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  • Lance10 - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    While not being tactful, I have to agree with TA152H's comments. Not providing enough factual details and ensuring all measures are taken to accurately review a product leave doubt in the reader.

    I have spent quite a bit of time across 10 websites for reviews of computer parts over several years and the reviewers that take all accounts and variances and explain those in every review are the ones I tend to believe are accurate.

    Please take comments directed at your review seriously and try to find the meaning behind the sometimes harsh words and it will help you become a more respected reviewer.

    Kudos on the writing, I detect style and skill but the ambiguous message is not something the audience likes to see. "Consider the audience".

    I'm willing to bet, if someone is actually researching a fan for their computer, their probably VERY detail-oriented as the majority of the public would only research heavily marketed motherboards or the latest Intel processor.

    Feel free to email me or comment back when you plan on aggressively reviewing this product.
    Reply
  • charredwater - Monday, July 23, 2007 - link

    I bought an Ultra-120 Extreme and a Nexus case fan to cool it.

    I have an Asus P5B-E motherboard which has one 4-pin cpu fan connector
    plus two 3-pin case fan connectors.

    The Nexus has a 3-pin fan connector and a 4-pin accessory-type power connector.

    How do I attach my Nexus to the 4-pin motherboard cpu fan connector
    so the sw can control the Nexus fan speed?

    I guess I could connect the Nexus to the motherboard's 3-pin fan connectors.

    But I assume the 4-pin cpu fan connector is optimized to cool the cpu.

    Can someone tell me what the 4th pin in the cpu fan connector is used for?

    And how to connect the Nexus 3-pin fan connector to the motherboard 4-pin cpu fan connector?

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • jagdpanther - Sunday, June 24, 2007 - link

    The author used the same motherboard that I am planning to use, EVGA 680i (122-CK-NF68-A1) and as one one of the pictures in the review shows the Ultra-120 Extreme extends beyond the edge of the EVGA 680i. How far does it extend? I want to place mine in an Antec P182. (If it extends too far, I could remove the top case fan and place the fan outside the case, but that would not be aesthetically pleasing.)

    Reply
  • toliman - Monday, June 18, 2007 - link

    i have trouble looking at this article as if it were objective. i can't say exactly why, it just seems like the numbers were altered to suit some conclusion. it might just be accurate and me being a fool, highly likely... but still, there's missing info that i can't say has me convinced.

    it's not like i was looking an an old THG article for real bias, but there's a lack of info as to why the TR-u120ex does so incredibly well in the anand review, when other sites don't see the dramatic 6'c differences with the same range of high-end heatpipe HSF's like the zalman/thermaltake/scythe/tuniq/arctic cooling/noctua high-ends, silent, popular models, etc.
    Reply
  • Doctahg - Friday, May 11, 2007 - link

    I just installed mine on an Evga 680i Nf-68. Very tight North and South. The wire clips are kind of flimsy as they all are I guess. having trouble keeping them on. They push on the mobo chipset fan and the support bracket aboce the mobo. Thermaltake Armor case. Had to remove the memory to even get close to the screws! The unit does turn alot when seated and screwed in. Don't really like that. I'm running at 37C right now no OC with a 6600 duo. I had to RMA a QX6700 so I plopped this in. I may have too much Arctic silver on it, but I'll be swapping it out in a week again. I have no confidence on the fan mounting clasps....temps up to 41 as I speak, but I am using Nvmonitor so who knows. Bios is sim ilar in temp though. Since the QX6700 runs hotter than this I am not too happy BUT with a bit less comound it may cool a bit more...plus it needs a few days. I have a fan on my Dominator ram, and that may be resticting some airflow through the cooling fan. I am going to remove that tomorrow and see what happens to the temps. Reply
  • mperantie - Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - link

    Nice article. Did I miss the explanation of which thermal compound was used? Thanks. Reply
  • cornfedone - Sunday, May 06, 2007 - link

    Thermalright is one of the very few companies that has delivered quality products and customer support for years. They are the gold standard of the PC industry IMO. Every other company - especially the Asian mobo companies could learn a lot about product design, engineering, quality control and customer service from Thermalright.

    The fraudulent advertising by most mobo makers, the hand picked review mobos with special BIOS, the totally unacceptable product quality, the complete lack of customer support and the malfunction of many mobos is part of the reason the PC industry is in a downward spiral. People are not going to continue to buy defective mobos or operating systems or software forever. Sooner or later the unscrupulous companies in the PC industry will get sued for billions or go tits up. Either way it will be a win for consumers who have exploited for years by unsavory, mismanaged PC companies.
    Reply
  • Spoelie - Saturday, May 05, 2007 - link

    I just *have* to mention this for potential buyers.. I bought the non-extreme version a week or 2 back coz I was tired of waiting for the updated version. Well, the s939 adapter is completely faulty and cannot be used in its original state. I lost a few hours trying to make it work, tried different backplates etc. In the end, I was able to install it using a piece of paper (!) and Zalman's (!!) system that I had left after removing my previous the cooler, the CNPS-7700Cu.

