AMA Orc ReviewRHKCommander959 - July 30, 2009
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Pulling the massive AMA Orc out of the box, I found it was pretty light for its overall foot print. The clamshell package provided adequate protection, there was no damage to the heat sink or box for that matter during shipping. The glossy red and satin black look great together, and the green LED fan fits into the theme well - although green is less common in systems than other colors. The heat pipes are paired in two groups of three, although personally I think the heat sink would have benefited in an increase of rigidity from a staggered arrangement, where each side alternates heat pipes. The heat sink when fully assembled, feels strong enough for use, but when dismantled it loses strength. The two plastic pieces make this heat sink stand out ahead of other heat sinks, and the copper design looks good paired with it. Protecting the heat sink during shipping is a round black piece of foam which looks like a hockey puck that reinforces the heat sink during shipping, and a small bag of silica that keeps the package dry. All six of the heat pipes operate independently, each with its own separate fins, hopefully this design proves to cool the i7 processor well.
The plastic molds have two prominent black spikes and four long claw-like things that wrap around the heat sink, with the letter A between each pair. Perhaps it is coincidence, otherwise there are a few features that resemble M's, which could infer the AMA branding subliminally. The design looks like a fancy piece of armor to me. The side shows the tall fins that are attached to the outermost heat pipes, although logically the heat will be focused in the center of the base near the middle-most heat pipes. There's plenty of clearance from the base to the heat sink, so most items shouldn't interfere with installing this heat sink.
The top shows the large 120mm fan with AMA logo sticker on the center hub of the fan. The fan impeller is a translucent green, which glows nicely thanks to the fans LED's. The six semi-circular heat pipes are partially visible with the fan and plastic pieces installed. An angled view shows off the general overall design.
The base is protected by a sticker, and very shiny as it is polished to mirror-shine levels. The base is not perfectly flat however, and to put it best - looks like ripples from a droplet hitting a basin of water. Three screws hold the fan to bracket which is held onto the heat sink with three screws and another bracket which squeeze together on the fins. Two arms reach out to bolt the plastic pieces to the heat sink.
The fan is manufactured by Everflow and is a high-speed fan with a single sleeve bearing. The overall design is similar to the Thermaltake MaxOrb heat sink, which uses a similar fan produced by Everflow and also a similar heat pipe and fin layout. The fan uses around a third of an amp and is stamped on when it was produced - May 27th 2009. To power the fan, it uses a 4-pin PWM cable.
The top-down view of the heat sink without the fan assembly shows the six semi-circular heat pipes with independent fins. With the whole system exposed, it is apparently crooked, and the largest fins are attached to the heat pipes furthest from the center of the heat sink's base, while the smallest are in the center. Attempting to straighten the heat sink is difficult since all six of the heat pipes are independent - the only sturdy point to grab is the base.
The plastic pieces are a simple two-piece kit with the red mounted to the black, they then have a small metal bracket and arm attached to grab onto a heat pipe for stability, and bolt to the fan mount mechanism. The fan bracket has three holes to mount to the heat sink with, three to mount the fan, and two for the plastic designs. A niche is cut into one side for the fan cable to route through.
The AMA Orc fits in the case with good clearance over the motherboard components, but it is a tight squeeze in the corner. Installation required a long screwdriver to install the mounting bolt for the corner. There is plenty of room between the heat sink and side panel, however.
It's time to take a look at the features of this heat sink!