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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  • Xajel - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    AnandTech never reviewed the BT VX before, and when it did, it had concluded that this cooler is bad, why just coz another type of coolers are better !!

    the problem with this review is that the Cooler is very good, but the conclution did not give it what it deserve. it just said that a 90 degree mounted fans coolers are better.. ok I agree and thanks for AT for this, infact I just knows that thanks to Anand, but the problem is where the conclution for the VX as a cooler not as heatpipes tower vs. downfacing fans coolers comparision..
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    We did NOT say the BT was a bad cooler. We talked about the performance being the best for this type of cooler and the good things about installation and design. Don't you think It would be unfair to say the VX topped our perfromance list when it didn't?

    In our conclusion we also said "There is no doubt the Big Typhoon VX is, along with the Cooler Master GeminII, the best of the down-facing cooler designs." and "While performance does not top our charts, there are still many things to like about the Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX. It is one of the easiest to mount coolers we have ever tested. While we do have concerns about two pounds being supported by Intel-style push clips, the installation itself is easy and does not require you to remove your motherboard. It is equally easy if you are mounting the VX on an AMD processor.
    The attached fan speed control is also very useful on the Big Typhoon VX, particularly since it is attached to a very high-output fan capable of 86.5CFM at high speed."

    I don't think this is saying the cooler is bad.
    Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Thursday, June 7, 2007 - link

    It isn't a bad cooler at all. However, there are some ways to make it perform well under its potential.

    First off, it needs a side air duct or side case fan blowing down onto it so it can breathe efficiently. Give it that, and it will be far less likely to cycle hot air through its fins at high operating temperatures.

    Secondly, it does need a fairly strong exhaust fan.

    The Big Typhoon (standard and VX) has put in impressive showings on open-air testbeds that showcase its potential strengths. In restricted air environments, you wind up with a cooler that can not efficiently pull cool air into the case or move hot air out of the case (the latter of which is a nice feature of a properly-positioned L-shaped cooler).

    I managed to get good operation out of mine using a Centurion 5. All I did was pull the side air duct off (the VX is too big to be mounted with that thing still screwed on to the side of the case) and use the VX's included fan as an exhaust. Then I put a Silverstone FM-121 on the VX itself. It serves as the intake fan for the case, cooling everything but the HDDs, plus the HSF fan as well. The exhaust fan more or less takes care of everything else. It's a simple and cheap solution that cools very well. In contrast, an L-shaped cooler in a similar setup would have problems due to there being no strong or direct intake . . . it would essentially be pulling air from inside the case which would, ideally, pull cool air from outside the case through various vents, but for the most part, it would also be pulling in air heated by other system components.

    All this might account for why the VX did so well at idle but so poorly at load.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, June 8, 2007 - link

    My Tuniq on an E6600 in a Centurion 5 idles at 27-28*C and goes to 33-34 at load with ambient around 75*F and just the stock case fans (80mm at front blowing in over hard drives, 120mm at back blowing out). The Tuniq is set to ~1350RPM. Reply

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