Summary: The DuOrb Extreme is really the product the original DuOrb should have been, a highly compatible, high performance, VGA cooler that can compete with the industry’s best. It might have taken 18 months, but Thermaltake has listened to our demands. Not only does the DuOrb Extreme now support the latest ATI and Nvidia graphics cards, but it also includes the all important fan speed controller.
Summary: I've probably owned or tested pretty much every "Orb" cooler made by Thermaltake, from the GoldenOrb and SuperOrb to the newer MaxOrb and DuOrb, Thermaltake has produced quite a few nice coolers under the Orb brand. The DuOrb is one of the most unique designs I've seen in a while, and I was very interested to see how it compared to other coolers on the market.
Pros: Good Performance, Unique Design, Easy Installation, High Quality Construction
Summary: Since we are yet to find an online retailer that lists the new Thermaltake DuOrb AX it is difficult to say how much this new product is going to cost exactly. Based on the current pricing for the original DuOrb, which has it at around $40 US, we expect the new aluminum AX version to cost around $30 US, making it more affordable.
Summary: Though I am impressed by the performance of the Thermaltake DuOrb CPU cooler, I’m still somewhat staid in my praise for this product. To call it the be all and end all of CPU coolers is incorrect, but to relegate it to my “sell on eBay” pile isn’t right either. When it comes down to it I’m left ticking off things on my checklist, so here we go.
The DuOrb has a fair degree of pluses in its favour.
Summary: By contrast, the DuOrb’s installation—which still requires motherboard removal—entails no heaving or straining to mount the cooler overtop our CPU. While this device certainly trounces the Zalman in noise level and installation, our apprehensions about the cooler’s size keep the DuOrb out of our hall of fame.
Pros: Great cooling, quiet, easy installation process.
Cons: Takes up a worrisome chunk of space above your motherboard.
Excerpt: Over the past year I have looked at several high performance heatsinks from various manufacturers. The mould has stayed the same for nearly all of the coolers; build it tall and put large 120mm fans that push the air to the top or rear of the case and hope a case fan removes the air quickly. This is a very efficient way to cool a processor, but it leaves pockets of air around the motherboard.
Summary: The DuOrb is aesthetically pleasing, and in testing was able to match the performance of the previously best air cooler I have reviewed. This in itself was very encouraging. Going beyond just the CPU temperatures, the additional wingspan of the cooler significantly lowered the temperatures of some additional motherboard components. The only downside to the increased wingspan, is that the cooler might not fit in some smaller sized ATX cases.
Summary: I will be testing the Thermaltake DuOrb against the Thermalright HR-03 Plus with a 92mm Coolink fan rated for 35.5 CFM @ 25 dBA. My test system consists of the following hardware.
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
Zalman CPU Cooler
EVGA 680i SLI Motherboard
2 GB OCZ PC2-6400 XTC Memory
OCZ Technology 8800GTX
74 Gb Western Digital Raptor 10k RPM HDD
Lite-On Optical Drive
Mountain Mods Duality Case
Ultra Products X3 1kw PSU
A room temperature of 24 C was maintained throughout...
Conclusion: There is no getting around it; the DuOrb is one short, fat and yet quiet cooler. At first we likened it to a mythological Tolkien Dwarf, that is also short, yet strong; but in retrospect that may not be the best analogy as this bad boy may be short but it is not loud and boisterous as dwarves are portrayed.