Thermaltake Dragon Orb 3
Page 1 - Thermaltake's Copper/Aluminum Hybrid
Let me start off by saying that the Dragon Orb 3 is a damned cool looking heatsink.
Thermaltake is famous for their stylish and interesting coolers. The Dragon Orb is
definitely not an exception.
As you can see above the Dragon Orb 3 comes with a 3 to 4 pin adapter, in case your
motherboard cannot handle the 7000 RPM fan. However, this adapter is not an option for
people with fan speed warnings on their motherboards (take the KT7 for instance, it will not
turn on if there is no fan in power socket 1). But, it's there, and it's good to know
that Thermaltake has taken care of you if you are in that situation.
Some of you might be wondering what the 3 on the on the end of Dragon Orb is for. Well, for
those of you out of the "loop", there were two previous Dragon Orbs. What is
different with this offering is that it has a copper core. Mind you the whole thing is
not made of copper, just the core. I believe this to be one of the best combinations
of metal a heatsink manufacturer can put together.
While Silver is the most conductive metal and would most likely make a damned good
heatsink, no one could really afford a silver heatsink. So, copper and aluminium are what
we are left with as the next two conductive metals in the "conductivity tree".
Copper absorbs heat better than aluminum, but it does not pass it off as quickly as
aluminum, which is why putting the copper at the core and the aluminum on outside of the
copper is such an efficient idea.
Anyway, let me proceed with the review. The Dragon Orb 3 comes with a Dow Corning thermal
interface material (much to my displeasure). This stuff works by "melding around"
your CPU core when it gets hot. This provides great contact, but when it comes time to
change heatsinks, you're screwed. Besides, Arctic Silver is better anyway. So, I took the
liberty of scraping all the black crap off with a smooth knife blade. There are some minor
scratches, but I smoothed them out with a Scotch Pad®.
The Dragon Orb 3 was a pain in the ass to install. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a first
for me. Of all the heatsinks I've installed, the Orbs have been the most troublesome for
me. However, the clip on this Dragon Orb sucked an exceptional amount of ass.
In fact, when I tried to install the Dragon Orb, I chipped all the edges off my Athlon
on two sides. It still works, but it was damned scary. I finally got it on by taking out
the power supply (yes, I should have done it in the first place). What am I saying?
If you have a Mid-Tower or smaller, take out the powersupply for the love of
There It Is!
As you can see above, I got it on and it works. The above shots are actually action shots.
Yes, the fans are on, but you can't tell. I thought I might point out that my system
was loud before the Dragon Orb. It was a loud dull roar. I figured I would not be able tell
the Orb was in there. I was wrong. With the addition of the Dragon Orb, I now have a full
range of annoying sound.
Anyway, enough talk about installation. Let me show you how this puppy performed!
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