Thermaltake Volcano 11+ Heatsink (Xaser Edition) Review

Admin - 2007-02-23 17:38:20 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: July 3, 2003
Thermaltake
Thermaltake
Introduction
Thermaltake is a company well known for their superb cooling products, and we've had several opportunities in the past to take a look at their products. Today, we'll be taking a look at their latest heat stink, designed for the AMD XP processors, the Volcano 11+ Xaser Edition.



Specifications

Part Number  

A1725

Fan Dimension

80x80x25mm

Heat sink Dimension

70x66x30.8mm

Rated Voltage

12V

Started Voltage

6VD

Rated Current

0.04A ~ 0.50A

Power Input

2.40W ~ 8.40W

Fan Speed 

1300 +/- 10% RPM @ 20C

 

4800 +/- 10% RPM @ 55C

Max Air Flow

20.55 CFM @ 20C

 

75.70 CFM @ 55C

Noise Level 

17 dB(A) @ 1300 RPM

 

48 dB(A) @ 4800 RPM

Bearing Type

Two Ball Bearing

Life Span  

50,000 Hours

Connector 

3-pin


Features
  • Application for AMD Athlon XP up to 3400+
  • Apti-fin technology, made by all copper (40 fins)
  • 2 adjustable manual fan speed control
  • PCI slot bracket
  • 5.25" drive bay
  • Much lighter compared with copper insert sink
  • Fan grille: "X" edition
  • Closer Look
    There are two different versions of the Volcano 11, and both of them happen to be a "Xaser Edition": The Volcano 11 + Xaser Edition, and the Volcano 11 - Xaser Edition. What’s the difference? The "+" version comes with a 5.25" adjustable fan speed controller, and a fan controller that can be mounted in a PCI bracket, whereas the "-" version only includes the PCI bracket fan control. Aside from that, the difference in price from where I looked was about one dollar, and in some cases no difference at all.

    The Volcano 11+ comes in a nice purple box, with windows so you can see the top of the Volcano 11, and each of the fan controllers.

    Here you can see everything out of the box and spread out.

    What's Included:
  • Set of instructions
  • Thermaltake Volcano 11 + Xaser Edition
  • PCI bracket manual fan sped adjuster
  • 5.25" Drive Bay manual fan sped adjuster
  • Screws to mount the controllers (1 for PCI, 4 for 5.25" drive bay)
  • Blue jumper
  • Thermal Probe Lead
  • Packet of Thermal Compound



  • Below you see the "X" edition fan grille, the one that comes standard is silver, however Thermaltake also has a three pack set that can be purchased that have Silver, Blue, and Gold. - With the orange and black color of the Volcano 11+, a black grille would have looked nice.



    The fan under the grill, is non-other than the Thermaltake Smart Fan II, which you also find on the Volcano 9 heat sink.



    Here you can see the connectors for the fan. There is a standard 3-pin adapter, a connector for the thermal probe or fan controller, and a jumper spot. Connecting the jumper as it is in the image below will cause the fan to run at full speed, overriding the controllers or thermal probe if they are connected.



    Here is the Volcano 11+ without the fan connected, allowing us to see the copper fins.



    Here is the side view of the heat sink, again, showing off the copper fins, and the name "Volcano" engraved across the side.



    Here we have one side of the clip, which attaches to the socket's tabs. Notice, unlike the Cooler Master heat sinks, the Volcano 11+ has no easy or "tool-less" method to install it. Instead, the instructions say to use a screw driver and use it to pres the clip down. Common guys, who thought of that? You can also see, Thermaltake etched their name into the side here.



    As I mentioned earlier, there are two different fan controllers with the Volcano 11+ (remember, the 11- only has one!). Here we can see the controller that fits in the PCI bracket; Gold with a yellow and black sticker. That's kinda of cool looking, but who has a gold case? Or better yet, who has a yellow and black color scheme? None of the Xaser cases do... why have a part that clashes with just about everything? Of course, you can make the argument that it's on the back of the case, and probably no one will see it.



    The other fan controller mounts in the front, and has a silver and black color scheme. Something that will match most cases a little better.

    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

    Cons

     

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