Thermal Compound: OCZ Ultra 5+

OCZ is well known for their high quality memory and heatsinks for overclocked processor. They are also no stranger to high end thermal paste, with their product line OCZ Ultra 5+.

Thermal grease is primarily used in the electronics and computer industries to assist a heatsink to draw heat away from a semiconductor component such as an integrated circuit or transistor.

Thermally conductive paste improves the efficiency of a heatsink by filling air gaps that occur when the irregular surface of a heat generating component is pressed against the irregular surface of a heatsink, air being approximately 8000 times less efficient at conducting heat (see Thermal Conductivity) than, for example, aluminium, a common heatsink material. Surface imperfections inherently arise from limitations in manufacturing technology and range in size from visible and tactile flaws such as machining marks or casting irregularities to sub-microscopic ones not visible to the naked eye.

Wikipedia 

Indian market is mostly flooded with Arctic Silver 5. Though there is no official distributor, most of them are imported in bulks. OCZ Ultra 5+ is the best competitor of AS5. Same as AS5, OCZ also doesn't have any official distributor here in India, but still, attractive price of OCZ, lower than AS5, is a sure killer of AS5 if and only if it can give equal or better performance. If it can perform, we are sure that Overclockers like us will not hesitate from directly importing them from online-shops.

After all, OCZ is a very powerful brand name. 

Let us start the test.  

OCZ Ultra5 tube

Don't get over excited due to its big size. It contains only 3gm. of thermal paste, but should be enough for 10 to 12 applications.

Special thanks to OCZ Technology for providing us the test sample, without it, this review may not be possible due to lack of OCZ distributor/reseller in India.

FedEx box with OCZ Ultra 5+

We surprised to see such a big FedEx box just for a single 3 gm. tube of thermal paste.

Actually, they also included some stickers and a cool OCZ t-shirt which became my official uniform for our local Lan-parties

Specification

  • 99.9% Pure Micronized Silver.
     
  • 3 Gram Syringe.
     
  • Thermal Conductance: >350,000W/m2 °C (0.001 inch layer)
     
  • Thermal Resistance: <0.0045°C-in2/Watt (0.001 inch layer)

Description

Cooling Accessories / Thermal Compound / OCZ Ultra 5+
OCZ Ultra 5+ was designed to provide maximum thermal transfer for your most demanding applications.  Ultra 5+ contains 99.9% pure silver for optimal thermal transfer and will not dry out, flake or lose thermal transfer ability over time.  If you are looking for the absolute best in thermal compound look no further than OCZ Ultra 5+

Contains 99.9% pure silver
OCZ Ultra 5+ uses three unique shapes and sizes of pure silver particles to maximize particle-to-particle contact area and thermal transfer.

High-Density
OCZ Ultra 5+ contains over 88% thermally Conductive filler by weight. In addition to micronized silver, Ultra 5+ also contains sub-micron zinc oxide, aluminum oxide and boron nitride particles. These thermally-enhanced ceramic particles improve the compound's performance and long-term stability.

Not Electrically Conductive
OCZ Ultra 5+ was formulated to conduct heat, not electricity.

Absolute Stability
OCZ Ultra 5+ will not separate, run, migrate, or bleed.


For more information, visit the official web-site.

Ultra 5 and AS5

OCZ Ultra 5+ vs. Arctic Silver 5

Test Configuration

Todays lower fabrication method and even lower voltage usage makes high-end processors like AMD X2, AMD FX, Core 2 Duo (to some extends) run very very cool with their stock cooler and paste. The only need for high-end silver based thermal compound is when either the heat-sink is removed from the processor to change the motherboard (upgrade or RMA) or installation of new 3rd party heat-sink for better cooling or to Overclock the CPU to its extream.

So, it is useless to test such a high-end product at a stock CPU speed. In general, we use D.O.T for everyday use, but to test it we manually overclock the CPU from 2211MHz (201 * 11)  to 2600MHz (326 * 8).

 Processor  AMD64 X2 4200+ (939) @ 2211 MHz 90nm 89 Watts
 Motherboard  MSI K8N NEO4 Platinum
 RAM  Transcend DDR400 (single side) 1GB
     (512mb x 2) Dual-Channel (2.5-3-3)
 Power Supply  COLORS-iT 450W 24Pin Dual Fan SMPS
 Hard Disk  Seatage 80GB SATA + 120GB SATA
 Graphics Card  eVGA 8600GTS 256mb PCI-Express
   
 OS  WindowsXP Pro + SP2
 Anti-Virus  NOD32 2.x
 Special  Cool-n-Quite disabled from BIOS.
   

