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

  • 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.
  • 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?

  • 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.)

  • 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.
  • 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 8, 2007 - link

    Nice article. Did I miss the explanation of which thermal compound was used? Thanks. Reply
  • cornfedone - Sunday, May 6, 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.
  • Spoelie - Saturday, May 5, 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.
  • trudodyr - Sunday, May 6, 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 5, 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.

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