Two Big Top-downers: Big Typhoon VX & Xigmatek HDT-D1264

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April 20, 2008 by Lawrence Lee

Big Typhoon VX

CPU Cooler

CPU Cooler
Thermaltake Xigmatek
Street Price
~$55 USD ~$?? USD

For the past couple of years, tower heatpipe heatsinks have dominated CPU cooling, taking all the glory and accolades. Does this mean traditional top-down coolers are dead? They certainly aren't as popular as they were a few years ago, but they remain. Motherboards are still designed with the expectation of tertiary airflow over the board components near the CPU, specifically the power regulation circuitry. MOSFET heatsinks are now a common sight on higher-end mainboards and they aren't just for show. For users concerned about these components, their lifespan, efficiency, and general well-being, a top-down cooler is an ideal choice, even at the cost of higher CPU temperatures.

The Xigmatek HDT-D1264 on the left, Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX on the right.

The Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX happens to be such a heatsink. An updated version of the original Big Typhoon, the VX is equipped with a new fan, a manual fan speed control, and a completely different mounting system. While it may improve upon its predecessor's rather lackluster performance, the question is whether it can compete against the elite top-down coolers we've tested in the past, without sounding like a lawnmower. Our experiences with Thermaltake products have usually left us with headaches and a ringing in our ears.

To give the VX a little new competition, we'll also be looking at Xigmatek's HDT-D1264. Another top-down cooler, the D1264 utilizes four, 8mm thick heatpipes, and a 120mm PWM fan secured via rubber fan isolators. It's a bit wider than the Typhoon, but it's also shorter, lighter, and has fewer heatpipes. On paper the Typhoon has the edge, but the D1264 uses the "direct touch" technology that allowed the S1283 and SD964 heatsinks to turn in impressive performances, so it will be interesting to see which cooler comes out on top.


Instead of a clear plastic film window, a large hole is cut in the front of the box to make the heatsink visible to prospective buyers.

A massive plastic clamshell container accounts for the box's large dimensions.

In fact the box is nearly twice as big as it needs to be.

Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX CL-P0310: Key Features
(from the product web page)
Feature & Brief
Our Comment
Best performance, supports up to TDP 130W.
To be determined.
6 heatpipes, maximized heat transfer. A common feature these days.
High density of aluminum fins, provides large surface for heat dissipation. High density does provide more surface area for heat to dissipate, but it also makes it harder to cool with low speed fans.
Seamless soldering process and large copper base provide good contact for heat conductivity Another common feature.
Waved fins to reduce wind shear noise. We doubt this has much effect, if any on actual performance. It does make the cooler look more elegant though.
3 in 1 application
- For LGA775: push pin design for faster install.
- For K8 and latest socket AM2, tool-less clip, easy to install.
Abandoning their previous nut and bolt method, the VX returns to more traditional mounting techniques.
VR Fan
- Silent and powerful VR fan, 16dBA at minimum fan speed.
- Adjustable fan control to boost cooling performance.
Any type of fan control is welcome, but it must be set manually. 16 dBA we find hard to believe.

Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX CL-P0310: Specifications
(from the product web page)

Intel Core 2 Extreme(Socket LGA775)
Intel Core 2 Duo (Socket LGA775)
Intel Pentium Extreme Edition (Socket LGA 775)
Intel Pentium D (Socket LGA 775)
Intel Pentium 4 (Socket LGA775)
Intel Celeron D (Socket LGA775)

AMD Athlon 64 X2 (Socket 939, AM2)
AMD Athlon 64 FX (Socket 939, AM2)
AMD Athlon 64 (Socket 754, 939, AM2)
AMD Sempron (Socket 754, AM2)
Heatsink Dimension 122(L) x 122(D) x 103(H) mm
Heatsink Material Copper Base & Aluminum Fin (142Fin)
Copper Tube, 6mm x 6 pcs
Weight 822g
Fan Dimension 120x120x25 mm
Rated Voltage
Started Voltage 7V
Power Input 3.00W
Fan Speed 1300 ~2000 RPM
Max. Air Flow
Max. Air Pressure 2.22mmH2O
Noise 16dBA~24dBA
Life Expectation 30,000hrs
Connector 3 Pin

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