  

Softwares -

  • EVEREST Home Edition version 2.20.405
     
  • wPrime
    (unlike SuperPrime which uses only one CPU thread/core, wPrime uses all the threads/cores of a CPU causing full CPU utilization)
  • Counter Strike: Source
     
  • F.E.A.R

Test Environment

Outside the BOX

Well, it is June 15th. Mid of Summer season in Kolkata, India. Just last week, it was the hottest day. Test lab temperature is 30.5°c !! This is not US or UK, this is India. This is the right place to test extream cooling components. 

Inside the BOX

Also, here is the list of temperature of different components that are running inside the BOX, just to give you the nature of the environment. 

Device / Component        Temparature
(taken in load mode)
     
 Chipset            43°c
 Graphics card            50°c
 Aux            30°c
 SATA  80GB HDD            41°c
 SATA 120GB HDD            43°c

Hope, this gives you a clear idea of the test environment. 

Ultra 5+ Paste

Installation 

The 'official' installation procedure is little different than that of AS5 or Akasa. Instate of spreading the compound evenly upon the processor, it is instructed just to put the heatsink upon the processor containing drop of thermal paste. It will ensure that there will be no air bubbles within the gap.

For detailed installation guide, visit their official instruction page.

Though we are quite experience with traditional method, but to get the best result we followed the official instruction.

Result

The following results were taken after one week, keeping the system laid down horizontally, so that newly applied paste doesn't tiled on one side due to pressure and heat. Thermal paste do takes some time before working at its optimum performance. 

 

Status    Stock Akasa 450 *
Arctic Silver 5
OCZ ultra 5+
           
Idle   40°c 38°c 34°c 36°c
Load   50°c 49°c 45°c 45°c

* Akasa's configuration did not include the 8600GTS Graphics card.

Final words

After seeing this result some users may think why face so much hassle to change the default thermal compound with such costly 3rd party compound just to drop 5°c.

The drop of 5°c is not the only factor you should see. There is also another parameter you must consider. Its the CPU-FANs rpm.
After changing from stock paste to Ultra 5+, our CPU Fan speed also dropped 500 to 750 rpm, that is, the CPU fan is now in far less stress to keep the processor under 40°c (default target temperature by BIOS). Less stress on the fan means increased longibity of the fan.

If we see our test results, according to our test, Arctic Silver 5 performed slightly better than Ultra 5+. But the difference is not so big that we can announce the real winner. The slight temperature difference could be due to application of the thermal-paste. Its more like draw.

If we see the price difference (don't search in eBay, many of them are fake) Ultra 5+ has the upper hand for its lower price but again availability is a major issue, specially in India.

The Positives:

  • Excellent thermal conductivity.
     
  • Not electrically conductive. No extra headache while installation.
     
  • Doesn't degrade over time.
     
  • Great value for money.

The Negatives(as a quality of the paste there is no negative) :

  • There is no distributor/reseller of OCZ in India, so, availability is totally zero except grey-market but that also fill with duplicates.
     
  • Syringe looks big but has just 3gm.
     
  • OCZ releases only 3gm pack, unlike Arctic Silver 5 which comes both in 3.5gm and 12gm pack. 3gm pack is more than enough for a single/home user but not enough for System Engineers and Moders. For them, a bigger pack of 12gm would be helpful as well as economy.
     
  • The syringe is totally opaque type. So, there is no way to know how much paste left after a long use. Not even holding in front of the Sun works.
      
  • according to a forum - 'it tastes awful', but we didn't test that.

Final Ratings

 Installation  7 / 10
 Overclocking  8 / 10
 Value of Money  9 / 10
 Overall  8 / 10

Enzotech Ultra-X

http://www.enzotechnology.com/cpu.htm

http://www.techenclave.com/forums/enzotech-ultra-x-review-94985.html 

Product Details

 

Ultra-X

Features

  • Compatible with all single and dual-core CPUs for Intel® Socket 775 and AMD™ Sockets K8/AM2/754/939/940.
     
  • The base of the Heat Sink is machined to 0.0003 per inch run-out, which optimizes surface contact and maximizes thermal conductivity performance.
     
  • Four 8 mm heat pipes guarantee the CPU will always run smooth and at optimum efficiency.
     
