iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Thermaltake BigTyp VP and MaxOrb EX CPU Coolers

<< Previous page

     Next page >>

MaxOrb EX (CL-P0467)

Our another contender, MaxOrb EX, is also almost a complete copy of the parent MaxOrb design. It just uses modern finish materials (its finning is made of aluminum and copper now).

That is, we again witness a sturdy and technically elegant working medium, which inherited a well thought-out composition of a copper base (60x40x12 mm, 45x40 mm at the bottom), 6 copper heat pipes (6 mm in diameter), copper-aluminum fin-stack (cup-shaped configuration, 140x54 mm), and open impeller (120x120x25 mm, nominal rotational speed -- 2000 rpm). The main attraction of the MaxOrb is also preserved in its place -- the fin-stack is divided into six independent sections, each one supported by its own heat pipe: two inner sections (30 fins, 15x23 mm, aluminum), two internal sections (55 fins, 15x23 mm, aluminum), and two external sections (71 fins of a complex shape, 15x54 mm, copper).

As we have already noted, this design significantly intensifies heat release in case of radial finning -- temperature gradients on the fins become more pronounced, mutual heating between pipes-fins is eliminated, heat pipes become more efficient. So practically the entire surface of MaxOrb EX (about 3000 cm2) is involved into full-blooded heat exchange, acting as a counterpart of tower-like heat sinks of much larger surface area.

Besides, the cup-like configuration of the finning is itself an excellent thermal ameliorant. Indeed, this feature looks well justified and appropriate: a fan operating in the propeller mode is usually characterized by weak static pressure and slow air flows, but "sinking" an impeller in the "cup" changes the situation . It allows to make the best use of vortex formation at the fan blade sides. As a result, pronounced turbulent flows at the periphery of the impeller blow through the external sections, and contribute to the air flows through the internal fin sections, achieving higher heat release coefficients and proper optimization of the full thermal resistance of the cooler.

MaxOrb EX also demonstrates neat technical details: all heat pipes are soldered to the base and fins. This cooler observes the rules of good form, just like its forefather, MaxOrb. It guarantees comfortable conditions for heat exchange (especially between pipes and fins). Thus, it raises overall efficiency of the entire thermal structure of the cooler. If we also take into account the copper heat sink (which is potentially more efficient), importance of these two circumstances become hard to overestimate -- MaxOrb EX definitely has all prerequisites to demonstrate decent results both in intense modes (high fan speed, intensive ventilation) and in low-noise conditions (the lowest fan speed, ventilation deficit).

But what concerns usability, this inheritance is a rebuke rather than a praise to our product under review -- the retention module of MaxOrb EX is again very complicated and cannot boast of being friendly to users. It's again the old situation exactly: in case of the Intel LGA775 platform, first of all you install clips on a special plastic frame (they are rather hard to latch), then it's turn to use a screwdriver to fix the "integrated" mounting bracket. A similar procedure is required for the AMD Socket AM2 platform, where you must also remove a motherboard from a PC case and then screw the bundled mounting plate.

However, it should be noted that this retention module has no issues with technical validity, unlike BigTyp VP -- it agrees well with the weight of the cooler (MaxOrb EX is about 600 g) and provides secure installation of the cooler. Another justificatory moment is its specific radial design, which does not let use retention accessories similar to ergonomic devices of BigTyp VP. However, no matter how you put it, this compromise of a solution still leaves much to be desired. Thermaltake engineers still have some work to do.

What concerns usability, we cannot ignore the archaic fan speed controller -- this oddity was not so noticeable in the parent model, but the second engagement of this disputable device is truly disappointing. Especially now that most fans come with PWM control. Indeed, it fails to offer the modern range of controlled fan speed (rotational speed can vary from 1300 rpm to 2000 rpm) and deployment site (on-board installation) -- the value of this fan speed control is approaching zero. So if you want to use MaxOrb EX at low speed, you'd better forget about this control and buy a third-party device (potentiometers, multifunctional panels, etc), or use similar features provided by your motherboard. Tertium non datur.

Well, we've cleared up questions of technical design and usability issues, there is no need to elaborate. It's time to address the main aspect of our article -- test results of our coolers under review, BigTyp VP and MaxOrb EX.

Write a comment below. No registration needed!

<< Previous page

Next page >>

blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.