Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro: A Bigger Typhoon

Cooling
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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 10 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again.

Reference Comparatives

FINAL THOUGHTS

Despite its girth, longer heatpipes and 140mm fan, the Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro is a relatively poor performer once the fan speed is dialed down to tolerable levels. While we did not expect it would be able to compete with the massive tower heatsinks which have the inherent advantage of exhausting air toward the back of the case, the BigTyp also posted below average numbers against some of the more modest top-down coolers we've tested in the past.

The combination of high fin density and a frameless fan are not conducive to quiet, low airflow cooling. Without a frame, the fan produces very little static pressure, making it difficult to force air down through the narrow gaps between the fins, especially when the fan speed is reduced. Also, the heatpipes don't have a lot of breathing room between them, so the heat coursing through them is not easily dissipated.

While bigger sometimes really is better, this is not the case with the BigTyp, which barely outperforms its smaller predecessor, the Big Typhoon VX. Increasing the heatpipe length along with the fan size did not appear to make it a better performer, but it did succeed in making the BigTyp one of the more expensive CPU coolers you can buy today. Being bigger causes other problems as well, such as potentially interfering with power supplies or rear exhaust fans and obscuring at least two mounting holes on the motherboard. Its lackluster performance isn't worth the cost to procure it or the possible problems associated with its installation.

Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro
PROS

* Secure LGA775 mounting design
* Good high airflow performance
CONS

* Size may cause compatibility issues
* Fan too loud
* Poor low airflow performance
* Expensive

Our thanks to Thermaltake for the BigTyp 14Pro heatsink sample.

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