Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro: A Bigger Typhoon

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TEST RESULTS

Stock Fan Testing

Testing was performed using an external voltage controller, with the BigTyp's controller was set to maximum speed. At minimum, the controller drove the fan at approximately 820 RPM, roughly equivalent to a 7V input. Ambient conditions at the time of testing were 20ºC and 11 dBA.

    Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro stock fan measurements
    Voltage
    Noise
    RPM
    12V
    37 dBA@1m
    1490 RPM
    9V
    29 dBA@1m
    1150 RPM
    7V
    21 dBA@1m
    870 RPM
    6V
    18 dBA@1m
    740 RPM
    5V
    14 dBA@1m
    620 RPM

Fan @ 12V: At full speed, the BigTyp's fan was loud, turbulent and very buzzy. The measured noise level was 37 dBA@1m.

Fan @ 9V: The fan was noticeably quieter than at 12V, but is still unacceptable. Subjectively, it sounded very breezy and turbulent.

Fan @ 7V: This level was much more reasonable and surprisingly smooth, with chuffing detectable at close proximity (0.5m or less). The SPL was 21 dBA@1m which is quiet enough for the average end-user.

Fan @ 6V: With much of the turbulence gone, the noise came from the fan's bearings. Some bad undertones became noticeable as the fan speed was reduced. The overall SPL level was only 18 dBA@1m — enough to be audible in a silent PC, but still very quiet.

Fan @ 5V: At 5V, the SPL reached 14 dBA@1m, which should be inaudible in most system configurations. Heard close up, the fan produced a low pitched hum, and the chuffing noted at 7V was more pronounced.

Cooling Results

Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Temp
°C Rise
°C/W
12V
37 dBA
33°C
13
0.17
9V
29 dBA
36°C
16
0.21
7V
21 dBA
38°C
18
0.23
6V
18 dBA
42°C
22
0.28
5V
14 dBA
48°C
28
0.36
Load Temp: CPUBurn for ~10 mins.
°C Rise: Temperature rise above ambient (20°C) at load.
°C/W: based on the amount of heat dissipated by the CPU (measured 78W); lower is better.

At full speed, thermal performance was excellent: only 13°C above ambient. At 9V, the CPU temperature increased by only 3°C, while 7V produced a further 2°C degradation. At 6V the BigTyp's cooling proficiency started to take a big hit — 4°C higher than at 7V. The sweet spot is somewhere between 6V and 7V. At 5V the BigTyp really began to struggle — the CPU temperature increased another 6°C. The BigTyp seems to be in its element when airflow and noise are high.

Comparables
Zalman CNPS9900
(w/o shroud)
Thermaltake
BigTyp 14Pro
Zalman
CNPS9300 AT
SPL @1m
°C Rise
SPL @1m
°C Rise
SPL @1m
°C Rise
29 dBA
10
29 dBA
16
30 dBA
17
23 dBA
12
21 dBA
18
21 dBA
23
17 dBA
16
18 dBA
22
 

Compared to the Zalman CNPS9300 AT, the BigTyp 14Pro is a significant improvement, posting better numbers at more or less equivalent noise levels. The CNPS9300 is a fairly light, modest cooler however. When pitted against the CNPS9900, a heatsink closer to the BigTyp's weight, size, and cost, it fared poorly. As a top-down cooler, it had a tough time competing with east-west blowing CPU heatsinks — maybe a comparison against other top-downers would be more appropriate.

Quiet Top-Downers vs. BigTyp 14Pro
Heatsink
SPL@1m
°C Rise
Xigmatek HDT-D1284
13 dBA
22
Big Typhoon VX
13 dBA
24
Thermalright SI-128
13 dBA
26
BigTyp 14Pro
14 dBA
28
BigTyp 14Pro with stock fan @ 5V;
Comparables with Nexus 120mm fan @ 9V (noise equivalent).

Unfortunately, the BigTyp 14Pro's poor low airflow performance is clear even when compared to other top-down coolers we have tested (our reference Nexus 120mm fan was used). At 5V, the BigTyp's fan measured 14 dBA@1m and had a thermal rise of 28°C. Yet, every other top-down heatsink in our comparison manages to outperform it at the marginally quieter 13 dBA@1m that a Nexus 120mm produces at 9V. It may be somewhat unfair to pit the BigTyp 14Pro to compare it with heatsinks using one of the best 120mm fans on the market, but it does give us a consistant point of reference.

Unfortunately, the most obvious competitor for the BigTyp, the Scythe Zipang, was not included in the comparison because we no longer have the product sample. However, it turns out a direct comparison was unnecessary — the Zipang is the most efficient top-down cooler we've ever tested, and the BigTyp couldn't even fend off smaller heatsinks like the Xigmatek HDT-D1284 or Thermalright SI-128. Even the BigTyp's predecessor, the Big Typhoon VX, pulled off better numbers at least when equipped with a quality 120mm fan.

When we originally tested the Big Typhoon VX (pre-anechoic chamber), the stock fan at 5V was approximately the same noise level as the Nexus fan at 9V, but performed 6°C worse (30°C thermal rise). If we use this indirect comparison, the BigTyp 14Pro outperformed its predecessor by an insignificant and disappointing 2°C. Considering the size and price of the BigTyp, we were expecting a more substantial difference.



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