With a small increase in voltage over standard spec, this value-class DDR2-667 module is quite capable of DDR2-800 speed at the SPD timings. At this voltage and speed the bare chips just barely get warm, registering only 35° C at idle and 42° C at load. With the Thermaltake RamOrb in place, the chip temperature is reduced by 6° C under load, while the surface of the RamOrb heat spreaders measures a degree or two colder.
Bumping voltage up to 2.15v allows the memory to be overclocked to near DDR2-1066 speed, while still maintaining the 5-5-5-15 timings. The increased volts cause the module to run a full 7° C hotter at load, registering nearly 50° C chip temperature. By comparison, the RamOrb-equipped chips peak almost 10° C less, while the cooler stays at a mere 37° C.
The RamOrb is only one of a new series of memory coolers from Thermaltake, including the V1R and Spirit RS. However it is the only one that offers active cooling via the built-in blue LED fan. Despite the relatively low amount of airflow produced by the RamOrb fan, the amount of additional cooling it provides is fairly significant, nearly 10° C at peak load temp. This ensures that the memory remains cool regardless of case airflow, which is critical in all other passive coolers.
Installation of the RamOrb is moderately easy, although a certain amount of care must be taken to line up the heatspreaders correctly so that they do not come into contact with any electrical components on the PCB. There is a small overhanging lip along the bottom edge that was touching some resistors the first time I tightened everything down, and the memory would not POST as a result. Simply loosening the hex screws and adjusting the module down a few mm, then retightening everything fixed the problem. The thermal pads are not adhesive, a good thing if you plan on ever removing and reusing the RamOrb, and with the flexibility of the heatpipe mounting it should be nearly universally installable, regardless of which motherboard model you have or how the memory slots are aligned.
The price on the RamOrb might be considered a bit steep, at $29.99 retail it could easily cost you more than the memory itself! Prices on DDR2 continue to fall although the cost of DDR is on the rise as popularity and demand for the older type wanes. Given the higher voltage requirements of DDR the Thermaltake RamOrb could be cheap thermal insurance to extend the life of your performance memory.
OCIA.net has awarded the Thermaltake RamOrb our Seal of Approval.