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    OCZ Gladiator 3 and Thermaltake Volcano 12 Heatsinks Review
    Author: Alan Wong
    Date Posted: December 26th, 2003
    OCZ Gladiator 3 (Black Fan Version) SLRating: SLRating: 7/10
    OCZ Gladiator 3 (LED Fan Version) SLRating: SLRating: 9/10
    Thermaltake Volcano 12 Heatsinks SLRating: SLRating: 9/10
    Bottom Line: With lots of cooling fans to choose from its important to get it right as CPU’s demand better cooling to keep up with the excess temperature from overclocking. We evaluated cooling fans from OCZ and Thermaltake, performance varied and so did noise, read on to discover what we found in our official review........

    Find the lowest price for this product Thermaltake Volcano 12
    Find the lowest price for this product OCZ Gladiator 3
    Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6
    >> Discuss This Article

    Thermaltake Volcano 12

    The Volcano 12 is very well built. It has an extraordinary 66-fin large copper heatsink and also a 3-blade fan (the 3 blades are large and thereby compensates for its lack in numbers). The Volcano 12 lets you control the speed of the fan 3 ways: through a control knob (which can either be mounted on an expansion slot or a 3.5" bay), set at full speed via a jumper, or using a heat sensor placed under the CPU (which makes the temperature of the CPU control the fan speed/noise).


    1 Volcano 12 Heatsink fan

    1 3.5" bay control knob and holster

    1 Expansion slot control knob

    1 Quick instructions manual (not pictured)

    1 A jumper (for setting the fan on full speed)

    1 Small bag thermal compound


    The fan amazingly only has 3 fan blades (whereas most fans usually only have 6-8 blades). The blades are larger to compensate for its small number. The thickness of the fan itself is also thicker; it measures 33mm (opposed to the standard 25mm). The fan uses a molex connector (which connects to the power supply directly) to power itself and uses a 3-pin female connector to let your motherboard detect the speed at which the fan is going at.


    Heatsink Surface:

    The base of the heatsink wasn’t anything special. The surface was not as shiny as most heatsinks are and wasn’t that smooth. The fact that the surface was not smooth shouldn’t prove to be a problem, since when applying thermal compound, the compound will fill the microscopic valleys that causes the surface to not be smooth. When placing a dime in front of the base of the heatsink, no solid reflection could be seen. It probably wouldn’t decrease performance, but it would have been nice if Thermaltake lapped their heatsink base. Their heatsink base also has an engraving that says, which gives this heatsink a nice touch. Other engravings of the similar sort can be found on other parts of the heatsink.


    The fins of the heatsink are very thin compacted, which allowed the Volcano 12 to have 66 fins on its heatsink. The OCZ Gladiator 3 only had 40 fins in comparision. Fins help to dissipate heat and basically the more there are, the better it dissipates heat.



    While installing the heatsink, I did encounter some difficulties. First of all, the heatsink is large and might be a problem if your motherboard has some capacitators nearby your socket, since the heatsink might come in contact with the capacitaters. Secondly, the design of the Volcano 12 does not allow users the flexibility to move the "left" clip (the one without the screwdriver insertion hole) horizontally, which makes it hard to secure that clip onto the socket holsters. I had to cover the socket clip holsters with the heatsink in order for me to secure the clip onto the socket (most heatsinks never cover the socket’s clip holders). After securing that one side of the clip onto the socket, everything else was simple. The only thing left was to use a flat-head screwdriver and push down and inward the other clip so that the clip would secure itself onto the clip holders (the side where it says "Socket A"). With the heatsink fit snugly on the CPU, all I had to do was plug in the fan control knob (I used the expansion slot one, since I don’t have an available 3.5" bay) to the fan and everything was good to go.

    OCZ Gladiator 3 Go the the next page
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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction
    2. Thermaltake Volcano 12
    3. OCZ Gladiator 3
    4. Test Setup
    5. Performance/Noise
    6. Conclusions

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