    If you do not have decent DIY skills to come up with alternative ways to install it, I suggest you look elsewhere.

    I could take pictures if there is a genuine interest.
    Reply
  • trudodyr - Sunday, May 06, 2007 - link

    well, thermalright doesn't even include a s939-adapter with the 'extreme' version of the u120. i would really like to buy this heatsink, but can't be arsed into ordering a separate mounting bracket for such a premium product. Reply
  • erikejw - Saturday, May 05, 2007 - link

    I wonder if you could use this cooler as a passive cooler with a "normal" processor like the Athlon x2 4800+ or a similar watted Intel.

    That would be huge for those who want a completely silent system(like me).
    Perfect for HTPCs etc.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, May 05, 2007 - link

    Wes looked at that in the earlier article, and depending on your PSU/case configuration it can certainly function fanless. Overclocking fanless isn't recommended, and I personally think you should still have some low RPM fans in every PC to be safe. If you undervolt a 120mm fan so it's only running at 400 RPM or so (or even the stock 800 RPM), it will still be inaudible and yet it will make a huge difference in cooling performance. Reply
  • fasdl - Saturday, May 05, 2007 - link

    wow, those numbers are unreal! I can't believe this thing is really that good. Is this better at the point where it's better than water cooling? Reply
  • vailr - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    Suggestion to Thermalright: replace the metal backplate; go to a non-conducting material. Such as found in the Zalman CS-2:
    http://sharkacomputers.com/zacsclsuforl.html">http://sharkacomputers.com/zacsclsuforl.html
    Reply
  • Magnadoodle - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    Thermalright products are know to perform better with more airflow while Scythe products usually perform better at low airflows. It would be interesting to test the passive cooling performance of the heatsinks, although that would imply alot of testing. Reply
  • noobzter - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    Is it sticky? If it is, I wonder whether performance is affected if one were to use AS5. Reply
  • bigpow - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    instead of using static charts for comparison tests, why don't you use a javascript-based chart?

    That'd allow readers to check/uncheck whats on the chart - just like the one on Yahoo stock chart

    I haven't seen any other IT websites using this method, and it's only natural if Anandtech.com (my fav site) is the 1st one to have "live" chart
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, May 05, 2007 - link

    I would *love* to have such a tool, mostly because the scaling graphs right now can be quite a pain in the hind quarters to generate. Unfortunately, such a tool takes development time, and while our web programmers are working on an overhaul of the graphing engine (and document engine in general) I'm not sure if we'll get an on-the-fly graph tool. I'll send the suggestion their way, though - it's at least worth considering, although server load might be a problem with such a design as well. We periodically get people that can't see some of the images for a variety of reasons, so any programmed graphics might be more trouble than they're worth. We'll see.... Reply
  • Howard - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    That way, you don't have to worry about the ambient temperature. Reply
  • Final Hamlet - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    I really am interested in silencing my AM2 X2 3800+ - is it possible to run my CPU without any fans if I add a TR 120? Reply
  • Ender17 - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    Great review, any idea when we can see a comparison with the IFX-14? Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    According to Thermaltake the IFX-14 will not be available until late May at the earliest. Reply
  • Arctucas - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    I should get mine in a couple of weeks.

    This is OT I know;
    I really like TR, (I was planning on doing a complete motherboard cooling setup with their products) except that I bought their HR-09 MOSFET coolers for my Striker Extreme mobo (after email conversations with their tech support, who assured me the coolers were compatible) but unfortunately they do not fit.

    After several more emails, TR still insists the HR-09s will work they just don't cover ALL the MOSFETs. Does anyone else think that is sort of non sequitur?

    Anyway, I'm sure the Ultra will be just fine, I just hope that the HR-05SLI I ordered for the chipset will fit.
    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    Great update. The only thing that bothers me is the lack of the 939 adapter. Thermalright makes great products --but for what you pay for one, this product ought to come with that adapter, and without it, it's a real drawback. Considering that the Ultra120 and the Sumbeam's Tuniq Tower 120 both come with it, one would think any "extreme" (implying high-end) version ought to as well. Reply
  • Ender17 - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    939 isn't extreme or high end Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    "Extreme" was referring to the name of the cooler, Ender.

