It is not likely that Enzotech will be a name familiar to computer enthusiasts. However, some IT professionals will probably recognize the name as a manufacturer of highly respected cooling solutions for servers. While Enzotech has been manufacturing cooling solutions since 1982, the Ultra-X is their first venture into an air-cooling solution for desktop computers.

Located in Walnut, California, Enzotech continues to manufacture server cooling components. There are even several 1U cooler designs available to the general public that can be seen at the Enzotech website. The main items that will likely be of interest to AT readers will be the full line of passive cooling solutions for the Northbridge, VGA card and memory. The subject of this review, the Enzotech Ultra-X, is also generating interest among computer enthusiasts.


Many readers asked us to take a closer look at the Ultra-X cooler, and it is clear why they have been impressed with the Ultra-X. The cooler is beautifully finished and clearly made with careful attention to quality. Many have also claimed this to be the best performing air cooler on the market.

If indeed this is the best air cooler you can buy the Enzotech would also break a pattern we have seen in recent cooler reviews. The Ultra-X is a down-facing fan heatpipe cantilever. That class of coolers has not performed quite as well as our top heatpipe towers in our cooling tests.

If the Enzotech does top our cooling charts then it will certainly prove the down-facing coolers can perform at top levels. On the other hand, if the Enzotech performs similarly to other down-facers like the Thermaltake Big Typhoon VX, the Scythe Andy Samurai, the Thermaltake MaxOrb, and the Cooler Master GeminII it will simply further the evidence suggesting such designs are not quite as efficient.

Enzotech Ultra-X
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  • Spanki - Thursday, June 28, 2007 - link

    Since I've been pushing to see this sink reviewed at AT, I'd like to be sure to thank you for doing it - thanks!

    I guess I still have on-going concerns about your test setup and conclusions drawn based on that setup - ie. if you had a side-vent/fan, and also used exhaust fans, your conclusions might be wildly different (as the results we're all seeing in other reviews). Maybe it's the Tower coolers that suffer in those conditions (? I dunno... but your results just don't jibe with other results, where a side-vent might be in use).

    I'm not suggesting that everyone should go buy a case with a side vent, only that those who DO own a case with a side-vent/fan might be getting the wrong impression from your general conclusions about top-blowers.

    My only other quibble is your comments on price, but I guess if the place who loaned the HSF sells it for X then that must be the "lowest price" you found (~$63)... I've listed at least 4 sites in the forums that sell it for under $60 (ok, $59.99 :) ).

    Anyway, nice job as usual - thanks.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, June 28, 2007 - link

    The side vent or hole is to bring air IN, not to exhaust air. The fan on these coolers blows down onto the heatpipe cantilever and CPU block. Readers have been suggesting that an added case exhaust fan at the rear would correct the down-facing cooler performance. As stated in the review we tried an added 120mm rear exhaust fan to our setup and it did improve cooling, but did not improve overclocking.

    We also ran tests with the side cover off the case above the cooler. Certainly an entire open side will allow as much cooling air to enter the case as a side vent (the test case also has low front vents for air entry, as most cases do). The results with the open side were no different than we show in the review.
    Reply
  • Spanki - Thursday, June 28, 2007 - link

    Yes, obviously I was referring to the side vent/fan bringing air IN :). Consider the following though (bare with me)...

    For purposes of example, let's say that user A uses an http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=...">Antec 900 case (with a 120mm fan attached to the side vent) and user B uses an http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=...">Antec P182 case. And both users are trying to decide between getting the TR Ultra 120 Extreme or Enzo Ultra-X (again, just for example purposes).

    TR Ultra 120:
    Height = 160.5mm
    Weight = 790g + http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=getarticle&ar...">164g for Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F fan = 954g
    Price = http://www.frozencpu.com/products/5664/cpu-tri-39/...">$64.95 + http://www.frozencpu.com/products/2506/fan-206/Scy...">$14.99 = $79.84 (I won't include the price of the lapping kit, since many people won't bother)

    Enzo Ultra-X:
    Height = 118mm + 25mm for fan = 143mm
    Weight = 835g
    Price = http://www.frozencpu.com/products/5516/cpu-enz-01/...">$62.99 (no lapping needed)

    ...I don't have an Antec 900 case to know for sure, but again for the purpose of example, let's assume that the extra height of the Ultra 120 Extreme means that user A has to remove the fan from his side vent, but not with the Enzo Ultra-X.

