Thermaltake MaxOrb CPU Cooler
Reviewed by: Makaveli
Reviewed on: June 12, 2007
Price: $53 USD
When you overclock your system, one major concern that you have to worry about is your CPU temperature. If it gets too hot, you risk frying it like the egg you fried this morning for breakfast. So in order to obtain the overclock you want, you’ll need a CPU cooler to keep your temperatures at an ideal level, so that you can push your system to the max without worrying about your processor temperature. Today we’re going to look at the Thermaltake MaxOrb CPU cooler, to see if it keeps your CPU from looking like that fried egg and to see how it compares amongst other coolers.
To computer most enthusiasts, Thermaltake is a huge name due to their consistently high quality products. A while ago, Thermaltake stirred things up when they released their huge “Big Typhoon” cooler, because it was one of the best performers on the market for CPU cooling and it wasn’t too expensive. Let’s see if this MaxOrb is going to stir things up like the Big Typhoon cooler did.
The cooler was much bigger than I thought it would be and the box clearly shows it. I like how Thermaltake allows you to see the actual product with the clear plastic in the front. The back of the box displays some of the features of the cooler. On the left side of the box, Thermaltake explains the “magic” behind the cooler, by showing diagrams of how it works. The other side of the box showcases the specifications.
Once you take the cooler out of the box, it’ll be encased in plastic with a white box below it. The plastic opens up like a book.
Now that the cooler is out, you can see that it isn’t too tall – it only stands 3.75 inches high. There are a number of fins to dissipate the heat from the cooler. In the middle of the fins, is the 110mm fan with blue LEDs. Also, notice the fan controller on the left side of the cooler.
This particular cooler uses six heat-pipes to direct the heat away from the CPU and to the fins which disperse the heat. The bottom of the cooler is covered by a thin plastic film, which protects the highly polished copper base from dust and debris. Notice the retention clip located just above the base of the CPU cooler.
Included with the CPU cooler are instructions, which have multiple languages and different instructions per motherboard socket. Also, you’ll get some thermal paste, mounting screws and pins, mounting brackets and a mounting plate.
When you read the instruction pamphlet, you’ll find out which of the included parts you need to install your MaxOrb correctly. For my LGA 775 motherboard, I didn’t need the mounting plate, so I was happy about that. The first thing you need to do is remove the old CPU cooler and if necessary, clean the CPU. I used 90 percent alcohol and a Q-tip for this task.
Follow the instructions for how to correctly mount the CPU cooler for your socket. Below, you can see what the mounting bracket looks like completed and ready to go for my motherboard. After the mounting bracket was set, I put some thermal paste on the CPU before I put the cooler on.
Once the bracket is set, just hook the retention clip on the bottom of the mounting bracket and then the longer side of the retention clip will lock over that gold screw. Lock the retention clip into place with the provided screw and plug in the fan cable. Below you can see the cooler installed and what it looks like when it’s turned on.
|Compatibility||Intel Core 2 Extreme (socket LGA 775)
Core 2 Quad (socket LGA 775)
Core 2 Duo (socket LGA 775)
Pentium D (socket LGA 775)
Pentium 4 (socket LGA 775)
Pentium (socket LGA 775)
Celeron D (socket LGA 775)
Celeron (socket LGA 75)
|AMD Athlon 64 FX (socket AM2, 939)
Athlon 64 X2 (socket AM2, 939)
Athlon 54 (socket AM2, 939, 754)
Sempron (socket AM2, 754)
|Dimension|| 143 (L) x 114 (D) x 95.2 (H) mm
|Heatsink Material|| Copper Base & Aluminum Fin
|Heatpipe|| Copper Tube 6mm x 6pcs
|Fan Dimension|| 110mm x 25mm
|Started Voltage|| 7v
|Fan Speed|| 1300 ~ 2000 RPM
|Max. Air Flow|| 86.5 CFM
|Max. Air Pressure||2.22mmH2O|
|Noise|| 16dBA ~ 24dBA
|Life Expectation|| 50,000 hrs
|Connector|| 3 Pin
To test this cooler, I’ll be comparing it to an Intel stock cooler and Thermaltake’s V1 cooler (OCC Review). Each of the coolers, except the Intel cooler, has fan settings for “High” and “Low”. For each cooler, when I put the CPU under full load, the fan setting of “Low” would cause my computer to crash, seconds into the program test. This meant that I couldn’t record any temperatures for the load of the CPU coolers while their fans were on “Low”. Also, the overclock is only to 2.7GHz with a VCORE of 1.400, over the stock 2.4GHz. This is because that was the highest I could get the Intel stock cooler to go and have it complete the load test. The program I used to get both cores of my CPU on full load was OCCT which ran for 30 minutes. All results are in Celsius and lower is better in all tests.
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Processor
- ASUS P5N32-SLi SE Deluxe Motherboard
- Mushkin XP2-6400 (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 Memory
- eVGA 7950GT KO Video Card
- XG Vortec 600watt Power Supply
- Western Digital 250GB IDE Hard Drive
- Western Digital 160GB SATA 3.0GB/s Hard Drive
- Seagate 80GB IDE Hard Drive
- LG DVD-R DL Burner
- Windows XP Media Center 2005
- Turtle Beach Montego DDL Sound Card
- Enermax Uber Chakra ATX Full Tower Case
The V1 CPU cooler clearly does much better than its competitors in all the tests. During testing, I noted the noise from the MaxOrb cooler. It was almost silent when the fan was on "Low", but when it was on "High", it was noticeable and on the verge of being too loud. Below are some pictures of the MaxOrb and the V1 next to each other so that you can get an idea for size, differences and similarities between the coolers.
I felt very much let down by the performance of this cooler, because my initial thought was that the 'radiate' design of the cooler would propel it ahead of the competition. From the test results, you can see that was clearly not the case. It did perform better than the Intel stock cooler, but then don’t most after-market coolers? I wouldn’t recommend this cooler to anyone, because for a few more dollars, you can get the V1 cooler from Thermaltake and get much better cooling. While the installation of the cooler was unique, it was also quite easy, so that is a positive point. The cooler looks stylish and having a fan control knob is definitely a great feature, because if you’re not running your CPU intensively, you can turn the fan to “Low” and get it to sound almost completely silent. To be honest with you, I feel like the retention clip isn’t the most secure way to attach a big cooler to your motherboard; I like coolers that have the push-pin clips that are already attached before you put the cooler onto your motherboard. The 'radiate' technology is definitely something that is a work in progress and I hope to see a CPU cooler that can use this technology to give much better results than what the MaxOrb is putting out. So if you’re looking into a cooler from Thermaltake, think about spending a few more dollars to get the V1 instead of the MaxOrb to cool your CPU down a bit more.
Win this cooler and a lot more at OverclockersClub.com's Thermaltake contest which can be found HERE!
- Stylish Looks
- Ease of Installation
- Fan Controller
- Poor performance
- Loud when fan is on “High”