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Thermaltake Volcano 11+ Heatsink (Xaser Edition) Review

Former staff writer    -   July 3, 2003


Installation
Installing the Volcano 11+ wasn’t exactly hard, however it did bother me. The Volcano 11+ mounts in the same way the Volcano 7’s and Volcano 9’s did, in that they use a 3-hole clip to attach to the socket. While this is good, there is no real easy way to get the last clip over the socket. The instructions say to use a flat head screwdriver to press the clip down. This works well, however it feels like a lot of force is being used here, and I was worried that the CPU die might be crushed. – We’ve seen lots of stories here how it’s happened with the Volcano 9. Be careful when installing this sucker. If done right, you’ll be fine, but a slip up can crush the CPU, or send the screw drive through the motherboard.

Speaking of the instructions, this is what the sheet looked like:




As far as mounting either one of the fan speed adjusters, that’s a breeze. Just put it in it’s place, fasten the screws, and connect the fan to the controller.

Testing
Testing was done in the usual manner. A CompU Nurse thermal probe was attached next to the CPU die. Thermal Compound used in the testing is the new Ceramaque by Arctic Silver, which was applied in a thin layer as directed in the product’s application guidelines. The Ceramaque was allowed to do its thing for 72 hours before testing was done. Room temp was maintained as close as possible to 27.4°C for the testing. As a comparison heat sink, the Cooler master X-Dream was used.

Idle temps were taken by shutting down all non-critical services and allowing the system to sit idle for 15 minutes, with the lowest temperature recorded. To get the load temps, Folding@Home was run with normal priority, while at the same time 3DMark03 was run in a loop for 15 minutes, the highest reached temp during the 15 minutes was recorded.

The system that was used for testing and comparison is:
  • Abit KX7-333R Motherboard
  • AMD XP 1800+ CPU
  • Corsair PC2700 DDR (1x512MB)
  • XFX GeForce 4Ti 4200
  • Lian Li PC-70 Case w/
  • 6x Coolermaster Neon LED Case Fans

    Temperatures - Overclocked to 146Mhz FSB

     

    Idle

    Load

    Volcano 11+

    38.5

    43.4

    X-Dream

    41.6

    46.1


    The X-Dream, which is considered a "budget cooler" wasn't out preformed much by the Volcano 11+. This could be, that the Volcano 11+ has a solid copper base, where as the X-Dream uses Aluminum base with a copper plug. The higher CFM from the Volcano 11+'s Smart Fan II would also be a major factor, since it is almost double the CFM of the X-Dream. Anyway you look at it, the Volcano 11+ still cooled better.

  • Conclusion
    Once again, Thermaltake has put together another nice cooling product. Not sure why they decided to go with the "tooled" mounting style as "tool-less" is pretty much the way to go with anything these days. The included speed adjusters are extremely nice, especially for those wimps that complain about fan noise. And of course, there is the automatic speed adjustment via the thermal probe for those who don't like the noise, and don't want to fool with manually adjusting the fan speed. It'll be interesting to see what Thermaltake does with the Volcano product line down the road.

     

    Pros

    • Cools Well
    • Adjustable Speed Controllers
    • All Copper (not plug or half and half)
    • 3 Prong Clip for Secure Mounting
    • Smart Fan II - Nice Fan

    Cons

    • Difficult to Install
    • Loud at Max Fan Speed
    • $40.00 May be Considered Pricy by some

     

    I'd like to think Thermaltake for sending me this product to review!

    LEGACY - OCC Recommended



    1. Introduction, Specifications, & Features
    2. Closer Look
    3. Installation. Testing, & Conclusion
    Random Pic
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