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Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme Heatsink Review
Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme Heatsink Review
Abstract: Like the Ultra-120 that came before it, the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme applies fairly simple concepts to yield a well performing tower heatsink that doesn't have to generate much noise to get the job done.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Thermalright   Cooling / Heatsinks   Feb 04, 2008   Max Page  

The Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme heatsink is a continuation of the Ultra-120 series, only with a little more muscle and a couple extra heatpipes. It's predecessor has remained at the top of Frostytech thermal test results for both AMD and Intel platforms basically since we tested it, so we're especially interested to see how the Ultra-120 Extreme model handles. Like the Ultra-120 that came before it, the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme applies fairly simple concepts to yield a well performing tower heatsink that doesn't have to generate much noise to get the job done. It only helps that the Ultra-120 Extreme is built from six U-shaped heat pipes, thick widely spaced stacked aluminum fins and graciously accomodates a low RPM 120mm fan.

The Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme is compatible out of the box with socket 775 Intel and socket 754/939/940/AM2 AMD processors. The tower-sized Ultra-120 Extreme heatsink is sold without a fan, so BYOF. Virtually all Thermalright heatsinks are sold without fans, so in effect the company is allowing the end-user to make the heatsink as quiet or as loud as they wish by incorporating a suitable fan for their personal noise requirements. Anti-vibration rubber strips are used along the leading edges of the fins to prevent vibration noises from occurring where the fan and heatsink meet.

The Ultra-120 Extreme weighs a good 790 grams, and for the purposes of this review will be tested with a 120mm Mechatronics G1225S12B fan that pushes it into the +800 gram region. sell the Thermalright Ultra-120 heatsink heatsink for about $57 USD, and the boys in purple also have a good collection of other CPU coolers too.

Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme
heatsink specsheet
manufacturer: thermalright
model no.: ultra 120 extreme
materials: copper fins, heatpipes, base.
fan mfg: mechatronics g1225s12b
fan spec: 1500rpm, 12v, 0.13a (as tested, fan not included)
fan dim: 25x120x120mm
heatsink & fan dim: 159x63x132mm
weight: 790 grams
includes: multi-socket mounting hardware, thermal compound, fan clips, instructions.

Compatible with Sockets: 754/939/940/AM2, LGA775
Est. Pricing: $57USD ($57CDN)

Thermalright have designed the Ultra-120 Extreme with widely spaced aluminum fins that feature winglets. The large fin pitch allows lower velocity air to move through the Ultra-120 Extreme with less resistance. By relying on a large slow RPM 120mm fan, a sufficient amount of air can be moved through the heatsink without generating much noise. To help induce turbulence within the fins and improve thermal transmission between the air and metal, Thermalright continue the use of "bent winglets." In other words, the leading and trailing edges along either side of the aluminum fins are bent 15° up, and 15° down respectively.

The six 6mm heat pipes at the heart of the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme join all the components of the heatsink together. This is the main difference between the Ultra-120 Extreme and the Ultra-120 model that came before it (it had just four heatpipes).

With a weight of almost 800 grams it's not surprising the Ultra-120 Extreme heatsink is held in place on the motherboard with bolt-through-type retention brackets and spring tensioned screws. The mounting hardware is uncomplicated, and easy to set up although Intel motherboards will have to be removed from the case first.

Mounting Brackets

The Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme heatsink ships with brackets for LGA775 and AMD K8 processors (754/939/940/AM2 respectively).

Both sets of clips rely on spring tensioned screws to apply clamping pressure, so this means two things. One, you'll need to remove your motherboard from the case if it's an Intel socket 775 CPU, and two you'll need to pull off the top portion of the K8 heatsink retention frame if it's a K8 AMD chip.

On the plus side, all K8 motherboards all ship with the metal motherboard support brackets that have a 6-32 thread in place, so the hardware Thermalright include will work just fine with that.

After the clips are in place, the next step is to attach thin rubber anti-vibration strips to the front of the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme heatsink, and then install your own 120mm fan. The thin adhesive backed strips insulate the fan from direct contact with the aluminium fins, so if there are any motor vibrations the strips will hopefully prevent the metal fins from rattling. Thermalright provide special wire clips to hold the fan in place.

FrostyTech's Test Methodologies are outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course its performance in the thermal tests!

° Next Page 

Table of Contents:

 1: — Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme Heatsink Review
 2:  360° View - Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme Heatsink
 3:  Acoustic Sample and Heatsink Sound Levels
 4:  AMD K8 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons
 5:  Intel LGA775 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons

List all Thermalright heat sinks that Frostytech tested?

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