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Thermaltake Big Typhoon CPU cooler
Thermaltake is a well known manufacturer of everything PC based. You can find many of their products at your local PC superstore as well as most reputable on line stores. Today we are going to take a look at one of their newest products for air cooling. The Big Typhoon CPU heat pipe. This cooler is big and beautiful. We will be testing this unit on our Fatal1ty AN* K8 939 socket motherboard against the stock AMD cooler. Let's see how well Thermaltake does and if they are another winner.
This cooler can fit on many different chipsets. We will be looking at the K8 installation. Out of the box and according to the documentation this should be quite easy. But unfortunately it wasn't quite as easy as the instructions lead you to believe. All that is supposed to be required is removing the top mount from the stock unit and screwing the new cooler into place with a pressure type bar. After attempting several times to get the hardware to line up it was very apparent that the screws provided where a bit short. Luckily we had a mount that was a bit longer but this meant removing the motherboard and placing the aftermarket mount on the rear of the board. Now I originally thought it might have been the hardware provided for the stock unit so I tried the hardware for 3 other motherboards with the same results. A suggestion I would like to make to improve this unit would be to recheck the screws provided and simple use screws around 6 to 8mm longer. This would eliminate any problems with any existing hardware.. Other then this the installation was pretty easy. With the AN8 board I did need to move the RAM to the outer slots but on at least 2 other boards this would not be required so it's strictly a note to the folks that use 4 RAM sticks and using an ABIT AN8 board to keep this in mind and make sure you have room for this huge cooler.
The first thing you will notice on this cooler is the size. The Big Typhoon is one of the largest coolers I have reviewed. The design is a bit different from many of the other heat pipes on the market today. Unlike the competitors, Thermaltake decided to invert the fins and have the placement of the fan on top instead of side mounted giving it an old school copper cooler appeal. This unit comes with a large 120mm orange fan with a black frame and if this color doesn't suit your case style they also have a clear fan as an optional replacement. Remember this is a heat pipe so the basic design is based off a 6 pipe mount off of a copper base pulling the heat away from the CPU and towards the aluminum fins.. Thermaltake has made a very appealing product, just make sure you have the room in your case because this unit is huge.
With the board we chose to test this cooler on it was a bit tuff to tax the CPU enough to really see the bounds of the Big Typhoon so we will be focusing on the fact that this cooler performs very well especially compared to the stock unit. Lets star with the Idle score amazingly the heat pipe kept the CPU around 27 degree Celsius over 6 degrees cooler the the stocks average. More importantly it did this with very low noise and low RPM's on the fan. I had to even turn off the alarm on the bios for low RPM's to keep the motherboard from beeping. At idle or minimal use the fan never increased over 960 RPM's and the noise from the fan less then 1/2 of what the stock cooler produced. When pushing the CPU over a verity of test the fan only got to 1080 RPM's still over 200 lower then the maximum usage for this unit and still the highest temp during this test was only 36 degrees Celsius just over the stocks Idle average temp.
Stock Idle Temp Readings
Big Typhoon Idle Temp Reading
The overall construction and equipment used in creating this cooler appear to be what you would expect from Thermaltake. Everything is very well designed and all the components are clean. The heat pipes are constructed with quality copper and the fins appear to be very secure. It even went to the extra effort to surround the fins with a square bracket mount to insure the fins will not be damaged or harmed in any way. Even the packaging is well made, they added a small piece of hardened foam between the fins and the copper base to help prevent damage when shipping this product. The only thing I thought could have been improved upon was the K8 mounts as mentioned in the installation portion of this review. Overall, this makes a great product.
Performs better then most.
Very innovative twist on the heat pipe design.
Multiple application to many of the leading chipsets.
A little bulky.
Installation part could have been a better planed.
If you don't mind having to work a little on the install and you want by far one of the best performing coolers we have reviewed, then please take a look at this cooler. I can't stress enough how well this cooler performs with minimal sound. Unfortunately, due to the installation hiccup, I can not give the Big Typhoon our editors choice award. However, this is a must have for any hard core air cooling system. We are pleased to award Thermaltake our Blue Ribbon Seal of Approval for a superior perfuming CPU cooling heat pipe..
Rating: 5 & 3/4 Star out of 6
Reviewer: pr101j (Paul)
Review Date: 5/29/05
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