    From your testing, it seems relatively apparent that user B (no side vent) will get the best cooling performance with the TR Ultra 120 Extreme.

    But is it 'concievable' to you that user A could possibly get better cooling performance with an Enzo Ultra-X (side vent, with fan, blowing down into the top of it)?

    Personally, I don't know the answer and I'm not trying to champion top-blower design heatsinks either - what I'm trying to do is reconcile the fact that your reviews are not consistent with many other reviews (both from sites and end-users), in the case of top-blower heatsinks.

    Obviously there are many many factors that come into play from one review/user configuration to the next (cpu used, "load" app, fan speed, mounting pressure, TIM application, etc), but that's not accounting for the relative differences between heatsinks tested on the same configuration.

    Doesn't that bother you? Or are you pretty comfortable with the idea that all the other reviews are just getting it wrong?
    Reply
  • magreen1 - Thursday, June 28, 2007 - link

    Yes, and what if my mother likes the Enzo Ultra-X cooler but has a grudge against the TR Ultra Extreme cooler. So if I buy the TR cooler she'll take away my allowance for three weeks. Then I'll have to get a cheaper CPU to save money... maybe an E4300 instead of an E6600, with 2MB less cache. So maybe we should compare performance of the Enzo Ultra-X with an e6600 overclocked to the TR Ultra Extreme with an e4300 overclocked... just to be fair. Reply
  • Spanki - Thursday, June 28, 2007 - link

    Heh. So you're suggesting that I'm nit-picking? Or have some bias towards the Enzo or away from the TR?

    Let me re-state my motives, just to be clear...

    - I don't own an Ezno and have no stake what-so-ever in whether it rox or sux.
    - Same is true with TR products.
    - I have zero love/brand-loyalty or even hate/beef with any particular company's product.
    - I actually have a CM Hyper Tx cooler on my personal system, because it serves my particular needs perfectly.
    - I'd like for other readers/users to have the most complete information available to them, so they can figure out the best cooler for thier particular needs.

    ...in short, the issue to me is acedemic at this point. And if there weren't many conflicting reports out there, I might even drink the Kool-Aid and take the "side-blowers out-perform top-blowers" opinion at face value.

    The problem (as I see it) is that there are conflicting results out there and so there is some reason for those differences. I am interested to know what those reasons are. I'm assuming that Wesley (and his readers) is likely at least curious as well. Seems like you would be too... are do you just choose to believe one internet stranger over another?

    (The above is no slam on Wesley btw... I happen to think he's a smart, skilled, professional reviewer - which is what leads me to believe that he'd be curious about this apparent discrepency).
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, June 29, 2007 - link

    I'd guess that to really solve the question of this variation, the same reviewer would have to test the same group of coolers in different ways. an AMD system, a C2D system, an old P4 system, etc. IIRC some sites don't test on a processor at all, but a heated block. Cases and airflow have a role to play, and some coolers might respond better than others to those changes. so for a site that keeps a consistent method, results are probably correct for that setup, but tests witht he same coolers across a range would be needed to isolate why some places give better reports than others.

    As far as user opinions, they are at best only somewhat useful. I can tell you that according to the Foxconn software that came with my board, my Tuniq holds my E6600 at 1-2 degrees over ambient at idle. Whight I might not mention is that before a BIOS update the Foxconn software was reporting that the processor was cooler than ambient, and also disagreed with the temp reading in the BIOS. So no guarantees the current figure is correct either.
    Reply
  • Spanki - Thursday, June 28, 2007 - link

    Whoops.. I started out doing the comparison with the Ultra 120 (non-extreme) but then decided to use the Extreme (so there's a typo in the labeling, above). Anyway, since this is hypothetical anyway, I'd be just as comfortable with posing the same question comparing the non-extreme version, but you'd have to use the non-extreme weight and price figures, bringing the two sinks much closer together in those aspects. Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Thursday, June 28, 2007 - link

    Actually, I think he specifically meant side vents or side fans for intake . . . which is what I was asking about above.

    Does your test bed have a side intake vent/duct/etc?
    Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Thursday, June 28, 2007 - link

    woops, missed the part in your comment where you said you tested with the side of the case off. Disregard please. Reply
  • jmke - Thursday, June 28, 2007 - link

    It's Thermaltake who makes Big Typhoon VX, not Coolermaster (last paragraph 1st page;)) Reply

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