iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Five Premium CPU Coolers In Tests

From ASUS, Noctua, Scythe, Thermalright and Thermaltake.

June 26, 2009

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Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro

This product comes in a big cardboard box with a plastic blister inside. The box has a colorful design with a detailed description of what's inside it, a list of technical parameters, and many photos.

The bundle includes the cooler itself, a multi-platform retention module (supporting Intel LGA775 and AMD Socket 754/939/AM2), a satchel with thermal grease, a warranty card, and a user guide.

The cooler has a horizontal-format heatsink with an integrated fan (140x140x30mm). Dimensions -- 156x155x128mm. Weight -- 800g (without a retention module).

The working medium of the cooler is formed by a copper-aluminum base plate (65x40x12mm), 6 heat pipes (6mm in diameter), and a two-section aluminum fin-stack (69 fins in each section, total heat exchange surface area of about 5500cm2).

Advantages of the BygTyp 14Pro design:

  • Intensive heat transfer -- 6 pipes channel the heat away to the fin-stack in 12 places.
  • High quality of contacts between elements (soldering provides effective thermal contacts between the base plate and heat pipes as well as between the pipes and fins).
  • Developed heat exchange surface area (for relatively compact dimensions of the horizontal fin-stack).
  • Measured layout of heat pipes in the fin-stack (not crowded, minimal mutual heating).

However, the BygTyp 14Pro suffers from questionable solutions as well:

  • Dense fin step (1.5mm) raises impedance of the fin-stack, making it hard to blow through with weak airflows.
  • Plastic housing on the fin-stack hampers heat exchange in case of insufficient ventilation.

Heatsink technical rating: good.

The cooler is equipped with an Everflow FB14025BL fan ('open' impeller, nominal speed -- 1600rpm). Strong points of the fan include moderately aggressive aerodynamics (serious performance in high-speed modes) as well as good electro-mechanics (combined bearing -- sleeve bearing plus rolling bearing, Sanyo LB11961 driver, spiced up with stabilizing capacitors).

However, as in case of the heatsink, the onboard fan BygTyp 14Pro also reveals some negative issues:

  • Questionable joints between the blades and the hub (the lower edge of the blade goes orthogonal almost to the center of the hub, which has a negative effect on performance in low-speed modes).
  • Plastic suspension, which should theoretically damp structural vibrations (but it practice, it even amplifies vibrations).

Fan technical rating: good.

Installation of this product looks user-friendly -- the standard latch is used to mount the cooler on the AMD platform. And what concerns Intel LGA775, the bundle includes a mounting kit with special brackets and sundries (the heatsink is fixed with nuts on the back of a motherboard).

However, the other usability issues are disappointing rather than inspiring. BygTyp 14Pro cons:

  • Integrated power controller for the fan -- access to this control in closed PC enclosures is objectively limited (the idea of a PWM controller suggests itself here).
  • Budget organosilicon thermal grease (advanced thermal interface would have been more appropriate for this hi-end product).

Usability rating: good.

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