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The fan is a strange hybrid of orange and black from Taiwanese company Hong
Sheng. This is worthy of comment because one of our favorite 120mm fans
the Nexus Real Silent 120 is also orange. A closer inspection
revealed a few other similarities: Closed corner flanges, similarly shaped blades,
and a frame that looked nearly identical. In fact, aside from the color of the
frame and the label on the hub, we were able to find only one difference: A
small tab on one of the support struts that kept the cables in place on the
Nexus. The two fans were similar enough that it seems very likely that the original
manufacturer is the same for both fans. This is strange, since the original
source for the Nexus is reputed to be Yate
Loon, not Hong Sheng.
The label on the hub clearly identifies Hong Sheng as the OEM.
After a few puzzled moments, we compared our Nexus to some others in the lab...
and realized that there were two distinct versions of the Nexus, with
only a very slight difference in the shape of the central spokes to distinguish
them. Presumably, the second frame style comes from Yate Loon. A photo showing
the two versions side by side can be found in our
recent 120mm fan round up.
The stock fan is seemingly identical to the Nexus 120. That's a very good
Although it looks identical, the Big Typhoon's fan is rated for 300 RPM more
than the Nexus, and did seem to be louder at stock voltage. However, when matched
up rotation-for-rotation, its noise signature was indistinguishable; both had
the same smooth growl that quickly disappeared into the background below ~700
RPM. There is little doubt that this fan is a winner.
|Revision Note: Big Typhoon VX Fan and Fan Controller
As mentioned in the introduction, the newer Big Typhoon VX has a
different fan from the Big Typhoon tested here, so comments about noise
and the comparison with the Nexus only apply to the original revision. The
VX revision also comes with a fan controller, which further complicates
A wire grill is included for looks and safety, but can probably be left off
for better thermal and acoustic results.
The mounting system is the same fiddly some-tools-required system used by the
Silent Tower, with all the same pros and cons. Pros: Security and wide compatibility
(Sockets 478 and 775 for Intel, Socket A, K8 and AM2 for AMD). Cons: Very difficult
to install, and no indication of when to stop tightening.
While we were impressed that Thermaltake has managed to design a single clip
that works for all five of the most recent major sockets, supporting processors
from as long ago as 1999, we were less than thrilled to find that installing
the clip was both difficult and time consuming.
The installation process is to remove whatever stock mounting system exists
and thread thin bolts through a custom backplate, the stock mounting holes,
some brass standoffs to secure the backplate to the motherboard, the mounting
plate, and finally some tiny nuts to hold it all together. Each bolt needs to
be dealt with individually, and some of the bolts can be very tough to get to
once the heatsink is in place. The hardest part is putting the nuts on, as no
wrench is included and they are too small for most wrench kits. They are too
thin and awkwardly placed to use an adjustable wrench. Our eventual solution
was to use needle nose pliers to tighten them, but this was time consuming and
required a lot of room around the base. It would be nearly impossible to install
on a motherboard in a case.
The mounting system uses tiny nuts and bolts... and doesn't include a wrench.
|Revision Note: Big Typhoon VX Mounting System
Thermaltake has replaced this clumsy system in the updated Big Typhoon VX,
although the revision does not support Socket 478 or Socket A. What it loses
in compatibility it gains in ease of use: Custom clips that fit the stock
mounting systems easily and without requiring extra tools.
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