Thermaltake MaxOrb CPU Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 02-14-2008
Provided by: Thermaltake
Discuss: View Comments

I will be installing the Max Orb on my AMD socket AM2 motherboard. Although Thermaltake includes an AM2 backing plate, it is only required if the stock plate does not contain threaded inserts. Otherwise the included standoffs simply screw into the four holes in the backing plate and then the mounting bracket is attached to these posts. The bracket is designed to allow only one way to install the cooler, so you will want to test-fit the Max Orb first, to see if there is any interference with components surrounding the CPU socket. In my case, I opted to install the bracket with the threaded post pointing towards the bottom of the motherboard, to orient the cooler with the heatpipes away from the DIMM slots. This allowed me to retain use of the first two slots and keep the memory modules closer to the Max Orb so they receive the benefit of ancillary cooling.

The mounting clip comes pre-attached to the Max Orb and hooks onto the bracket on one end, then is pushed down over the threaded post at the other. With enough of the threads sticking up through the hole in the clip, the Phillips-head nut is then tightened onto the post. I found this portion of the installation frustratingly tricky to accomplish. First of all, the position of the hook under the cooler makes it impossible to see where you are trying to attach it to the bracket. Once you have managed to feel your way through this, a good amount of effort is required to hold the clip down over the post with enough threads sticking up through to get the nut started. The nut is then right up against the edge of the fins on the cooler, where it is difficult to tighten using thumb and fingers.

And unfortunately it seems Thermaltake has made the nut out of aluminum, so it does not stay on the end of a magnetic screwdriver. Thus it takes three hands to install the Max Orb, one to hold down the clip, one to hold the nut in place and one to turn the screwdriver. With some amount of trial and error I was able to hold the clip down and the nut in place with one hand while turning the screwdriver with the other. Also due to the closeness of the nut to the fins, it requires spreading them apart in order to reach it with the screwdriver.

Once completed, the Max Orb is rigidly affixed to the CPU surface and has very little freedom of movement. Despite the difficulty, I would rather deal with this in order to have the benefit of tight contact between the CPU and cooler, both for enhanced performance and peace of mind. The last Thermaltake cooler reviewed, the V1, had a poor mounting mechanism that may have contributed to higher temps and a worry that it would fall off. But no such problems here. When turned on, the Max Orb blue lighting adds a soft, subtle glow to the interior of your case, although the unevenness of the fin spacing sort of ruins the aesthetics. Now let's see how it performs.

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