HP Polar Logic Orb

Update 12.28.99: Now being sold by The Cable Store for $32.95 (HERE). Very pricey as Plycon had them for $20 and I saw them without clips for $15; these are surplus items and I think the supply is drying up. At $32.95, not worth it – does not fit in all motherboards and weighs almost a pound.

Update 11/9/99: For those of you with BP6s, it will not fit.

SUMMARY: This heatsink is one of the all-time bargains – for $20 you get an Alpha class heatsink whose design will wind up in the Museum of Modern Art. This is a no-brainer.


Picture courtesy of Plycon

Overclockers are indebted to Alpha for bringing us superior cooling solutions. We are also indebted because they raised the performance bar – Global Win stepped up to it with the FDP32, and now Plycon is offering us another Alpha Killer – the “Orb” (specs HERE).

These are surplus items – this means that you are getting these babies at fire-sale prices. These were made to cool chips in HP’s servers and from what I can see they spared no expense in making this heatsink.

Plycon states these are made of aluminum – If they are, this is an alloy of aluminum that looks, weighs and is as hard as stainless steel as any aluminum alloy I have ever seen. It looks like it was machined from a block of stainless steel. I have yet to figure out how they get the fan in the middle as I can see no screws holding it in – I would guess it’s a slip-fit. I’m not about to ruin this by trying to take it out.

The sample I have did not come with a retaining clip and I understand Plycon is having a bunch made up. I tested its performance using my peltier heatsink test rig and found it to equal the Alpha PFH6035 (Socket 7) in performance. This is not surprising as it weighs 14 ounces – a lot of mass to absorb heat. It consists of 45 fins, each about 0.8 square inches of surface area giving a total fin cooling surface area of about 72 square inches. The fan used is a Panasonic Panaflo FBA06A12H (H usually stands for High Speed) which specs out at 4550 rpm, 20.5 cfm, 37 dBA. All told, impressive engineering.

It is not small – it measures about 3 ½ inches diameter and 1 9/16 inches in height. There are 6 screw holes in the base, none of which will interfere with CPU cooling. There is a rectangular pedestal machined into the base measuring 9/32 high, 2 17/32 x 2 3/32. The sample I have came with a 4 wire hard drive connector – unfortunately the third wire was cut off so there is no tach output on the fan – the pix on the site show a three wire connector, so just be sure what you’re getting. However, this is not going to fit all motherboards – if your buying it strictly for cooling, measure very carefully.


Impressive performance, cheap, very limited availability – if you want bragging rights, this is one to get. May not fit all motherboards, but makes a great paper weight so you can’t go wrong.

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