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Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro: A Bigger Typhoon

Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro: A Bigger Typhoon

Jan 24, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro

LGA775/K8 CPU Cooler
Manufacturer
Thermaltake
Street Price
US$70

Thermaltake's BigTyp 14Pro is, as its name suggests, an even bigger version
of their Big Typhoon. At
the time of its release, the Big Typhoon was one of the largest heatsinks one
could buy. By 2009 standards it is "Big" no longer — enthusiasts
have seen much larger CPU coolers come and go. So, naturally, Thermaltake had
to make it bigger.

While many of Thermaltake's products have unique design elements that show
off their creative, outside-the-box thinking, the BigTyp is a result of a more
traditional brute force strategy. It is basically a wider Big
Typhoon VX
with a larger 14cm fan, longer heatpipes, and a more secure mounting
system to deal with all the extra weight.


Big Typhoon VX on the left, BigTyp 14Pro on the right.



The BigTyp 14Pro is encapsulated by a plastic shell inside a fat, stocky
box.



Heatsink and mounting hardware. Standard retention clip for AMD systems;
nuts, bolts and washers for LGA775.

Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro: Key Features
(from
the product
web page
)
Feature & Brief
Our Comment
Strong Cooling Structure

- with mirror coating copper base, 6 copper heatpipes, supports up to TDP
130W
With 6 copper heatpipes it better be
able to handle a 130W CPU.
14cm Giant Fan with Blue LED

- the downward flow big fan covers more area to help system cooling not
only for CPU
Generally the bigger the fan, the more
efficient it is.
VR™ Fan Function

- allows you to adjust the fan speed for your need
Most of Thermaltake's coolers have a
manual fan speed controller included.
Completely Silent

- 14cm fan could make good cooling effect at only low fan speed and generate
minimum noise at the same moment
If all their heatsinks are silent we
wonder what they consider to be loud...
Universal Clip

- for the mainstream PC platforms such as LGA775 and AM2 sockets
That's strange ... if it's universal,
why include separate mounting systems for LGA775 and AM2?


Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro: Specifications
(from the product
web page
)
Compatibility Intel® Core 2 Extreme (Socket LGA775)

Intel® Core 2 Quad (Socket LGA775)

Intel® Core 2 Duo (Socket LGA775)

Intel® Pentium D (Socket LGA775)

Intel® Pentium 4 (Socket LGA 775)

Intel® Celeron D (Socket LGA775)

Intel® Celeron (Socket LGA775)

AMD® Phenom (Socket AM2+)

AMD® Athlon 64 FX (Socket AM2/939)

AMD® Athlon 64 X2 (Socket AM2/939)

AMD® Athlon 64 (Socket AM2/939/754)

AMD® Sempron (Socket AM2/754)
Heatsink Dimension 156(L) x 155(W) x 128(H) mm
Heatsink Material Aluminum Fins w/ Copper Heatpipes &
Base
Heatpipe Ø 6 mm x 12
Fan Dimension Ø 140 mm x 30 mm
Fan Speed 1000 ~ 1600 RPM
Bearing Type —
Noise Level 16 ~ 24 dBA
Max. Air Flow 85.76 CFM
Max. Air Pressure 1.60 mmH2O
LED Fan Blue LED
Power Connector 3 Pin
Rated Voltage 12 V
Started Voltage 7 V
Rated Current 0.32 A
Power Input 3.84 W
MTBF 50,000 Hours
Weight 800 g

PHYSICAL DETAILS

The BigTyp is similar in appearance to the Scythe
Zipang
, another large top-down cooler with a 140mm fan. In design, it is
much closer to its predecessors, the Big Typhoon and Big Typhoon VX.


With the fan removed, the heatsink body is revealed to be have the same
basic build as its predecessors. The heatpipes are very long, going from
one half of the heatsink body to the base, out the other side and then
extending into the second half. Our sample had patches of odd discoloration

on each heatpipe.



The BigTyp's 140mm fan has an open-air design without a traditional casing.
Its support struts are attached to a fanciful shroud/frame. The visible
portions of the assembly are composed of hard, semi-translucent plastic
except for three small platforms jutting out from the motor which are
equipped with blue LEDs. The fan is an Everflow FB14025BL, which
indicates it has ball bearings, though Thermaltake does not list a bearing
type in its literature.


The fan assembly is held on by two tabs pressed into ridges on
the sides of the heatsink. It can be removed quite easily, though it is
actually fairly secure. The fan is hard mounted to the cover, but one
corner of our sample was damaged, allowing us to see that springs are
incorporated into the design. This corner was taped down during testing
so it wouldn't affect performance or noise.




The heatpipes are packed very closely together with little room between them. The fan has a manual fan speed controller knob included — a common feature of Thermaltake products.




The fins are friction-fit to the heatpipes, with no solder joining
the two components. Fin spacing is very narrow.



The gaps between the copper base and heatpipes are soldered however. The base is much larger than the average CPU heatspreader.


BASE & INSTALLATION



The base was very flat and had a beautiful mirror finish. It's
one of the things Thermaltake usually gets right.




Installation on AMD motherboards is facilitated through a familiar set of tension clips. The broad side of the heatpipes will face the rear exhaust in most AMD systems.




