Cooling at Stock Speed

Some users will never overclock their CPU, but they still want to run the coolest CPU temperatures possible to enhance stability and extend CPU life. The Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, as in the recent Ultra 120 review, was tested using a 120mm Scythe S-Flex SFF21F fan.

X6800 Stock (2933MHz) IDLE Temperature

The Thermalright Ultra 120 was outstanding in our stock cooling tests; the Ultra 120 Extreme is even better. Where the very good Intel stock cooler keeps the X6800 at 41C at idle, the Ultra 120 manages 27C, which matched the Tuniq Tower 120 as best we have ever measured in testing at stock speeds. The Ultra 120 Extreme sets a new record at 26C, which is the best performance we have ever measured at stock idle.

The stress test simulates running a demanding contemporary game. The Far Cry River demo is looped for 30 minutes and the CPU temperature is captured at 4 second intervals with the NVIDIA monitor "logging" option. The highest temperature during the load test is then reported. Momentary spikes are ignored, as we report a sustained high-level temp that you would expect to find in this recording configuration. Cooling efficiency of the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme was compared under load conditions at stock speed to the Ultra 120, the Intel retail HSF and other recently tested CPU coolers.

X6800 Stock (2933MHz) LOAD Temperature

The Ultra 120 Extreme under load at stock speeds reached a maximum temperature of 32C. This breaks the old performance record just set by the Ultra 120 at 33C. This compares to the Tuniq 34C and the Cooler Master Hyper 6+ and Zalman 9700 at 36C, and is the best stock load performance we have measured at AnandTech with an air cooler.

At stock speed the Ultra 120 Extreme upgrade shows it is effective at lowering processor temperatures. The Ultra 120 Extreme was 1C cooler at idle than the Ultra 120 and Tuniq - our previous best performers. Under stress that improvement grows to 2C relative to the Tuniq while remaining at 1C compared to the current Ultra 120. With the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme providing the best in air cooling, we took a closer look at cooling along with overclocking.

CPU Cooling Test Configuration Scaling of Cooling Performance
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  • DrMrLordX - Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - link

    I can't see many reasons to go with the Tuniq Tower 120 over this thing except maybe for the price. The Ultra-120 and Ultra-120+ both cost more after you pay for the fan. Reply
  • Gigahertz19 - Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - link

    I'll have to look through the article again but what about noise level for the fan? It can be a great cooler but if it emits a lot of noise then it's worthless in my book.


    Any possible chance of reviewing some water-cooling systems for the Core 2 Duo in the future? I'd be curious to see how a cheap water cooling system would compare with a high end cooler like the Ultra 120+? Specifically a $50 water cooler like the Cooler Master aquagate mini or a higher end water cooling system like the Corsair Nautilus 500.


    COOLER MASTER AQUAGATE Mini R80 / R120 Liquid Cooling System - $50 Newegg
    Thermaltake CL-W0065 Liquid Cooling System - $60 Newegg

    CORSAIR Nautilus 500 Water Cooling Sytem $150 Newegg
    Swiftech H20-120 PREMIUM CPU Liquid Cooling Kit $122 Newegg

    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - link

    The noise is all cases, both Idle and Stress, and High and Low speeds, was at or below the system noise floor which is determined by the quiet OCZ PowerFlex 520W power supply. For a fan with 64 CFM output these noise levels are extremely low. Scythe rates the fan at 28 dbA at full output and our tests did not reveal any results that would bring that spec into question. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - link

    As we said on page 2 the SAME S-FLex fan was used for testing the Ultra 120+ that we used in the Ultra 120 review. THe noise test results are the same as the Ultra 120 review at http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?...">http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?... Reply
  • Ender17 - Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - link

    how about some tests with the reference fan at 7V?
    31 dBA is way too loud for any quiet system
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - link

    Our OCZ Power Stream 520 is one of the quietest performance power supplies we have tested and it has a noise floor of 38.3dB from 24" (61cm) and 47dB from 6" (152mm) - both measured from an open case side. Noise measurements will be lower with a closed case, so ours should be considered worse case. The measured noise level of the test room is 36.4dB.

    Since you consider 31db to be too loud can you please tell us the power supply you are using for your quiet system and how you measure noise? Distance conditions, ambient room noise, etc. We see no point in measuring noise below a Power supply noise floor since few users will run their systems with a fanless PS.

    You can also run the 120+, 120, or HR01 without a fan for near zero noise, or choose an S-Flex SFF21D fan with 8 DBA noise at around 34cfm.
    Reply
  • ATWindsor - Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - link

    The OCZ isn't that a quiet PSU, han 36.4 db isn't a paticulary quiet room either. If there is no other equipment in the room, I would even say its a bit high on background noise.

    AtW
    Reply
  • ATWindsor - Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - link

    The OCZ isn't that a quiet PSU, han 36.4 db isn't a paticulary quiet room either. If there is no other equipment in the room, I would even say its a bit high on background noise.

    AtW
    Reply
  • Marlowe - Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - link

    I must agree. I sold my 520W Powerstream because it was too noisy.

    I have the Tuniq Tower also, it's a great cooler I agree! =)
    Reply
  • Ender17 - Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - link

    also, the PowerStream isn't even close to be the quietest PSU available.
    Checkout Corsair or SeaSonic.
    Reply

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