Thermaltake Dragon Orb3 Heatsink Review
The Dragon Orb 3 is simply a
massive cooling solution. At 80mm tall, it is one of the tallest heatsinks we have have seen to date, and it has the distinction of being the only heatsink with a 30mm thick copper base we know of. With the new blue-anodized fins and the externally mounted fan in a gold-anodized casing, the Dragon Orb 3 gets high marks for its' looks.
With this much copper, performance is almost a guaranteed, and bucking the trend against being suspenseful I can say right off the bat, the Dragon Orb 3 won't disappoint. All is not perfectly well however, there are a few areas of this heatsink which proved less than ideal.
AMD Athlon, Duron, Socket A. Intel Socket
462, Socket 370.
37dBa, 38CFM, 12V, 0.37A
- Heatsink Dim: 81x70x70mm
HS Material: Extruded
- Mfg by: Thermaltake
The largest issue we noticed with the Dragon Orb 3 is the very soft top cover for the fan. Since the heatsink is quite heavy, it was not uncommon for the side fins on the orange fan shroud to become distorted or bent. The aluminum is so soft that simply grabbing the heatsink by the fan shroud usually causes the metal to bend.
The main benefit to moving the Orb3's fan to its current position from that of being mounted directly to the copper core of the cooler is more air is moved down into the small copper pins at the heart of the cooler. In previous versions, like the mini-copper orb, the fan was mounted to the copper and restricted much of the air flow in that region.
The gold anodized external fan shrouds attach to
the top of the Orb3, and apparently are also being sold separately as an upgrade
path to previous Thermaltake Orbs. The fans lock in between two fins and are
screwed into place. We used a bit too much pressure pushing the fan grill back
into place in one instance and bent it a bit. As there really isn't too
much space between the top of the fan and the top of the fan grill, one has to
be careful not to bend the metal so much it interferes with the fan
The copper pegs at the heart of the Dragon Orb3 are 8mm tall and roughly 2mm square. These same
types of cut-out copper pegs were used on the mini-copper orb with moderate success, but have been lengthened here. With both pegs and the blue fins adding to the overall cooling abilities, the Dragon Orb 3 is just about two heatsinks in
The only down-side to all this
copper is sheer weight. The Dragon Orb 3 is not a light heatsink by any means,
and the use of all this copper has necessitated a very sturdy socket clip to
keep the heatsink in place, and level on the processor die.
The clip grasps on to all of the hooks on a socket to
provide the most stable possible attachment for this heavy heatsink possible.
The force is very stiff however, and we found it a bit difficult to engage the
mechanism on our test rig. You can use both a screw driver or the
thumb-hold depending on what you find easiest when engaging the clip.