LGA775 installation requires a pair of mounting clips to be screwed
onto the mounting plate. Washers are affixed to each leg to prevent
over-tightening. These legs are then slid through the LGA775 mounting
holes
.




To secure the legs on the other side, Thermaltake provides four small
steel nuts that can be tightened via screwdriver. While it is indeed
secure once tightened, getting them started on top of the supplied washers
can be a bit tricky, especially for those with clumsy fingers. This
step is probably best accomplished using the heatsink body to prop the
board up at an angle.





The BigTyp's width may cause problems for some system configurations.
On our test motherboard, an Asus P5Q-EM, it extends past the top edge
of the motherboard by about 2cm, which is likely to interfere with the
power supply in a typical ATX case. It also covered two of the motherboard
mounting holes and extended over the I/O panel.
A case with
a rear exhaust fan may prevent the BigTyp from being installed.

TESTING

Before thermal testing, we took some basic physical measurements.

Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro: Approximate Physical Measurements
Weight
790 g (heatsink alone)

820 g (including LGA775 mounting clips)
Fin thickness
0.30 mm
Fin spacing
1.42 mm
Vertical Clearance
Ample
Horizontal Overhang
20 mm (measured from the
edge of the heatsink to the top edge of our test motherboard's PCB)


Comparison: Approximate Fin Thickness & Spacing
Heatsink
Fin Thickness
Fin Spacing
Zalman CNPS9300 AT
0.17 mm
Varies
Zalman CNPS9900 LED
0.24 mm
Varies
Scythe Ninja
0.31 mm
3.95 mm
Scythe Ninja 2
0.39 mm
3.68 mm
Thermalright HR-01 Plus
0.45 mm
3.15 mm
Noctua NH-U12P
0.44 mm
2.63 mm
Noctua NH-C12P
0.47 mm
2.54 mm
Xigmatek HDT-S1283
0.33 mm
1.96 mm
Zerotherm Zen FZ120
0.37 mm
1.80 mm
Thermaltake SpinQ
0.31 mm
1.67 mm
Thermalright Ultra-120
0.45 mm
1.42 mm
Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro
0.30 mm
1.42 mm

Testing was done according to our
unique heatsink testing methodology
, and the included fan was profiled
using our standard fan testing
methodology
. A quick summary of the components, tools, and procedures
follows below.

Test Platform change:
Due to the amount of wear and tear to which we subject this test platform (which we also use for hard drive testing) it was decided to replace the motherboard with a newer, more current model that could be easily replaced should it be damaged.
Asus kindly provided us with two P5Q-EM's — one will be kept as a spare in case anything happens to the original. Testing showed that the CPU temperature reported by SpeedFan on the new motherboard was exactly what it produced on our original platform. The hard drive was also replaced with a solid state drive — the system now has no moving parts aside from the products we evaluate.

Key Components in Heatsink Test Platform

  • Intel
    Pentium D 950
    Presler core. TDP of 130W; under our test load, it measures
    78W including efficiency losses in the VRMs.
  • Asus P5Q-EM motherboard. A microATX board with integrated graphics
    and short solid-state capacitors around the CPU socket, and a diminutive northbridge heatsink for maximum compatibility.
  • Intel X25-M
    80GB 2.5" solid-state drive.
  • 1GB of Corsair XMS2 DDR2 memory. 2 x 512MB PC2-8500.
  • FSP Zen 300W
    fanless power supply.
  • Arctic Silver
    Lumière
    : Special fast-curing thermal interface material, designed
    specifically for test labs.
  • Nexus 120 fan (part of our standard testing methodology; used when
    possible with heatsinks that fit 120x25mm fans)

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Seasonic
    Power Angel
    for measuring AC power at the wall to ensure that the
    heat output remains consistent.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate
    the fan speed during the test.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer:
    SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital
    audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber
    with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower
  • Various other tools for testing fans, as documented in our
    standard fan testing methodology
    .
  • SpeedFan, used to monitor the on-chip thermal sensor. This sensor is not
    calibrated, so results are not universally applicable.
  • CPUBurn
    P6
    , used to stress the CPU heavily, generating more heat than most
    real applications. Two instances are used to ensure that both cores are stressed.
  • Throttlewatch
    2.01
    , used to monitor the throttling feature of the CPU to determine
    when overheating occurs.

Load testing was accomplished using CPUBurn to stress the processor, and the
graph function in SpeedFan was used to make sure that the load temperature was
stable for at least ten minutes. The stock fan was tested at various voltages
to represent a good cross-section of its airflow and noise performance.

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.

Fan @ 12V: At full speed, the BigTyp's fan was loud, turbulent and very
buzzy. The measured noise level was 37 [email protected]

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 [email protected]
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 [email protected] — enough to be audible in a silent
PC, but still very quiet.

Fan @ 5V: At 5V, the SPL reached 14 [email protected], 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
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
°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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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.

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.

* * *

Articles of Related Interest

Zalman CNPS9900 LED: The End of the
Nines

ThermalTake SpinQ: Unique Blower-fan
Heatsink


Thermolab Baram Blows In

Scythe Ninja 2: Tweaking a Classic

Zalman 9300AT: Not me too, but
me again


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


* * *

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