Author: Frank Stroupe
A Closer Look
The Thermaltake RamOrb is a pretty unique item, at least I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It is pretty simple actually, a heat spreader held together by set screws, with a heatpipe running through the center of the heat spreader. At the end of the heatpipe are fins cooled by a 50mm fan. Power is provided to the fan by sleeved wires with a 4-pin Molex connector. The heat spreaders are made of aluminum alloy. The heatpipe is copper, as are the fins.
The cooler itself is a small version of Thermaltake’s Orb found on their Orb CPU and GPU coolers. I wish I had a second one, between the size of the cooler and the width of the heat spreaders, I’d say that it is pretty unlikely that you could use a pair on an AMD board with the memory in dual channel mode, but I just can’t tell. It might be possible, the heat spreaders are slightly thinner than the OCZ ReaperX, and you definitely can’t use them on an AMD board with the modules in adjacent slots.
The specs on Thermaltake’s site does not mention the RamOrb being compatible with DDR3 memory. I see no reason why DDR3 won’t work with it, as the overall dimensions are the same as with DDR2 memory.
Included with the RamOrb is an Allen (hex) wrench, two thicknesses of thermal pad, some thermal compound, and instructions.
The initial steps of installation of the RamOrb are definitely the most daunting, removing the existing heat spreaders on the intended memory modules, and cleaning any adhesive residue from the memory chips.
There are many different styles of memory heat spreaders, and nearly as many ways to remove them. Spend a few minutes looking at the module to determine the best and safest way to remove the heat spreaders. If you look at my memory reviews, you will see that I pretty much never remove heat spreaders for a review, with a deadline to finish the review, I am a little afraid to remove the heat spreaders in the middle of writing the review.
Since I only received one RamOrb for review, I really didn’t have a single DDR2 or DDR3 memory module that I wanted to take a chance at being unable to replace the existing heat spreader afterwards. So I decided to use this OCZ SOE Edition DDR module to demonstrate installation of the RamOrb. The memory will be used afterward, but as the memory is never overclocked, I won’t worry too much about replacing the heat spreaders.
You’d think that the OCZ XTC heat spreaders would be the easiest to remove, but I did bend them during removal, enough so that it’s pretty doubtful I could straighten them enough to look right when they are replaced. Also, the thermal tape OCZ uses sticks very well, much better than any I have seen.
After removal of the heat spreaders, the next task will probably be removal of the adhesive used to attach the heat spreaders or thermal pads used by the manufacturer. Isopropyl alcohol may work, but it didn’t phase the adhesive left by OCZ’s thermal tape, and a much stronger solvent was needed.
There are a few things you can use. If you know someone that paints or finishes wood, they may have some lacquer thinner. DO NOT USE PAINT THINNER, which is a thin oil and probably won’t work anyway. I usually use a Xylene-based product available at most stores, two brands are “Oops” and “Goof-Off”. Either of these will do the trick. Be careful, as all of these products are very flammable and have very strong odors. They can also irritate sensitive skin. Put a couple of drops on each chip, let it soak a minute, then reapply. Use a rag or paper towel to scrub the adhesive off. Actually, I did best scraping the biggest part of the adhesive off with a fingernail, then use a paper towel to get the rest. After using any of these products, of which all leave a residue, use isopropyl alcohol for a final cleaning.