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Mutton dressed as lamb?

Product : ThermalTake Golden Orb Slot 1
#Price : 16.45 (Price includes VAT)
Available from : The Overclocking Store
Related reviews : [Globalwin VOS32]-[Globalwin FKK50]-[Alpha PAL6035]-[Globalwin FDP32]-[Slot heatsink roundup]
Discuss this review in our forums

The Golden Orb (otherwise known as the GORB) from Thermaltake combines looks with overclocking power. Thermaltake's first Golden ORB models were made to fit Socket 370 processors, and quickly established itself as a quality cooler which looked good and performed to a high standard. Now Thermaltake have porting the Golden Orb to Slot 1 and Slot A, as well as other Socket platforms. We look at the Slot 1 (SECC 2) which is here to please the many Coppermine owners.

Once you open the packaging you see a piece of art sculpted in metal. The design of the Golden Orb is the same as it's Socket 370 counterpart. However to make it fit into the P3's heat transfer plate Thermaltake has welded the Orb onto an aluminum plate which covers all of the heat transfer plate. The whole package is covered in an attractive gold paint finish.

Air flow is taken care of by a single 4500 RPM fan which ensures 20 CFM. This is somewhat unusual since most coolers which are designed for overclockers have dual fans. This, we believe is the only weakness in the design of this product. If Thermaltake decide to make a dual fan version of this cooler, then without doubt the performance of this cooler would reach new heights.

Installation

The Golden Orb comes with thermal conducting paste already included and from what we've heard this is good quality, and left it. The retaining system used on the Golden Orb is nothing unique (unlike in the Socket 370 version), but the whole system works well and the heatsink is easy to install. The power connector for the 4500 RPM fan which is nested in the golden fins, is a three pin connector.

Results

The results provided by the Golden Orb weren't stunning, but when considering it has one fan rather than two, it does provide a good indication to how efficient this 'orb' design is.

We tried the Orb on a P3 650 (cB0) and although this Coppermine overclocks very well, we thought we'd just leave it how it was and see how the Golden Orb performs. The contact between the CPU and the heatsink was sweet and everything was go.

We compared it against the bog standard Intel supplied heatsink. We felt this was a good comparison since both had single fans, and we all know that comparing this to an Alpha or the VOS32 wouldn't really be fair. We already know that the Intel heatsinks perform adequately when placed on a non-overclocked CPU.

As we thought the Golden Orb beats the Intel heatsink/fan by quite # a margin, however you would expect this after paying 15. It still isn't Alpha cooling, but it's certainly a darn site nicer to look at.

Conclusion

The Golden Orb always has been, and will continue to be one of the most pleasing coolers on the market, in both looks and performance. The great design, which is very efficient should be noted by other heatsink manufacturers, but where the Golden Orb falls back is when compared to dual fan heatsinks. It simply can't compete with the likes of Alpha and Globalwin. If Thermaltake were to put more fins on the backplate, which is bare it could improve this cooler's performance. However if you aren't looking to overclock your Slot 1 CPU by too much and you are fashion conscious then the Golden Orb is hard not to recommend.