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.
Excerpt: The design is certainly unique, but we dislike the look of the red-blue fan combination. It’s a slap in the face of case aesthetics. We’d much rather see no LED fans at all than this mismatched lighting pattern. We’re used to seeing coolers get taller and taller, and there’s a good reason for this—there aren’t any components above your CPU that could get in the way. Thermaltake’s horizontal expansion could prove troublesome for enthusiast builders.
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...
Excerpt: started its core business based on our extensive knowledge of PC thermal management during the era where the area of performance CPU cooling was only exclusive for "overclockers" or PC enthusiasts. With the company's initial launch of Orb coolers, it created waves of shocks and appraisals throughout the gaming and Overclocking communities. Thermaltake quickly became the name gamers turn to when they need high-end and reliable thermal solutions.
Pros: Easiest VGA cooler I have installed in a while, Design allows good airflow across the board, Lighter than stock cooler, Outstanding performance (19-20c under load), Great value for money
Cons: Ermm not available for ATi 2000 series which is a shame