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Thermalright Ultra-120 Low Noise Heatsink Review
Thermalright Ultra-120 Low Noise Heatsink Review
  98%   
Abstract: UPDATED! The Ultra-120 is a large heatsink, but one which can be operated very quietly while disbursing the high heat loads from modern-day dual core processors.

 Company link  Category  Published  Author 
Thermalright   Cooling / Heatsinks   Jul 02, 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Page Title: Acoustic Comparisons and Base Surface Quality

Acoustic Samples: Listen to this Heatsink!

With the Thermalright Ultra 120 being cooled by a 120mm Martech D712025125Z2N fan, noise levels remain moderate. Of course, the beauty of this heatsink is that you can install the fan of your choice. To listen to this heatsink, click on the little headphones icon below and play the sample MP3 files for the heatsink running with its fan at full speed.

FrostyTech Acoustic Sampling Chamber - Full Speed
Standard Waveform view of a 10 second recording. Click on the headphones icon to listen to an MP3 recording of this heatsink in operation. The fan is rotating at 1600 RPM

Sound Level Measurements: Which Heatsink is Quietest?

Listening to the actual noise a heatsink makes allows you to hear what pure numbers alone cannot get across. To further emphasize FrostyTech's reliance on cold hard facts when evaluating a heatsink, we also take noise level measurements with a sound level meter.

FrostyTech Heatsink Noise Level Measurements
Noise level Decibel measurements of each heatsinks' fan in operation are taken with the aid of a sound level meter and sound isolating enclosure. The values may be higher than the mfgr's listed specs, but are directly comparable to one another. Measurements are made on the dB (A) scale, lower values are best. Information on Frostytech's test methodology is available here.
Manufacturer: Model No.: Fan* Speed: Noise Level (dBA): CPU** Platform

