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Thermaltake Dragon Orb 3
Page 1 - Thermaltake's Copper/Aluminum Hybrid
Author: Dan Podhola (WebMasterP)
Date: August 12, 2001
Category: Cooling
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Thermaltake Dragon Orb 3

Let me start off by saying that the Dragon Orb 3 is a damned cool looking heatsink. Thermaltake is famous for their stylish and interesting coolers. The Dragon Orb is definitely not an exception.

The Contents
The Contents
Bottoms Up
Bottoms Up

As you can see above the Dragon Orb 3 comes with a 3 to 4 pin adapter, in case your motherboard cannot handle the 7000 RPM fan. However, this adapter is not an option for people with fan speed warnings on their motherboards (take the KT7 for instance, it will not turn on if there is no fan in power socket 1). But, it's there, and it's good to know that Thermaltake has taken care of you if you are in that situation.

Some of you might be wondering what the 3 on the on the end of Dragon Orb is for. Well, for those of you out of the "loop", there were two previous Dragon Orbs. What is different with this offering is that it has a copper core. Mind you the whole thing is not made of copper, just the core. I believe this to be one of the best combinations of metal a heatsink manufacturer can put together.

While Silver is the most conductive metal and would most likely make a damned good heatsink, no one could really afford a silver heatsink. So, copper and aluminium are what we are left with as the next two conductive metals in the "conductivity tree". Copper absorbs heat better than aluminum, but it does not pass it off as quickly as aluminum, which is why putting the copper at the core and the aluminum on outside of the copper is such an efficient idea.

Anyway, let me proceed with the review. The Dragon Orb 3 comes with a Dow Corning thermal interface material (much to my displeasure). This stuff works by "melding around" your CPU core when it gets hot. This provides great contact, but when it comes time to change heatsinks, you're screwed. Besides, Arctic Silver is better anyway. So, I took the liberty of scraping all the black crap off with a smooth knife blade. There are some minor scratches, but I smoothed them out with a Scotch Pad®.

Crap Removed
Crap Removed
Copper Core
Copper Core

The Dragon Orb 3 was a pain in the ass to install. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a first for me. Of all the heatsinks I've installed, the Orbs have been the most troublesome for me. However, the clip on this Dragon Orb sucked an exceptional amount of ass.

In fact, when I tried to install the Dragon Orb, I chipped all the edges off my Athlon on two sides. It still works, but it was damned scary. I finally got it on by taking out the power supply (yes, I should have done it in the first place). What am I saying? If you have a Mid-Tower or smaller, take out the powersupply for the love of god!.

There It Is!
There It Is!
The Beast
The Beast

As you can see above, I got it on and it works. The above shots are actually action shots. Yes, the fans are on, but you can't tell. I thought I might point out that my system was loud before the Dragon Orb. It was a loud dull roar. I figured I would not be able tell the Orb was in there. I was wrong. With the addition of the Dragon Orb, I now have a full range of annoying sound.

Anyway, enough talk about installation. Let me show you how this puppy performed!

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