    Also, some of us do own Athlon 64 FX CPU's, high-end Opterons, or the Athlon 64 X2 4800+ in Socket 939. We might still wish to use a great cooler like this. I know that going from a good Swiftech MCX-64V cooler (or at least good when I bought it) to a Tuniq brought my temps down by 8-10C at idle (I have an X2 4800+) , and sometimes even more under load, so I would say that some might very well benefit from this cooler. You don't have to have a Socket 775 or AM2 cooler to find this useful.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    "...or even more likely the 2C higher ambient temperature in our test room compared to the room temperature in the initial review."

    Thanks for considering ambient temperature! It's so easy to overlook it, but I think it really makes a huge difference... imagine gaming in a hot, non-air conditioned room in the summer, vs a cool thermally regulated server room with industrial cooling. It can make a huge difference in the operation of the whole computer, especially when overclocking.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    The only thing lacking is a fitment report for the cooler as to how it fits on a variety of 975/965/680i/650i boards you have around the labs. This is especially important for such a large cooler. Perhaps also if it fits in mid-tower cases you have available to test.

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    To me this would be a lot of effort (20 coolers times 20 motherboards) for very little benefit. Reply
  • yacoub - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    All it requires is holding the hsf over the CPU socket to verify that it clears all obstacles. Not really much effort at all. And it's vitally important to the readers who want to know if a given cooler will fit on their board. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    TheThermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme is the same size as the Ultra-120. It is much smaller than you might imagine - much smaller than the Tuniq or Scythe Infinity or most other heatpipe towers with 120mm fans. It fits every board we have in the cooling lab right now. This includes the EVGA 680i, Asus P5W-DH Deluxe, Asus Striker, and Asus Commando. Thermalright has a compatible motherboard list at their website.

    The thing to keep in mind with the Ultra-120 footprint is it is just as wide as other heatpipe towers, but it is much narrower front to back, as we stated in the Update. The tightest fit, as it is with most towers, is on the EVGA 680i, wich is our Cooling test bed board.
    Reply
  • 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
  • TA152H - Sunday, May 06, 2007 - link

    OK, first of all, I apologize for being so rude, but ...

    I think you should stop making excuses about how your test bed is set up, and set it up properly so you can test it. Not to be rude (again), but this is what you do, review items, and you should take a more serious approach to it. Read some old Byte magazines and use them as a baseline as to what technical journalism and reviews should be like. There is no reason you can't be as good, I just think you are setting the bar a little too low rather than any inherent inability. Hiding behind "we're a kiddie site and we don't review that type of stuff or that stuff in that way" doesn't sound very credible either, although it's used a lot.

    Also, never assume people have read previous articles and remember everything in them, that's just basic journalism. Minimally, provide a link to that page, but expecting people to remember this was tested in a previous review when you didn't in this review is a little bit of a stretch.

    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - link

    It is beyond rude to apologize while you are taking off the gloves so you can use bare knuckels. I will not apologize for not providing fanless results that are not likely valid just becuase you want them. Our current test setup was not conceived for fanless testing, and we make every effort not to make changes in test beds.

    We do try to listen to readers, but review comparisons are only valid if the test bed is the same, and a change of setups requires retesting of all the components tested to that point. For that reason, we normally make test bed changes only after completing a roundup summary, since we can retest just the top performers for future comparison with tested components on the new test setup.

    This is very different approach from web sites that test whatever they want without valid comparisons to other results. Reviews without comparisons are ads in our opinion.

    Byte is a great name from the past, but Computer Magazines appear to be fading in the marketplace since print info ages quickly in a fast moving market like computers. What works for Byte magazine is not necessarily what works for web readers. Before you pull out the "kiddie site" criticism you might consider that AnandTech is the largest and most respected of the computer review sites, as measures by real data, not speculation.
    Reply
  • Bull Dog - Friday, May 04, 2007 - link

    Thermalright ROCKS. I personally hope they never change the packaging of their coolers either. Plain brown box. No need for flash colors and marketing hype, because what's inside is so good, it doesn't need it. Reply
  • etech - Sunday, May 13, 2007 - link

    Good review but I would like to see the Enzotech Ultra-X and possibly the 3RSystem Iceage 120 added to the line up.

    The Enzotech because it seems to be the closest competitor to the Ultra and is a few dollars cheaper. I also like the cooling of the board that you have with the Ultra-X style coolers. Perhaps some chipset temps could be included.

    The Iceage 120 just because I think it could be interesting with the heatpipes directly on the IHS.

    Thanks.
    Reply

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