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Thermaltake Volcano 7+: We revisit the Volcano 7+, using a faster Athlon XP. Since the cooler is cross-platform, we also updated it with some Pentium 4 results.
Date: October 28, 2002
Catagory: Cases & Cooling
Written By:

With so many aftermarket heatsinks out there, it can get confusing for those shopping for a cooler to work on their particular CPU. Nevermind the fact that if you switch CPU manufacturers, there's a good chance the one you currently have may not work on the new CPU. hopes to correct that, and they've released the Volcano 7+ which out of the box, can work on P4s and XPs. We got a lot to cover today, so let's just get started...


P/N: A1254
Fan Dimension: 70x70x25 mm
Rated Voltage: 12VDC
Started Voltage: 7.0VDC
Rated Current: 0.55 AMP Max.
Power Input: 6.6 W Max.
Fan Speed switch Cable: H,M,L Fan Speed
FAN Speed H: 6000 rpm, M: 4800 rpm, L: 3000 rpm
Max. Air Flow: 49.0CFM
Noise: H 6000rpm@47 dB(A), M 4800rpm@35 dB(A), L 3000rpm@24 dB(A)
Bearing System: 2 Ball bearing
Life Time: 50,000 hours
Connector: 3 PIN
Thermal Resistance: INTEL P4: 0.29C/W, AMD XP: 0.32C/W

Thermaltake has included quite a bit in the package. You get the heatsink and fan of course, as well as mounting equipmment, thermal paste and a fan control switch.

There are a few things that differentiate the Volcano 7+ from the original Volcano 7. To begin with, it's smaller than before. The fan this time around is only 70mm as opposed to 80mm. Also, unlike before, the Volcano 7+ is an all copper solution, as compared to the aluminum heatsink/copper insert that was part of the older design.

Like past Themaltake heatsinks we've looked at, the construction is top notch. The base itself is actually quite smooth and shiny Before we get more into the big feature, let's examine the heatsink more closely...

The base is well machined, and although it might look nasty, it isn't. I wanted a hi-res shot of it, and I guess the light from the scanner went through the clear coat on the heatsink. You could go ahead an lap it, but I couldn't detect any imperfections. One notable feature is that the fins are not soldered on, but rather, they're molded from the same block of copper as the base.

Other than the copper insert from the previous version of the Volcano 7 being omitted, Thermaltake really upped the fin count this time around. There are a total of 72 thin fins (36 on either side) now. As you may, or may not know, thin fins allow manufacturers to pack more of them in. This increases the total surface area for heat to dissipate. Because they're thin, this would also speed up the heat dissipation, which is good, considering copper, by nature, retains heat longer than aluminum.

Here's a close look at the shroud Thermatake setup for the Volcano 7+. I'm sure something this big adds to the cost of the heatsink, but damn! It looks good.

Like the previous Volcano 7, the big selling point of the cooler is fan control. What differs this time around is fan speed isn't determined by a thermal probe. This time, fan speed is controlled via a switch.

Depending on what you're doing, be it overclocking, or simply web surfing, you can now adjust your fan speed accordingly. I don't have wav samples handy, but you can check site out, and fool around with their "3D View" of the product.

One problem I did have with this switch was that the cables aren't very long. Without modding, you'll be hard pressed to run it to the front of your case if you have a pre-cut hole for it. Actually, I guess that's the first problem. The second problem is unless you mod it, you're going to have to run your PC with the side cover off if you intend to make use of the switch. Sure, you can remove the case side when you need to access it, but I think most people will leave it at high all the time.

All the mounting clips and screws are included. The Athlon assembly is a snap, though the Pentium 4 setup will require a bit more elbow grease. Like most P4 coolers, you will not need to remove your motherboard to install the cooler.

Next Page - Athlon 1700+ Performance


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