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Thermaltake Volcano 11+ Xaser Edition
Page 1 - Introduction & Installation
Author: Dan Podhola (WebMasterP)
Date: September 16, 2003
Category: Cooling
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Thermaltake Volcano 11+ Xaser Edition


The only previous experience I have had with Thermaltake was with two other heatsinks, the Dragon Orb 3 I reviewed and the Volcano 7+ that I installed for a friend. Both were better than average performing heatsinks but had their downfalls. With the Volcano 11+ Xaser Edition, Thermaltake is bringing a slew of new features to the table. With that said, the question remains: can Thermaltake offer all the new features and still offer good performance with an average priced heatsink and fan?

First off, here is a look at the list of specifications provided on the back of the box:

K7 Volcano 11+ Xaser Edition
Fan Dimension 80x80x25 mm
Heastink Dimension 70x66x30.8 mm
Rated Voltage 12 V
Started Voltage 6 V
Rated Current 0.20 - 0.70 A
Power Input 2.40 - 8.40 W
Fan Speed: 1300±10% RPM @ 20°C - 4800±10% RPM @ 55°C
Maximum Air Flow 20.55 CFM @ 20°C - 75.70 CFM @ 55°C
Maximum Air Pressure 1.45 mm-H2O @ 20°C - 8.43 mm-H2O @ 55°C
Noise 17 dBA @ 1300 RPM
48 dBA @ 4800 RPM
Bearing Type 2 Ball bearing
Life Expectation 50,000 hours
Interface material Dow Corning T340
Connector 3-pin

The Volcano 11+ comes with a lot more than your average heatsink does. In the box one will discover a 5.25" fan speed controller, a PCI slot fan speed controller, a 3 to 4-pin adapter with a RPM signal plug, a fairly large piece of thermal tape, a small package of Dow Corning T340 thermal paste, a thermal probe designed to fit through the pins of your CPU, 4 small screws, 1 large screw, one blue jumper, and instruction sheet, and, of course, the Volcano 11+ heatsink. Thermaltake spared no expense making sure you have everything you could possibly need (within reason) to get their product working the way you want it.

The Obligatory Box shot
The Obligatory Box shot
Click For Labeled View
Click For Labeled View

All those parts allow the Volcano 11+ to offer thee main modes of operation. First off, and most obvious, is 'full speed mode'. You place the blue jumper on the provided connector and plug the fan in the way you want to (3-pin into the motherboard or using the 3 to 4-pin adapter) and you are on your way. The second mode is CPU temperature controlled mode. One needs to tape the thermal probe to the bottom of the processor, wire the small wires through the CPU pins, secure the CPU in the socket, install the heatsink, plug the heatsink in (the same way as in the first mode), and then finally plug the thermal probe into the fan. This method automatically adjusts your fan speed. It bottoms out at 1300 RPM at 20°C and is at its maximum at 4800 RPM at 55°C. Finally, the last mode is using the supplied fan speed controllers, which one has two options as to how one wants to install (PCI or 5.25" bay).

Bonded Fins Close Up
Bonded Fins Close Up
The Bottom
The Bottom

The heatsink itself is made of pure copper with bonded fins. Compared to most heatsinks I have in my lab, it looks pretty big. However, it does not weight what it looks like it would. The bottom of the heatsink was very smooth and looked to be very flat.

The 'X' Fan Grill
The 'X' Fan Grill
Side Shot
Side Shot

The fan grill is stylish and supposed to represent an 'X' (hence the Xaser Edition). Unlike the Dragon Orb 3, the grill is made out of a solid material and will not bend in and prevent the fan from moving. The fan shroud has 'VOLCANO' etched into the sides and is a nice looking black. The whole unit looks pretty good to me but you can make your own judgments.

Installation was not a pleasure, but it was not a nightmare either. The clip is stiff and, as far as installation is concerned, immovable. If your motherboard capacitors are close on the side you first clip on, it could be somewhat annoying. However, with a little struggling one can eventually get it setup. Overall, installation is very similar to the Volcano 7+ and the OCZ Gladiator 3 and much improved over the Dragon Orb 3. There are better heatsink clips out there, but this one works.

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