Testing – AMD

For our first set of tests the Big Typhoon CPU cooler was mounted on an open frame Athlon64 test rig consisting of the components listed below.  The ambient room air temperature was maintained at 23°C ±0.5°C and the CPU was loaded by running CPUBurn. 


Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX Heatsink Fan Review - Cases and Cooling 30


  • Asus K8N-E Deluxe nForce3-250 motherboard
  • AMD Athlon64 3200+ (0.13 mm Newcastle core)
  • Seasonic SuperTornado 400 watt ATX power supply
  • (2) Corsair CMX512-3200C2  DDR RAM
  • ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
  • Sony 16X DVD, FDD
  • Windows XP Pro with SP1

Tests were conducted using the cooler’s integrated variable speed fan (at three different speed settings) and a Nexus 120mm silent fan.


  • Everflow F121225SM: 0.25A, 2,000 rpm, 86.5 CFM, 34 dBA at 12V
  • Nexus D12SL-12: 0.30A, 1,000 rpm, 36.9 CFM, 22.8 dBA at 12V

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To facilitate taking more accurate CPU temperature measurements a very small Omega thermocouple is attached to the side of the Athlon 64 IHS with Arctic Alumina thermal epoxy.  The measurement equipment used during testing included:


  • CPU/IHS — Barnant Model 115 digital thermometer (accuracy +/- 0.4º C)
  • Ambient air — Barnant Model 115 digital thermometer (accuracy +/- 0.4º C)
  • Extech Model 407736 digital sound level meter (accuracy +/- 1.5 dB)

For comparison, I included the results from several other popular HSFs for the K8 platform and the stock OEM aluminum cooler that comes bundled with the Athlon 64 3200+.  All HSFs were tested on the same CPU under the same conditions.


  • Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 with integrated Zalman variable speed fan
  • Thermalright Ultra-120 with 120mm Stealth, Panaflo L1A and Delta SHE
  • Thermalright XP-120 with 120mm Panaflo L1A and 120mm Delta SHE
  • Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro (stock fan at 12V and 7V)
  • Cooler Master Hyper 6 with 80mm CM variable speed fan and 80mm Vantec Tornado
  • Athlon 64 3200+ OEM aluminum heatsink with 70mm fan

The following data is presented for comparative purposes only.  Your actual results may be different depending on the variables unique to your system (CPU, overclock, ambient temperature, case air flow, temperature monitoring, etc). 


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CPU — Temperature reported by Asus PC Probe utility (internal diode)

Tc — Temperature obtained with calibrated thermocouple attached to IHS

Delta T — Fully loaded Tc temperature rise above ambient

dBA — Sound pressure level recorded 3′ away (background ~30 dBA)


As you can see the Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX CPU heatsink fan did an excellent job of keeping the fully loaded Newcastle core cool.  It came very close to delivering the same level of cooling performance to noise as the current industry leading Ultra-120 CPU cooler.  When operating at High speed (2,000 rpm) the fan noise was very noticeable.  Using the built-in fan speed controller to reduce the fan rpm quickly reduced the noise and at Low speed (1,250 rpm) it was acceptably quiet and yet still delivered very good cooling performance.  Swapping out the Thermaltake variable speed fan for the virtually silent Nexus 120mm fan still provided very good cooling.


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