This is the Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX fan and heat sink combo, allow me to start by saying I picked this up for £35 online because I had a computer that needed a better fan for cooling. I wanted to pick up a brand that I knew and trusted and for those of you that aren't familiar Thermaltake are a very good name brand for computer components and products.
This comes in a box which is a bit bigger than the product itself but that is because it has 3 bases which are for different CPU sockets, the CPU bases it is compatible with are LGA775, K8 and AM2. Please note that this does not fit any other AMD CPU sockets because I have tried it on AM2+ and it didn't fit. Everything was neatly packaged and seemed like there wasn't much movement around in the box for any damage during transaction; each piece of the kit was wrapped in a clear plastic sheet.
The heat sink looks and feels incredibly sturdy as so the copper pipes that lead to the CPU itself, unless you applied a lot of force you won't be damaging it any time soon so I'm happy in the knowledge that it is well built.
This looks really nice for a heat sink kit; the CPU plate is visible under the heat sink as there are copper pipes holding the heat sink a good inch away from the plate. The heat sink is made up of aluminium which provides a lot of surface area for great heat dissipation. The fan on the top is black with red fins, in my opinion this is a bit of an eyesore I think it would look a lot better with a silver plastic surround and possibly black fins. That is just a vanity thing though as I have a window on the side of my case and I like everything to look good, it won't affect the overall quality of the product.
On the side of the fan there is the VR controller which lets you control the speed of the fan, this can be relatively annoying because you have to open the case up and do this manually rather than being able to control it through software.
Installing this was really easy; the instructions with the kit have clear diagrams to show you how to piece it together. You start by placing the correct base to the heat sink which just clips on. Mounting this to your case should be a breeze because you should have the brackets already installed on the motherboard.
I ran my computer through several benchmarks and this fan worked brilliantly, It kept a constant temperature throughout every test that being around 73 degrees on the CPU, that was a little hot but for air cooling I wasn't expecting great results. This also works a lot better than the stock heat sink system that came with the CPU it kept the whole computer cooler by around 10 degrees.
When running the fan it wasn't noisy in fact sometimes I couldn't even hear it unless I was really listening for it, so this is a really nice quiet fan to add to your computer if you need quieter fans.
Overall this is a pretty bog standard product and you will get a better result than stock systems you get with CPU's. It has its bad points like the look of the fan and the VR controller seems pretty pointless but it does a good job nonetheless.
Quality build, manual fan speed adjuster in the event your Mobo (motherboard) can't control it. Copper piping is well manufactured for a low price item. Feels solid.
Tower installed in: ThermalTake Armour Case Black With 25cm Fan Side Panel
External Dimensions: 530 x 220 x 560 mm (H*W*D)
Motherboard: AM2 Mobo (Asus M2N-E SLI)
Installation can be slightly fiddly and in my situation I had to use a thin metal bracket with a securing arm (came in box). There is also another adaptor included for other board types. On my motherboard the only downside was that the arm it self brushes the cooling fins of the Big Typhoon and care has to be taken to fix it down. Otherwise installation is relatively straight forward, thermal paste is supplied although the applicator isn't accurate it is acceptable for it's one-off use.
Once installed and connected to the relevant onboard power sources, the fan works as specified. It is very quiet in my opinion and due to it's more efficient design, does not have to run at high RPM in doing so further reducing noise. It is quite audible when running at full RPM (around 2,000) but I suspect if users are running it at that speed, they'll be too involved in a game to notice or be bothered.
You will probably have concern over the weight as it's nearly 1KG, but when a Mobo is placed vertically it seems to hold well and doesn't move at all. Of course I wouldn't intentionally bash it, but that clip really looks undersized for it's function. Clearance inside my large case/tower is about an inch (25.4mm) or thereabouts. Ideally the tower would have a side that could be cut to suit, so that the CPU fan is flush with the external face of the tower - rather than disturbing air movement within the tower. As my 250mm side fan is redundant I may well do this - just need a steel cutter :o)
If you need quality CPU air cooling this is your answer, don't be fooled by it's low price, it has been recommended and been the winner of many comparison tests - often exceeding higher priced competition. It also wins for NOT having yet more blue lights!