Thermaltake DuOrb CPU Cooler Review

ajmatson - 2008-04-10 19:32:15 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: ajmatson   
Reviewed on: May 15, 2008
Price: $64.99 - $75.99

Introduction:

There are so many CPU coolers on the market today that you will start pulling your hair out when searching for the right one. One thing people do not take into consideration when looking at a CPU cooler is the amount of air pushed down over the motherboard and chipsets themselves. Chipsets that use passive cooling rely on airflow from other components to keep the temperatures down, and one of these components are CPU coolers. A CPU cooler will draw cool air in through its fan and push it over the fins of the heatsink. The air is then expelled into the case over other components to aid in keeping them cool. A good CPU cooler not only keeps the CPU temperatures down, but also aids in overall system cooling.

Thermaltake has taken this idea one step further with the Thermaltake DuOrb CPU Cooler. The DuOrb consists of a massive heatsink that separates into two directions to provide cooling to the CPU and surrounding areas. For overclockers, this is an innovation come true. No more having to place those ugly fans zip tied all over the place to keep critical components cool. Expanding from the traditional design, Thermaltake maximizes the heat dissipation over a larger surface area to transfer heat from the critical areas while providing a more efficient air flow.

 

Closer Look:

The Thermaltake DuOrb comes packaged in a flashy box giving you a full view of the top of the cooler with the fans and the underside of the heatsink where it attaches to the CPU. Around the back and the sides there are the specifications for the cooler and some pictures showing how the cooler looks and the LEDs on the fans in operation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sliding the cooler out of the box, you can see how well it is packaged to prevent damage. The cooler is sandwiched between two plastic shells which protect the fins and critical parts during transportation. Also in the shell is a white box that houses the instructions and parts to properly install the cooler to the motherboard.

 

Inside the white box, as I mentioned before, are the instructions and the hardware for the DuOrb CPU cooler. This cooler comes with the hardware to fit LGA775 and AM2/AM2+ processors. There is a backplate included for AMD boards that have backplates which are not threaded so that the DuOrb can be installed correctly. Also included is the instruction sheet and an important notice. Because of the design of the DuOrb cooler, AMD boards that have the vertical setup (RAM above the CPU), the cooler will block the first PCI Express slot when installed. You must install any graphics card in a secondary PCI Express slot for it to fit.

 

 

Closer Look:

Once the DuOrb CPU cooler is removed all the way from the packaging, we can get a better look at it and its unique design. The Thermaltake DuOrb uses a non-traditional design for its cooler by branching off the heatsink into two sections and using two fans to cool it, resulting in maximum cooling efficiency. This downward branching design not only keeps the processor's temperature down, but also creates a down draft from the fans blowing air over the system memory, chipset, and voltage regulators. This maximizes your ability to push your system with the components operating at cooler temperatures. The base of the heatsink is an all copper design with six heatpipes leading to the copper fins. The smooth base allows for better contact with the processor, which means better heat transfer. The two fans are lit with a blue LED over the CPU area and a red LED for the fan over the memory area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The DuOrb uses many thin aluminum and copper fins to transfer heat into the airflow of the case. Two Thermaltake 80mm fans whisk the hot air away by providing a maximum 37.67CFM of airflow over the cooler and components, all while keeping the noise to a quiet 21dBA.

 

 

Now that we have had a chance to see the DuOrb cooler in all of its glory, let's move on to the testing phase.

Specifications:

 

Socket 775 Compatibility
Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 Quad
Core 2 Duo
Pentium D
Pentium 4
Pentium
Celeron D
Celeron
Socket AM2/AM2+ Compatibility
Athlon 64 FX
Athlon 64 X2
Athlon 64
Sempron
Part Number
CL-P0464
Dimension
202(L) x 106(W) x 86(H) mm
Heatsink Material
Copper/Aluminum Fins
Copper Base
Heatpipe
Copper Pipe 6mm x 6mm
Fan Dimesnion
80mm x 20mm
Rated Voltage
12v
Started Voltage
5v
Power Input
5.04W (2 Fans)
Fan Speed
2000 RPM
Maximum Air Flow
37.67CFM
Maximum Air Preassure
1.27mm H2O
Noise
21dBA
Life Expectation
50,000 Hours
Connector
3-Pin
Weight
598 grams

 

 

Features:

 

Testing:

I am going to put the Thermaltake DuOrb through its paces to see how well it performs. I will be testing how well the DuOrb cools the system by monitoring the CPU temperatures both while idle and at full load. I am also going to record the chipset temperature on the Northbridge to see how well the airflow from the cooler cools the surrounding components. I will record the temperatures and compare them to two other coolers using the same testing procedures to see how it stands up to the competition. All hardware will be kept at the stock speeds and voltages, except for when the CPU is overclocked. This will eliminate any variables from affecting our data. Just a note, the ambient temperature of the testing area will be kept at a constant 25C for all testing. To simulate a load on the CPU, I will run OCCT v2.0.0a for two hours and then let the system cool for thirty minutes for the idle temperatures. Temperatures for the CPU will be recorded using Core Temp 0.98.1 and for the chipset I will be using ASUS's PC Probe II software.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Coolers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In all of the tests, not only did the Thermaltake DuOrb keep the CPU cool, but it kept the surrounding area cooler as well.

Conclusion:

Wow! I am pleased to see these kind of numbers. I went into this review with an unbiased opinion, but hoping that the Thermaltake DuOrb would do well because of the innovation that it brings to the table by changing the way a CPU cooler works. The temperatures are impressive, especially going up against the OCZ Vendetta, which performed very well in other reviews. With an ambient temperature of 25C, the DuOrb was the lowest, matching the air temperature exactly in the Idle Stock test. Even overclocked, the DuOrb kept things cooler, except for the Overclocked load test where the OCZ Vendetta 2 and the DuOrb tied. Not only did it keep the CPU cooler, but the Thermaltake DuOrb kept the surrounding area between 2C to 5C cooler than the Vendetta 2. When compared to the stock cooler that comes packaged with retail processors, it won hands down and was actually 14C cooler in the Overclocked Load test. That is a big advantage, especially when overclocking where temperatures are everything for getting the maximum out of your hardware.

Two concerns regarding the size of the Thermaltake DuOrb. One is that you cannot use memory modules with heightened heatspreaders, such as the Corsair Dominators or the OCZ Reapers. Also, on AMD boards with a vertical setup, the cooler will block the first PCI Express graphics card slot. When running a single card, this can be worked around, but if you are running Crossfire or SLI, this will be a problem for you. Second, the price is more than other coolers such as the Vendetta 2, which is about $25 cheaper. However, you get what you pay for and this cooler proves its performance with the numbers. If you are like me and overclock every piece of hardware you get your hands on, then the Thermaltake DuOrb is, hands down, a no brainer. Just make sure you have the room to install it beforehand.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: