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


View All Comments

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.


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