Overclocking

As cooling solutions do a better job of keeping the CPU at a lower temperature, it is reasonable to expect the overclocking capabilities of the CPU will increase. In each test of a cooler we measure the highest stable overclock of a standard X6800 processor under the following conditions:

CPU Multiplier: 14x (Stock 11x)
CPU voltage: 1.5875V
FSB Voltage: 1.30V
Memory Voltage: 2.20V
nForce SPP Voltage: 1.5V
nForce MCP Voltage: 1.7V
HT nForce SPP <-> MCP: Auto

Memory is set to Auto timings on the 680i and memory speed is linked to the FSB for the overclocking tests. This removes memory as any kind of impediment to the maximum stable overclock. Linked settings on the 680i are a 1066FSB to a memory speed of DDR2-800. As FSB is raised the linked memory speed increases in proportion. The same processor is used in all cooling tests to ensure comparable results.

Highest Stable Overclock (MHz)

The Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX reached a stable 3.85 GHz, which matched the best performance with a down-facing fan cooler measured on the Cooler Master GeminII. However, this must be considered middle of the pack for overclocking compared with the top heatpipe towers that reach 3.90 to 3.94GHz with the same CPU on the same test bed. While the difference in maximum overclock may be relatively small, the better coolers all manage higher overclocks with noticeably lower temperatures.

One of the arguments for down-facing coolers is that they should cool board components better than the side blowing heatpipe towers. Lower board component temperatures should allow a higher overclock and better system cooling, at least on paper. The unfortunate reality is that all the down facing coolers we have tested, from the Cooler Master GeminII to the MaxOrb and Andy Samurai Master and now the Big Typhoon VX just do not cool as well as side-blowing heatpipe towers. Since cost is about the same as the best heatpipe towers we have tested, you really get better performance for your money with any of the top-performing heatpipe towers we have tested.

Scaling of Cooling Performance Noise
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  • Amuro - Friday, June 8, 2007 - link

    I found this review that compares the Freezer 7 Pro with the Big Typhoon VX, and the Freezer 7 beats it:
    http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/bigtyphoon...">http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/bigtyphoon...
    Reply
  • qquizz - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    Thermaltake just hopes people confuse their name with Thermalright ;) Reply
  • brian_riendeau - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    I remember when I used to come to AT for reviews of real hardware like motherboards and CPUs. I am glad another 8 pages of "content" gets to devoted to a CPU cooler and says what could have been said in a paragraph. I would much rather see a large cooler roundup and get down to what people care about, which coolers are the best performing, and which are the best value. That is all people really care about, no one (and I mean no one) need 8 pages of information for every half decent CPU cooler on the market. Reply
  • nbowman - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    hehe, don't read the Hexus review then, its like 125 pages long (no bull) for 25 coolers. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, June 8, 2007 - link

    Don't forget, there is a page devoted to the all-important packaging. Reply
  • nsx241 - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    Um, in that case, just skip to the conclusion. No one's forcing you to read all of it. Reply
  • MageXX9 - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    As I said in a previous review, I hate those Intel-style push clips. I've only installed one Core 2 Duo machine, and the retail fan installation amazes me at how bad it was. I can't understand for the life of me why any aftermarket heatsink would use anything other than a screw down design that let you press the heatsink down evenly.

    I understand the ability to install a heatsink while the motherboard is in the case is desirable but it's no problem for me to pull the motherboard. The added insurance is worth it.
    Reply
  • n7 - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    Results are not bad for what's basically an old cooler revised.

    Any plans for an Enzotech Ultra-X review?
    Reply
  • stepone - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    I have a TT 120 VX & with down blower coolers you need to have an extraction fan in the case as the air gets pushed down onto the mobo instead of towards the back fan opening of the case as is the case with tower coolers. I use mine in an Antec P182 with both the top & rear fans set to low (580 RPM) which is inaudibile @ 1m and pulls very little air but still lowers the temp @load by 6-8 degrees depending on what you're doing.

    Further evidence of this is that in your review the 120 VX has the 2nd lowest stock idle temperature, just 1 degree behind the ultra!

    The cooler is good, it just needs a little assistance in getting the hot air out of the case and who doesn't have at least 1 exhaust fan running above 580RPM in their case?

    Could Anand tech maybe add 1 case fan@ low RPM's and re-test the down blowers against the ultra 120?
    Reply
  • magreen1 - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    See Wesley's response above -- they already did briefly retest 4 coolers with a case fan. Reply

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