Arctic Cooling Silencer 64 Ultra TC low 27.6 dB AMD
Verax Helado 36.3 dB Intel/AMD
Intel Stock Core 2 Duo 36.7 dB Intel
Scythe Mine Rev.B 36.8 dB Intel/AMD
Scythe Katana II 37.9 dB Intel/AMD
Scythe Kama Cross 40.0 dB Intel/AMD
Gigabyte NeonCooler 8-BL 42.0 dB AMD
Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 LP 42.6 dB AMD
Coolermaster Hyper48 43.6 dB Intel/AMD
Arctic Cooling Alpine64 43.9 dB AMD
Dynatron A22 44.5 dB AMD
Asus Arctic Square high 44.9 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS7000B-CU high 44.9 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS7000A-Cu high 45.2 dB AMD
Zalman CNPS7000-Cu high 45.2 dB AMD
Akasa AK-860SF 45.2 dB AMD
Noctua NH-U12 45.4 dB Intel/AMD
Ajigo MF043-044 45.4 dB AMD
Spire SP741B3 45.6 dB AMD
Scythe Shogun high 45.9 dB Intel/AMD
Rosewill RCX-Z2-EX high 45.9 dB Intel/AMD
Intel Stock Pentium D high 47.5 dB Intel
Scythe Kama SCKK1000 47.5 dB AMD
Akasa AK-965 high 48.1 dB Intel
Akasa AK-876 high 48.2 dB AMD
Apack CF900 high 48.3 dB Intel
Apack CF800 high 48.4 dB Intel
LS Cable SHS-T700 48.5 dB Intel
Thermalfly I75DUH 48.7 dB Intel
Coolage Frozen Orb F0-Z924AL high 48.9 dB Intel
Spire SP601B3 48.9 dB Intel/AMD
Thermaltake Silentboost K8 49.7 dB AMD
Zalman CNPS7700-Cu LED high 49.8 dB Intel/AMD
nPowertek NPH-775-1 50.1 dB Intel
Xigmatek HDT-S963 high 50.2 dB Intel/AMD
Evercool Buffalo HPEA-10025 50.2 dB AMD
Zalman CNPS9500 LED high 50.3 dB Intel/AMD
Gigabyte 3D-Rocket 50.7 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS7700-Cu high 50.7 dB Intel/AMD
Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro 50.9 dB AMD
Evercool K802-715 51.5 dB AMD
Alpha Novatech PRE9060M92P high 51.5 db Intel
OCZ Tempest 51.6 dB Intel/AMD
Scythe Samurai SCSM1000 high 51.6 dB AMD
Apack Zerotherm BTF80 51.9 dB Intel/AMD
Apack Zerotherm BTF90 52.1 dB Intel/AMD
Cooljag Falcon 92-AL high 52.1 dB Intel/AMD
nPowertek NPH K8-1 52.2 dB AMD
Cooljag Falcon 92-Cu high 52.8 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 high 53.2 dB AMD
Zalman CNPS9500 AT 53.3 dB Intel
Jetart JAX801 53.5 dB AMD
Thermalright Ultra 120 53.7 dB Intel/AMD
nPowerTek NPH-Big K8 54.0 dB AMD
Rosewill RCX-Z1 high 54.1 dB AMD
Coolermaster Hyper6 high 54.7 dB AMD
Xigmatek AIO-S80DP high 55.0 dB Intel/AMD
Verax Quattro 1 high 55.4 dB Intel/AMD
Arctic Cooling Silencer 64 Ultra TC high 55.5 dB AMD
Evercool Magic Cooler 55.5 dB AMD
Cooljag OAK-H2 high 55.6 dB Intel
Cooljag OAK-H high 55.7 dB Intel
Thermalright Ultra-90 high 56.2 dB Intel/AMD
Akasa AK-960E 56.3 dB Intel
Dynatron SK-V24 56.4 dB AMD
Zalman CNPS9700 LED high 56.5 dB Intel/AMD
Zalman FS-C77 56.5 dB Intel/AMD
Gigabyte 3D Rocket-Pro high 56.7 dB Intel/AMD
Vantec Mach1 high 56.9 dB AMD
Zalman CNPS8000 high 57.4 dB Intel/AMD
EKL V8 high 57.5 dB Intel/AMD
Sunon Watrubo 57.5 dB Intel
Antazone AS-C1000 57.6 dB Intel/AMD
Noctua NH-U9 58.4 dB Intel/AMD
Rosewill RCX-Z3 high 58.6 dB Intel/AMD
Thermalright SLK-948U 58.8 dB AMD
Alpha PAL-8150 58.9 dB AMD
Enzotech Ultra-X high 59.2 dB Intel/AMD
Akasa AK-920 high 59.2 dB Intel/AMD
Akasa AK-873 high 59.2 dB AMD
Coolermaster Aquagate Mini high 59.2 dB Intel/AMD
AVC Z7U3301001 high 59.9 dB AMD
Rosewill RCX-Z2 59.9 dB Intel
Spire Fourier IV SP607B3-C 60.2 dB Intel/AMD
Akasa AK-922 (EVObue) high 60.3 dB Intel/AMD
Ajigo MF064-074 high 60.3 dB AMD
Thermalfly F1-IACSHA high 60.4 dB Intel/AMD
Cooljag SFO-Q high 60.6 dB AMD
Cooljag SFO-H high 60.6 dB AMD
Akasa AK-961 60.7 dB Intel
Thermaltake Jungle512 high 60.8 dB Intel
Gigabyte 3D Cooler-Pro high 62.5 dB Intel/AMD
Gigabyte 3D Cooler-Ultra high 63.0 dB Intel/AMD
AVC Z7U7414001 (stock AM2) high 63.0 dB AMD
Titan TTC-K8ATB/825/SC 63.1 dB AMD
Evercool PT02-9232CP 63.3 dB Intel
CoolJag SFO-D(18SC) 64.0 dB AMD
nPowertek SF 775-2 high 64.6 dB Intel
Gigabyte GH-PCU23-VE high 65.6 dB Intel/AMD
ASUS Starice high 67.4 dB Intel/AMD
Thermaltake Polo 735 high 68.0 dB AMD
Thermaltake Venus 12 high 68.1 dB AMD
Thermalfly I75DUB high 68.5 db Intel
Gigabyte G-Power Pro high 71.9 dB Intel/AMD
Noise Level (dBA)

*Unless noted, for reference heatsinks with variable-speed fans only the 'high speed' (12V) fan noise measurement is included in the comparison sheet; more detailed results for the low fan speed (~5V) tests reside in each specific heatsink review. ** 'AMD' denotes compatibility with socket 754/939/940 & AM2 processors where applicable. 'Intel' denotes compatibility with socket 775 platform.

With the 120mm Martech D712025125Z2N fan, the Thermalright Ultra-120 heatsink falls into position at about the middle of the pack with 53.7 dBA noise. We were unable to find exact specs on this particular fan, but estimate its speed at 1600RPM.

Surface Finish and Flatness

Surface finish is an important factor that we all look for when holding a new heatsink. Flipping a cooler over to see how well the base has been machined is a quick way to judge the attention to detail that was put into making it. The following test involves the use of a Surface Roughness Comparator, which offers a concise cross section common machine surface finishes.

The Thermalright Ultra 120 heatsink has a surface roughness of approximately 8 microinches, which is considered very good. Next, let's see how this heatsink handles the heat compared to a selection of other heatsinks!



 Previous Page °
° Next Page 

Table of Contents:

 1:  Thermalright Ultra-120 Low Noise Heatsink Review
 2:  Socket AM2/939 Heatsink Mounting Considerations
 3:  360° View - Thermalright Ultra-120 Heatsink
 4: — Acoustic Comparisons and Base Surface Quality
 5:  Final AMD/Intel Heatsink Temperature Comparisons

List all Thermalright heat sinks that Frostytech tested?

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