Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Otto Coelho on July 16, 2009
We tested Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro CPU cooler, which fits on socket LGA775 Intel processors and also on socket AM2, AM2+, AM3 and 939 AMD CPUs. Let's see if this huge cooler is really a good product.
This cooler is really huge and has a 140 mm fan, as its name denotes. This name, by the way, is a reference to its predecessor, Big Typhoon VX, with similar design but using a smaller 120 mm fan. The part number for BigTyp 14Pro is CL-P0456.
Its box has an opening where you can see the fan and part of the heatsink.
Removing the cooler from the box we can have an idea of how it is: there is a "sandwiched" base, where the bottom part is cooper-made and keeps direct contact with the CPU, with six 6-mm heatpipes. These heatpipes bring the heat produced by the CPU to the heatsink, which is located on an upper location, away from the base.
The fan is made of a dark transparent acrylic and the structure that works both as a cage and as a support is made with the same material. In the center part of the fan there are three LEDs that glow blue when the cooler is turned on.
In Figure 4, you can see how far is the heatsink from the base. This is necessary so the large heatsink does not interfere with other motherboard components, like the heatsink from the chipset or from the memory modules.
Removing the "cage" we can have a clearer view from teh heatsink. Six large U-shaped heatpipes come out of the base from both sides and each side gets to a radiator. This is a very amazing design, working as a true 12-heatpipe system.
Are you adept of cooler polishing? On this model there is no reason for that: BigTyp 14Pro base is extremely well polished, acting like a mirror. In Figure 6, you can see the perfect reflex of a screw we place in front of the base.
On the top part of the base we can see two slots where where the clip for AMD CPUs fits. For Intel processors it is necessary to fasten two brackets (shown in the next page) in the holes we see in Figure 7.
In Figure 8, you can see the fan and its frame. It uses a three-pin power plug, allowing you to connect it to the motherboard, so you can measure the fan speed using hardware monitoring programs.
On the fan power cable there is a small potentiometer where you can adjust fan speed.
BigTyp 14Pro installation with AMD CPUs is very simple: just put the cooler over the processor and then put the holding clip, shown in Figure 10.
The installation on Intel socket LGA775 processors, however, is more complicated. First, you must screw the two brackets shown in Figure 11 to the cooler base. So it is necessary to remove the motherboard from the case, put the cooler in place and then attach four nuts, using the rubber and plastic washers to avoid short-circuits and motherboard damage. Then you can reinstall the motherboard back to the case, but due to the size from this cooler it will be difficult to install the ATX12V plug and the motherboard screw near the power supply. However, if your case has a "window" on the motherboard tray to allow access to the cooler holes, you will have no need of removing the motherboard.
On Figures 12, 13 and 14 you can see how this cooler looks like after installed. Thanks to the distance from the base to the heatsink it does not interfere with other components from the motherboard, so you can use it with memory modules with large heatsinks. However, if in your chassis the power supply stays too close to the motherboard, the size of the fan can make the installation difficult or even impossible. In other words, this cooler is good for full tower cases, where power supply keeps a good distance from the motherboard edge.
We are adopting the following metodology on our CPU cooler reviews.
First, we chose the CPU with the highest TDP (Thermal Design Power) we had available, a Core 2 Extreme QX6850, which has a 130 W TDP. The choice for a CPU with a high TDP is obvious: as we want to measure how efficient is the tested cooler, we need a processor that gets very hot. This CPU works by default at 3.0 GHz, but we overclocked it to 3.33 GHz, in order to heat it as much as possible.
We took noise and temperature measurements with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to achieve 100% CPU load on the four processing cores we ran at the same time Prime95 in "In-place Large FFTs" option and three instances of StressCPU program.
We also compared the tested cooler to Intel stock cooler (with copper base), which comes with the processor we used.
Temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer, with the sensor touching the base of the cooler, and also with the core temperature reading (given by the CPU thermal sensor) from SpeedFan program. For this measurement we used an arithmetic average of the four core temperature readings.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the video board cooler so it wouldn't interfere with the results, but this measurement is only for comparative purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be done inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, what we do not have.
We adopted a 2 oC error margin, i.e., temperature differences below 2 oC are considered irrelevant.
On tables below you can see our results. We ran the same test with Intel stock cooler, BigTyp 14Pro with fan speed set at its minimum and BigTyp 14Pro with fan speed set at its maximum. Each test was made with the CPU idle and the with the CPU fully loaded. Keep in mind that with the Intel stock cooler the motherboard controls the fan speed based on CPU load level and temperature.
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Fan speed||Base Temp.||Core Temp.|
|Intel stock||14 oC||44 dBA||1000 rpm||31 oC||42 oC|
|BigTyp 14Pro (min. speed)||17 oC||47 dBA||880 rpm||29 oC||36 oC|
|BigTyp 14Pro (max. speed)||17 oC||59 dBA||1500 rpm||26 oC||34 oC|
CPU Fully Loaded
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Fan speed||Base Temp.||Core Temp.|
|Intel stock||14 oC||48 dBA||1740 rpm||42 oC||100 oC|
|BigTyp 14Pro (min. speed)||17 oC||47 dBA||880 rpm||43 oC||77 oC|
|BigTyp 14Pro (max. speed)||17 oC||59 dBA||1500 rpm||35 oC||70 oC|
On the graph below you can see the temperature difference between the cooler base and the room temperature with the CPU idle and fully loaded. Values shown are in Celsius degrees. Remember that the lower the number, the best is cooling performance.
On the next graph you can have an idea on how many Celsius degrees is CPU core hotter than the room temperature.
Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro main features are:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro is really a big cooler. Its performance is good, being able to cool down the cooler base by 8 oC and the core sensor measured by SpeedFan by 30 oC compared to the Intel stock cooler, when we had the CPU fully loaded. It looks very cool (in both senses), giving your system an "extreme cooling" looks, thanks to its 14 cm fan, the acrylic cage and the three blue LEDs.
Noise level with the fan adjusted to low speed is low, but not imperceptible. With the fan at is maximum speed the performance is even better, but the noise is very annoying.
But the big problem with this cooler is the difficult installation with Intel CPUs (unless your case have a window on the motherboard tray that gives access behind the place where the CPU is installed on the motheboard) besides the fact that it won't fit in small cases.
It is average priced compared to other high performance coolers, and you will get a performance similar to other good products on the same price range. So, buying this product depends more on your personal taste, how much you liked its looks and if you have a full tower case.