Thermaltake Mini Typhoon

Aug 2nd, 2006 | By

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Thermaltake Mini Typhoon

: 08/2/06 – 03:29:11 AM


: Cooling

Page 1 : Introduction

: Thermaltake

: $44.39 (Monarch Computer)

Thermaltake is a company dedicated to incorporating quality, creativity, and performance into their products. For years, Thermaltake has been at the front lines of high performance cooling and has built up quite a reputation with enthusiasts and overclockers alike. Throughout the years, Thermaltake has seen countless competitors come and go challenging their position in the performance computing market. Despite some mishaps, Thermaltake has always come up strong. By any measures, the Thermaltake Big Typhoon has been a very sucessful product and has earned its place in countless computer systems. However, no product is perfect; after taking into consideration the many positive and negative responses towards the Big Typhoon, Thermaltake has gone back to the drawing boards and put everything into a smaller package. As a result, the Mini Typhoon was born. The Mini Typhoon truly has quite a lot to live up to; after all, the Big Typhoon has been dubbed by many as one of the best heatsinks available on the market.

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Many users of DFI boards, among others, that have bought the Big Typhoon noticed a very large problem when it came to mounting their BT's to their motherboards. The problem was that Thermaltake did not properly support this motherboard, as the included screws were not small enough. Also, they included an illusive backplate which caused problems later on as it is very hard to remove. It seems that Thermaltake's objective with the Mini Typhoon was to make the Big Typhoon much more easier to install and much more compatible.

Page 2 : Packaging

The Mini Typhoon arrived in a stylish clear plastic clamshell package that seems to have kept the heatsink intact, and also clearly lays out the contents of the product. The front boasts about the main features of the heatsink.

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The back has much more detailed specifications.
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Page 3 : Specifications

The Thermaltake website shows a lot of self-confidence when it comes to their products: big pictures, bolded letters, and exaggerated features. Some of these features are:

6 heatpipes, maximized heat transfer
All copper structure, provides extremely fast heat conductivity
0.2mm thick copper fins and perfect fin rate, perfect weight-to-performance ratio
Waved fins to reduce wind shearing noise
3 in 1 application: For LGA775: push pin design for faster install
For K8 and latest socket AM2, tool-less clip, easy to install
RX Type Flow: Powerful 9238 reversed fan to reduce the noise from air-rebounding, only 18dBA
There are still actual specifications on the site:

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The fan is indeed different from the 120mm fan on the Big Typhoon, and is described as an "RX Type Fan". This fan appears to be the same used in some of their previous Silent Boost RX heatsink cooling solution. This fan is reversed, but the air flow still flows downward towards the heatsink. The fan does not look like a conventional fan; the RX fan does not have a standard square fan bracket which allows air to enter through the sides.

Page 4 : Package Contents

Upon opening the box, one would be surprised at the lack of mounting screws, nuts, and backplates that become headaches in installing most heatsinks. Included with the Mini Typhoon is the heatsink, two mounting clips, a manual, and some thermal paste.

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When comparing the Mini Typhoon to it's big brother the Big Typhoon, it is very evident that the heatsink design is basically the same, with 6 heatpipes separating the fins and base, except for the fact that the whole unit is copper and a bit smaller. The height difference is apparent, but minimal.

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In the top view, on the other hand, the size difference is a bit more noticeable as the 120mm fan on the Big Typhoon seems to be enormous compared to the RX fan on the Mini Typhoon.

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When examining the underside of the heatsink's base, the surface seems fairly smooth although there are heavy milling marks, and the finish is not as mirror-like as most of us would expect.

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Now that we are finished eyeballing the product, let's get straight to installation!

Page 5 : Installation

The Mini Typhoon is mounted with a single mounting clip provided for both LGA775 and K8 sockets. This means that the user is able to install the unit without having to remove the stock backplate from the motherboard. The first step is to remove the stock cooler and clean the integrated heat spreader.

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Apply a thin layer of thermal paste.

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Then place the cooler on the processor, mount the clip on both sides and turn the lever. It's a good idea to plug in the 3-pin fan connector too.

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The heatsink does not obstruct any mainboard components and should be small enough to fit into most cases without a problem. The installation process was generally problem-free and very simple due to the fact that it is compatible with the stock backplates for LGA775 and K8.

Now that everything's set up, let's see how the Mini Typhoon performs against its counterpart – the Big Typhoon!

Page 6 : Performance

The testing setup is designed to test cooling performance as well as sound intensity.

The system specifications are:

DFI Lanparty Ultra-D
AMD Opteron 148 s939 @ 2.5GHz
OCZ EL Plat. Rev.2 (TCCD) 2x512MB @ 2-2-2-5, 200Mhz
OCZ Modstream 450W
Sapphire Radeon X800GTO2 @ X850XT
Zalman VF700-Cu
No exhaust or intake fans
Antec Centurion 531 (open side panel)


Mini Typhoon with included thermal paste

Big Typhoon with included thermal paste

In this testing setup, sound intensity will be recorded for each cooler after 20 seconds of start up by a sound level meter placed 30 centimeters away from the fan dead spot. Load temperatures are recorded after booting up, then running Prime95 for 3 hours. Idle temperatures are then recorded 1 hour after stopping the Prime95 load test. Load and idle temperatures are recorded by MBM5, and ambient temperature was taken via temperature probe positioned at the top of the case. The ambient temperature remained at 28 degrees Celsius throughout the testing period.

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The Mini Typhoon performed quite well against the Big Typhoon, falling behind by 4 degrees at load. The drawback of cooling performance was expected as the Mini Typhoon is obviously smaller than the Big Typhoon. It is worth noting that the Big Typhoon only leads on by a few degrees even with aluminum fins.

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In the sound level tests, the results show that the sound intensity difference between the two is about 5dBA, which in the real world cannot be easily differentiated by human hearing. The Mini Typhoon's smaller fan is expected to be slightly louder because the bigger fan pushes more air at the same noise level than a smaller one.

Page 7 : Conclusion

It seems that Thermaltake has not really aimed at improving cooling performance from the Big Typhoon. Instead, they only changed the cooler installation process and compatibility, and put everything in a small and stylish package. Most of the current Big Typhoon users should not change to a Mini Typhoon. The Big Typhoon is still a top performer, with the Mini Typhoon close behind.

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The Mini Typhoon only seems to fall short by a small unit, making it an all-around good performer with one of the easiest installation methods possible. This was not a breakthrough in the cooling market, but still a small step in allowing new enthusiasts to install a third-party CPU cooler with ease and efficiency. Currently, you can get better coolers for the same amount of money, as the Mini Typhoon is on the pricey side. Also, this is a new product on the market, so it will be harder to find in retail stores. All in all, when looking for a cooler that is fairly quiet, has decent performance, and quick and easy installation, the Mini Typhoon should be seriously considered.


Great cooling performance
Quick and easy installation


Limited availability

Overclockers Online would like to thank Thermaltake for making this review possible.

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