Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup :: Thermaltake Big Typhoon

05-18-2006 · Category: Hardware - Cooling

By Tulatin

Unlike the mini typhoon, the venerable (yes, I can say it, the heatsink has been on the market long enough) Big Typhoon greets it's visitors with but a view of the epic 120mm fan on the front, covered with a custom Thermaltake grille, who's support spokes curve inward toward a plastic bezel covered with a sticker at the center. Unfortunately, no claims are made on the packaging in regards to the amount of heat that this heatsink can dissipate, I'd like to wager that with 55CFM to play with, the silent (16 dBA, or so is claimed) 120mm fan can dissipate a fair amount. Also advertised within the same region of packaging is the cooler's compatibility with four different platforms, and the subsequent mounting brackets for each (granted, they're all on the same bracket). More interestingly however, is the fan's ability to start way down at 7V, giving those seeking even more quiet a chance to do a quick and simple mod to feed the fan this low voltage, with a promise of even quieter operation than before. Unfortunately, with its tremendous blocks of aluminum, strapped to 6 6mm copper heat pipes, the Big Typhoon weighs in at 860g - with very poor distribution, to boot. While I would normally advise users to remove such a heavy heatsink before travel, re-installation is enough of a pain in the ass to warrant keeping the unit attach.


Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup
Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup
Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup
Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup
Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup
Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup
Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup

Now, While the Big Typhoon may actually be shorter than the Mini Typhoon (to the tune of about 3mm), it can more than make up for this deficiency in terms of girth. At the widest point, the heatsink registers in at an unheard of 122MM - that's in terms of length and width. While the heatsink could have indeed been wider, Thermaltake chose to imbue some elements of sanity into this heatsink, buy putting roughly inch gaps between the back wall of each block of fins (120x60mm of densely packed, flat top aluminum fins for those wondering), allowing air to pass through, and the heat pipes not to jut out as far. Now, while it has been reported that some users have seen minor gains (about 2 degrees centigrade) by plugging these holes, I'd recommend that you leave them open, as so not to mitigate the benefit provided by free flowing air over steamy components below. Unfortunately, due to the width of this heatsink, and the angle at which the heat pipes come off the base, there may be some compatibility issues with motherboards (again, with our Gigabyte 8I955X Royal), though, they are minimized due to the straight mounting (for all platforms), and terrific height of the heat dissipation blocks.


Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup
Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup

Now, if you were to pass the silver shroud, engraved with the Thermaltake Logo, and intended only to take a 120mm fan, and slide down the heat pipes, you'd find yourself at a meaty copper base, marked mysteriously with a 3, as was the Silent Tower's. On the top of this base, you'll find a fairly wide expanse, intended for use with the included brackets, which will keep the heatsink centered, but still allow it to sit too far up or down the processor. When I flipped the heatsink over, I found a raised base, so very similar to that of the Mini Typhoon, which, again was plastered with horizontal machining marks, though none of them turned out to be deep enough to pose any problem.


Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup
Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup

In fact, aside from the size, there will be but one problem you have with this heatsink. With the huge amount of fins up top, it's notoriously difficult to get below the heatsink, in order to screw it in - whether that's with traditional 6-32 bolts, as metal backplane holding Athlon 64 users can do, or with tiny wing nuts, and threaded posts going through the motherboard, just like everyone else has to. While this installation is very well documented in the manual, and all necessary brackets, screws, and even a sachet of (budget) thermal grease is included, none of these things mention that you'll have to remove your motherboard to get the cooler installed, and that more often then not, you'll have to remove it again to get the cooler off - or to plug in the auxiliary power connectors on many motherboards - such as our DFI SLI-D. While these are indeed truly frustrating issues, the heatsink's past performances have given the end user more than just one reason to put up with the problems, but, such a thing could become an element of the past today - after all, if the Mini Typhoon, with it's beautifully effective clip on mounting, and diminutive girth can take the performance crown, then I know users everywhere - such as myself - who have to take a beast like this on and off the board regularly, will rejoice. It is with this, I find it time to begin the competitions. Open the gates, and loose the processors!


Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup
Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup
Thermaltake Typhoon Heatsink Roundup