Thermaltake's Big Contender: The Big Typhoon

Cooling
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January 23, 2007 by Devon Cooke

Product
Thermaltake Big Typhoon CL-P0114
Socket 478 / 775 / K7 / K8 CPU Heatsink
Manufacturer
Market Price
US$40~65

Thermaltake is one of the most recognizable brands in aftermarket cooling, having hit the ground running with the Golden Orb back in 2000 when the market was just getting started. Thermaltake's products tend to be well distributed, colorfully packaged, and well marketed, which has gained them a reputation for being a company grounded in marketing at the expense of good engineering.

Despite excellent brand recognition, neither of the two Thermaltake products that we've seen before have impressed us: The "Silent" Tower was noisy and difficult to install, while the PurePower fanless power supply hummed and overheated. Nevertheless, every product is different, and the Big Typhoon came highly recommended.

In fact, it's been successful enough that Thermaltake has released an updated version of the Big Typhoon called the Big Typhoon VX, which features a fan controller, a different fan and a new mounting system. Our sample was the plain vanilla version, but, as the heatsink itself is unchanged, the thermal results of our testing should apply to both models. However, as we do not have a sample of the updated fan, our acoustic results apply to the original version only.


Flashy, plastic packaging designed by Thermaltake's talented marketing department.


The heatsink is partially disassembled in this photo.

Thermaltake Big Typhoon: Feature Highlights (from the product web page)
Feature & Brief Our Comment
Application for Intel P4 LGA 775, and AMD K7, K8
It's not clear in the text, but "P4" refers to older P4 processors that use Socket 478. Support for this socket was dropped from the "VX" revision. AM2 compatibility is not advertised, but appears to be supported by both versions.
6 Heatpipes, transfer the heat quickly
Heatpipes feature prominently in almost every high end heatsink these days.
High density aluminum fins provide more surface area for good heat dissipation
More surface area is indeed good for heat dissipation... but high density is bad without a high pressure (read: noisy) fan to force air between them. The best heatsinks feature a good balance between the number of fins and the space between them.
Copper base solder, perfect contact to ensure the best performance
In theory, soldered joints are superior to contact-fitted joints, but how much superior?
12 cm silent fan, perform well at low noise, 16dB only Such large fans do tend to be the quietest, but we don't believe the 16 dB number.

Thermaltake Big Typhoon: Specifications (from the product web page)
Part Number
CL-P0114
Heatsink Dimensions
122 x 122 x 103 mm
Heatsink Material
Copper Base & Aluminum Fin (142 Fins)
Heatpipes
Copper Tube (6 mm) x 6 pcs
Compatibility
- Intel P4 LGA775
- Intel P4 478 Prescott FMB1.5
- AMD Athlon 64 / Athlon 64 FX
- AMD Athlon XP up to 3400+
- AMD Sempron up to 3400+
Fan Dimensions
120 x 120 x 25 mm
Maximum Air Flow 54.4 CFM
Maximum Air Pressure 1.87 mm H2O
Rated Voltage
12V
Started Voltage
7V
Power Input
3.6W
Fan Speed
1,300 RPM (±10%)
Noise 16 dBA
Connector 3-pin
Weight 813 g (28.70 oz)



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