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Thermal Performance

The AMD Athlon X2 3800+ was overclocked from its default clock rate of 2000MHz to 2860MHz (a frequency gain of 40.0%) at a 280MHz clock-gen frequency and with a core voltage increase to 1.55V. The Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 processor was overclocked from its default 2133MHz to 3500MHz (a 64.1% frequency growth) with a core voltage increase to 1.45V.

The fan speeds in the diagrams are shown as reported by the monitoring tools. Let’s now see which of the two coolers is more effective.

The older cooler wins here, but its advantage is far from overwhelming. The difference between the two coolers is really negligible on the AMD platform in Low Noise mode, which is actually the most important operation mode. On the hotter processor from Intel the MaxOrb is about 3°C worse, which is not critical, either. At the max speed, i.e. in the Performance mode, the Big Typhoon wins by a considerable 5°C, though. Thus, if you are into extreme overclocking and utilize air coolers for that, the Thermaltake Big Typhoon is preferable to the MaxOrb.


I’ve been comparing two coolers from Thermaltake in this review. So, which is better? The Big Typhoon is more effective than the MaxOrb at cooling CPUs and is already selling for a modest price. I guess these two factors are enough to make a choice between the two tested solutions. But if these are not crucial factors for you, you may appreciate the two times lower weight of the MaxOrb, its more convenient fastening mechanism, high finish quality of the base, fan highlighting, and better cooling of the near-socket space (because the fan is placed much closer to the mainboard than with the Big Typhoon). The two coolers are equals when it comes to their noise level, both at the min and max speeds (I compare the MaxOrb with the VX version of the Big Typhoon).

We are now looking forward to test the Zalman CNPS8700, which is designed alike to the MaxOrb, and to a possible release of an all-copper version of the MaxOrb from Thermaltake.

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