touch. The dial changes fan speed from 1300-2000RPM, and is most likely never to be touched once the case is closed up. I think a PWM fan would have been a smarter choice here, in this day and age there is no reason to manually control a fan any more.
Heatpipes; the Thermaltake MaxOrb EX has a lot of them. Six 6mm diameter copper heatpipes in face. Given that the six heatpipes on this heatsink are entirely dependent on cooling fins, it's rather odd for Thermaltake to associate the heatpipes directly above the CPU die with the shortest length of cooling fin. While closely examining the MaxOrb EX's base we noticed significant voids between the copper base and copper heatpipes... The pipes were soldered, but the application of solder was extremely poor. We could see right through to the opposite side around most of them.
The Thermaltake MaxOrb EX heatsink installs on Intel and AMD processors with the same plastic mounting frame. For Intel processors, the push-to-click snaps are attached to the frame and that component installed on the motherboard. The heatsink then clips on with its fixed metal bracket, and by use of a small nut tensioned onto the CPU. The AMD mounting procedure is much the same, the black plastic frame is first screwed in place with the use of the plastic rear support plate, then the Thermaltake MaxOrb EX popped into place.
FrostyTech's Test Methodologies are outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course its performance in the thermal tests!
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