Thermaltake BigTyphoon VX
My first “serious” heatsink was a Thermaltake, specifically the Dragon Orb, at that time I had a 1,200Mhz Athlon that actually got quite hot until I put that heatsink on it. From there I went to the Volcano 7+ which was a model that I used for quite some time because of its impressive performance. With this, I want to make clear that Thermaltake are not just a bunch of amateurs that “passed by”: They are a prestigious brand that has been fighting for several years in the world of computer hardware. They went from being dedicated to heatsinks to having a super wide range of products that covers practically all areas: boxes, air cooling, liquid cooling, keyboards, mice… And in all of them there have always been two common denominators: innovation and quality.
But who are Thermaltake? Let them define themselves:
Thermaltake Technology Co., Ltd. started its core business based on our extensive knowledge of PC thermal management during the era where the area of performance CPU cooling was only exclusive for "overclockers" orPC enthusiasts. With the company's initial launch of Orb coolers, it created waves of shocks and appraisals throughout the gaming and overclocking communities. Thermaltake quickly became the name gamers turn to when they need high-end and reliable thermal solutions. With company's core business of CPU cooling still growing at a vast rate, Thermaltake made another grand entry to the PC chassis industry. To date, Thermaltake has always been considered as the pioneering company that revolutionized the PC chassis industry with Xaser series enclosures. The typical and traditional beige and plastic front panel design was outdone by Xaser series chassis's atypical gaming red and aluminum front panel. It was also the first enclosure available to public with Hardcano unti which provided users full control over computer's thermal management system. In the year 2002, Thermaltake announced Purepower line of power supply unti for the ever-growing power-hungry PCs. Purepower series PSU quickly gained recognition with its extensive warranty and high-reliability guaranty. Today, Thermaltake has grown into a world-class company with state-of-the-art testing and R&D facility based in Taiwan along with 60+ engineers and ID team covering each application segment such as Liquid Cooling, Air Cooling, PC Enclosure and Power Supply for main-stream users, high-end solutions, system integrators and industrial applications; thus achieve Thermaltake's company motto, "COOLALL YOUR LIFE".
Thermaltake has been kind enough to send me to review their Big Typhoon VX heatsink. This heatsink is an evolution of your very successful Big Typhoon fan with a built-in rheostat for fan rpm control which has been replaced by a more powerful model. At the same time, the type of anchoring of the heatsink to the processor socket has been simplified, making it an extremely simple task. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Taken from the Thermaltake website:
Model CL-P0310 Intel Core 2 Exterme(Socket LGA775) support 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 [/b] Copper Base & Aluminum Fin (142Fin) Heatpipe Copper Tube 6mm x 6 pcs Weight 822g Fan Dimension120x120x25 mm Rated Voltage 12V Started Voltage 7V Power Input 3.00W Fan Speed 1300 ~2000 RPM Max. Air Flow86.5CFM Max. Air Pressure 2.22mmH2O Noise 16dBA~24dBA Life Expectation 30,000hrs Connector 3 Pin
The first thing to note is that, unlike the old model, this heatsink is no longer compatible with socket A and socket 478. While it is true that these are two sockets that are destined to disappear over time, this further restricts the upgrade options for users who still use processors for these sockets. This is a pity, but it is an understandable change.
The heatsink came from Taiwan along with a Toughpower 700W source which I will soon review. The box arrived in good condition and the heatsink was undamaged
As you can see, the heatsink is presented in an outer cardboard box and inside comes the heatsink in a hard plastic that protects it; this plastic is separated into two halves that are joined at the top by two clips, so that we do not have to resort to scissors when we want to open it.
In this view of the box we detail the technical characteristics of the heatsink and its components, as I have listed before.
In this side you can read some of the outstanding characteristics of the heatsink.
In this side you can see some pictures of the heatsink.
Here you can see the upper part of the heatsink, as well as the two clips that keep the two halves of the plastic box together. I really like the grill they have put on the fan.
Once we take out the plastic box from the cardboard one we see the following:
At the top is the heatsink and at the bottom is the box where the accessories for the assembly and the instruction sheet come.
More details are available: -Socket adapter LGA775
-Socket adapter 754/939/AM2
-Generic heat sink putty bag.
-Assembly instructions manual.
As you can see, the manual is quite clear and comes with colour photos that will guide us through the heatsink installation process without any problem.
EXAMINATION OF THE HEATSINK
The Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX is a heat sink by means of heatpipes, i.e. the heat is collected by the heatpipes at the base that is in contact with the processor and rises through the heatpipe to the area where the aluminium fins are located which, together with the fan, help to dissipate the heat from the processor. This model has 6 heatpipes that come out of the base of the heatsink, 3 on each side.
In this lower view of the base you can see the 6 heatpipes and how they are coming out of the heatsink. The base is not perfectly polished and you can see the machining marks, but it is completely flat and has no scratches. I would have liked Thermaltake to have included a plastic protection sheet to prevent the base from deteriorating as copper is a fairly soft metal and scratches easily.
