Ultra-120 eXtreme Production Kit

As we have said many times, Thermalright has never been one to invest in fancy packaging. The usual Thermalright cooler comes in a sturdy brown box, with at least the name nowadays. What's in the box is what really matters, and Thermalright has more often than not delivered some of the best coolers on the market.



Thermalright is really proud of the Ultra-120 eXtreme, at least based on the final packaging. This is the first time Thermalright has used big 3-D Shadow print to announce the name.


We looked closely, but we really couldn't find any difference in the prototype we tested and the retail eXtreme tower. Perhaps some sharp-eyed readers will find subtle improvements that found their way into the production eXtreme.


The AM2 plate is the same, but the socket 775 plate is a complete redesign. The original 775 mount would not fit between the extra pipes of the eXtreme. The revised 775 mount folds, and is easily passed through the tighter pipes on the eXtreme.


Once passed through the pipes, the 775 adapter is pushed open to align with the mounting holes. The back plate has also been slightly altered to allow better electrical isolation of the metal back plate. There are now elastomer pads on the motherboard contact surfaces.


The new socket 775 adapter is certainly an improvement over the older design in terms of convenience, but we still have one complaint. The old adapter held the cooler firmly in place on socket 775, while the new adapter allows the cooler to be turned a bit after mounting, whether intentional or accidental. Buyers will be perfectly happy with the eXtreme's mounting and performance, but the 775 bracket could be improved further with wider metal on one of the blades that secures the cooler so it won't be able to turn. In this aspect the AM2 adapter is really sturdier, since the heatpipe tower is held rigidly in place on socket AM2 after mounting.


It is also important to understand that the Ultra-120 eXtreme comes with AM2 and socket 775 adapters. However, it does not ship with the AMD 754/939/940 adapter. There is a 754/939/940 adapter (K8) in the Ultra-120 kit. It will also fit the eXtreme so that it can be used on the slightly older AMD sockets. If you want to use the eXtreme on an AMD 754/939/940 processor you will need to ask Thermalright to sell you the Ultra-120 AMD K8 adapter, or talk your dealer or a U120-owning friend into helping you out.

Index Test Configuration and Performance Scaling
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  • FXi - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    Congrats for taking the time to go back and test a retail version. That's a feather in your cap for sure.

    We of course want to see this compared to the IFX cooler, with and without the back cooling device.

    Way to go :)

    Questions: was the cooler mounted horizontally with the fan facing up? Were you using push or pull on the fan?

    Again our thanks!
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    We assumed readers would understand the setup was the same as the Ultra 120 and Ultra 120 Extreme tests, but we added the statements on how we test and that we tested with a SINGLE fan only to the Test Configuration page. We hope this makes test conditions a little clearer. Reply
  • Syran - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    Was this done with 2 fans in a push/pull method, or 1 single fan? Reply
  • puffpio - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    single fan Reply
  • Spacecomber - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    I understand the economy and potential convenience of getting the all the data, for all the heatsinks, and all the CPU speed points into one graph, but maybe we're close to (or have already reached) the point of these graphs being too busy to be helpful.

    Maybe breaking the data into a bar graph for each CPU speed point (that would be five graphs at this point) would make it easier to see what is going on.

    Besides, more graphs means more pages, which equals more advertising space. ;-)
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    It helps to click the graph for the larger version.

    And the graph is crowded because the results are similar - so to tell you the truth, when the difference is only one or two degrees, you're better off making your decision on ease of installation, weight, cost.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    The test environment is included in every full review, but since this was an UPDATE we tried to keep the data compact. From a recent cooler review:

    "All cooling tests are run with the components mounted in a standard mid-tower case. The idle and stress temperature tests are run with the case closed and standing as it would in most home setups. We do not use auxiliary fans in the test cooling case, except for the Northbridge fan attached to the 680i for overclocking."

    For these tests the Ambient room temp was measured as 22C, past tests have been 20C. This is mentioned in the review.
    Reply
  • Axbattler - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    "(unless you're going for silence and want to run fanless)"

    I understand that AT's primary objective is not silencing PCs. But with that comment, I wonder how well the eXtreme perform fanless compared to the Scythe Ninja - one of the favorite at SPCR.

    The Ninja is no longer the best when with all fans, but it tends to scale gracefully as slower fans are used, or no fan at all (due to wider spacing).
    Reply
  • TA152H - Sunday, May 06, 2007 - link

    I agree, they seem to have some weird fetish about saying things without wanting to substantiate them. I mean, why put out that remark if you're not going to elaborate on it with some information?

    It's kind of like the Bearlake remarks earlier, about how they are surprising. I think it's a childish need to act like they know something you want to. Or stupidity. Either way, they are inappropriate and irritating.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Sunday, May 06, 2007 - link

    There's no private info about fanless operation. I didn't supply data on fanless operation because our current test bed is not well set up for fanlees, and therefore I didn't want to mislead readers with fanless performance data that is likley much poorer than you can actually achieve with the Ultra-120 eXtreme. We have explained this in every review recently of a cooler that could be used fanless.

    We did test fanless operation in our review of the base Ultra-120. You can look back at those results and expect performance at least that good and probably better.
    Reply

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