Thermaltake MaxOrb EX CPU Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 11-06-2008
Provided by: Thermaltake
The Cooler

The MaxOrb EX is packaged in a clear plastic blister pack with accessory box containing manual, mounting hardware and Thermaltake's own thermal paste. The bracket replaces the stock socket retention module and is identical to the original MaxOrb mounting mechanism.

The unit ships with a plastic shroud insert that should be removed prior to use. As we saw with the original MaxOrb, several of the radial fins are not soldered tightly to the heatpipes and have loose, side-to-side movement. Also as before, some fins are bent, although whether as a result of shipping or packaging Thermaltake has apparently still not addressed this issue.

The six heatpipes travel up out of the base and around the circumference of the fins, with the outermost pipe routed through the copper section and the inside two pipes traversing the inner aluminum fins. As the heatpipes begin and end in the base it could be said there are really only three pipes, but each capable of bidirectional heat dispersal. The control knob is conveniently mounted in a space between the fins on the opposite end of the cooler.

Unlike the original MaxOrb base, which still bore some ridges from machining, the unplated copper base on the MaxOrb EX is smooth and highly polished. However there was strangely no plastic covering commonly used for protection during shipping, and the copper has a purple discoloration over much of the surface. There are what appear to be "bubbles" or spots where the discoloration did not occur, and one entire corner that was exempt from the effect. I have seen other copper heatsink bases discolor in a similar fashion when exposed to high temperatures for extended periods, ie. when used, however the pattern of the discoloration is the puzzling factor in this case.

The reflection test shows us a near-perfect mirror shine, albeit with a purplish sheen over much of the base. Again, I'm not sure if this is a result of some strange testing procedure used on this particular unit prior to shipping or a fluke of the copper material used in production.

Let's see if the MaxOrb EX is similar to the MaxOrb in installation.

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