In this view you can see that the heatpipes are soldered to the base of the heatsink, which facilitates the transmission of the heat to the heatpipes instead of cheaper solutions that consist in using thermal putty for the conduction of the heat between the base and the heatpipes.
In this picture you can see the new retention system used by the Big Typhoon VX. Far away is the old system that required a master’s degree in engineering to assemble it ;). This new system is fast and very simple, suitable for anyone even if they have no experience and is an improvement that is very grateful to Thermaltake.
Going up, we find the area where the copper fins are placed to dissipate the heat of the heatpipes.
Top view of the cooling fins with the fan removed
Lower view of the fins.
The number of aluminium fins is very large, which increases the heat dissipation surface, although this type of design presents a problem and that is that due to the proximity of the fins a fan is needed to generate enough pressure in the air to pass through the fins. As you can see, the fins are not straight but wave-shaped, as this type of design helps to reduce the sound of the air as it passes through them. It is also important to note that the 6 heatpipes are not joined to a single group of fins, but are separated by three in two independent groups.
As you can see, Thermaltake has taken care of the detail of giving a good finish to the end of the heatpipes.
In this picture you can see the fan that mounts the heatsink. The fan is a model manufactured by Everflow with a maximum rotation speed of 2.000rpm. It is a good detail from Thermaltake the addition of a rheostat for the control of the rpm but I think that implementing it where it has done it is a mistake, since every time we want to change the rpm of the fan we will have to open the box to do it. I think it would have been much more effective to put it in a slot holder at the back of the box.
As you can see in this picture, the fan power connector is 3 pins and the cable is carefully protected by a rubberized cloth that will avoid the typical mess of loose wires.
The fan is attached to an aluminium bracket by means of 4 screws that can be easily removed so that you can clean the aluminium fins from the dust that usually accumulates over time or if you want to change the fan.
The mounting for socket 939 (for socket AM2 is exactly the same as the one used for the other one). If you look at it, the new fan is much more powerful than the old one, which rotated at 1,300rpm with a flow of 54.4cfm and a sound level of 16db. If I have to be honest, from all the reviews I read about the old model, I have always believed that what this heatsink needed to shine with its own light was a more powerful fan (as some of you know from the forum) and it seems that Thermaltake has also thought the same. We will know soon as we get to the tests if we were right or not.
For the tests I have used my current equipment which consists of:
AMD Athlon64 3.700+ Socket 939 processor 1GB RAM GEIL BH-ONE Gainward 7.800GTX Golden Sample 4 Seagate HDD. DVD player DVD burner Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty
The fans I have used have been the one that comes with the Big Typhoon VX as standard at 1,000 and 2,000rpm and the Silverstone FM-121 at 2,200rpm.
The processor was cleaned from the old heat putty using Artic Clean and a new coat of Artic Silver 5 was applied.
All tests were done in a Cooler Master STC-01 Stacker box with closed side and room temperature of 29ºC. The performance of the Big Typhoon VX has been compared with my Thermalright XP-120.
The results obtained were as follows:
Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX with standard fan at 1,000rpm
A 2.200Mhz -Idle: 38ºC -Load: 45ºC
A 2.700Mhz -Idle: 38ºC -Load: 49ºC. Unstable.
Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX with standard fan at 2.000rpm
A 2.200Mhz -Idle: 37ºC -Load: 44ºC
A 2.700Mhz -Idle: 39ºC -Load: 48ºC
At 2.800Mhz -Idle: 40ºC -Load: 53ºC
Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX with Silverstone FM-121 fan
A 2.200Mhz -Idle: 37ºC -Load: 44ºC
A 2.700Mhz -Idle: 39ºC -Load: 48ºC
At 2.800Mhz -Idle: 40ºC -Load: 52ºC
Thermalright XP-120 with Silverstone FM-121 fan
A 2.200Mhz -Idle: 38ºC -Load: 48ºC
A 2.700Mhz -Idle: 40ºC -Load: 50ºC
At 2.800Mhz -Idle: 42ºC -Load: 61ºC
As you can see, the use of the Silverstone fan does not represent any improvement with respect to the standard fan except in the extreme overclock test where it manages to lower 1ºC. But what is most striking is the triumphant march the Big Typhoon VX makes over the XP-120. Even with the fan at its minimum, it achieves better temperatures by a wide margin than the XP-120 at 2,200Mhz. When we get more serious and turn up the processor and fan speeds the differences widen to 9ºC in the extreme overclock test. 9ºC and we are comparing it with a heatsink that even by today’s standards is more than valid!
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner, the Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX is the best heatsink I have ever tested. It improved the results obtained with the not so old Thermalright XP-120 by a considerable margin without any effort and being quite silent. Thermaltake has managed to improve what was already good, getting the new retention system mounted in no time and including a new more powerful fan.