  • The large 120 mm fan provides extreme volume of airflow which will keep your Northbridge chipset cool at the same time.
     
  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Grease and Adjustable fan speed control included.

 

 Specifications

Dimension (L x W x H):     148x148x118mm
Total Weight:                      835g 
Fan
Delta Fan:  AFB1212H-F00
Dimension (L x W x H): 120x120x25.4mm
Speed:  1200 ~ 2500 RPM
Noise: 24.5~38.5 dB-A
Air Flow: 35.8~82.67 CFM
Voltage: 12VDC . 0.35A
Connector: Molex 3 Wire 
Bearing Type: 2-Ball 
Heatsink
Base: Forge C1100 Copper Base, Mirror Polished
Fins: Aluminum
Heatpipes: 4 Piece of 8∅ Pipes
Thermal CompoundArctic Silver 5

We purchased the unit from Sidewinder for $105.99 (aprox Rs 4500/-) including shipping. Didn't face any trouble with custom duty or postage fee.

Package

ultra-x box

Accessories
  • Back plate for socket (INTEL)775, (AMD)754,939,940,AM2.
  • One Retention modules.
  • Two clip bolts and one clip lever for AMD.
  • Four innerspring screws and four rubber washers for INTEL.
  • One fan controller.
  • One knob for the fan controller and two bolts for fixing the
    controller.
  • One tube of Arctic Silver 5.
Ultra-X Accessories

Ultra-X exhibits the best mirror finish we have ever seen on any cooler.

ultra-x surface

Ultra-X photo4

ultra-x fan control

Detailed Installation guide  

Test Configuration 

Processor  intel CORE 2 DUO e4300 
Motherboard  XFX 650i Ultra
RAM  Kingston DD2 667MHz Value Ram
Power Supply  Antec Basiq Power 500W
Hard Disk  Seagate 160GB SATA HDD
Graphics Card  Leadtek 7950GT 256MB PCI-Express
Cabinet  Zebronics PEACE
   
OS WindowsXP Pro + SP2

Temperatures were measured with the help of CoreTemp .95 + SpeedFan 4.32

To stress test the overclock, we used ORTHOS + Real Time HDR IBL + Super PI 1.5 (16M) 

ultra-x installed

Enzotech Ultra-X Installed

Scores 

Before we start with statistics, do remember, lower the temperature better the performance

 

Test run with Stock Cooler

 Status  OC Speed at 2.6 GHz with VCore 1.25volt
   
 Idle   39 °C
 Load  45 °C - 50 °C

Test run with Enzotech Ultra-X

Status  OC Speed at 1800 MHz with VCore 1.25volt
   
 Idle   34 °C
 Load  38 °C
Status  OC Speed at 2700 MHz with VCore 1.25volt
   
 Idle   37 °C
 Load  42 °C
Status  OC Speed at 3000 MHz with VCore 1.32volt
   
 Idle   40 °C
 Load  49 °C

Final words

Enzotech is very new to Indian customers like us. Specially the market is filled with low performing coolers from ASUS, Cooler Master and few other brands in the gray market. Ultra-X gives a great performance over stock coolers. India is relatively hot country and so, the stock intel cooler doesn't perform very good when we perform CPU intensive jobs like Office Server, Image Processing or extensive Gaming without a A.C. environment.
Ultra-X gives two opportunities.

First of all, for those who wants better cooling performance than the stock Intel heatsink. Just swap it with the Ultra-X, set the fan speed to low or mid. You will get a immediate drop of 10 °C without any increase in noise.

For moderate overclockers,  you can easily overclock your processor and still maintain acceptable temperatures.
It turns out to be speed-noise ration that a overclocker have to decide.

The Positives:

  • Good cooling performance.
     
  • Easy to install. Perfect fitting and doesn't move a bit.
     
  • Can be installed in any orientation if you are using big cabinet.
     
  • Fan speed can be controlled, virtually silent upto 1800RPM.
     
  • Good branded thermal paste included in the package.
     
  • As its a down facing cooler, it cools the surrounding components like
    northbridge, memory, PWM and maybe the back of your graphics card.

The Negatives:

  • Had to remove the mobo for installation.
     
  • Noisy when the fan is at its full speed.
     
  • Weight, 835g with the fan. Have to be careful while moving your cabby with the cooler installed.
     
  • Not compatable with all motherboards.
     
  • Not available in Indian market. Have to import.

Final Ratings

 Design  9 / 10
 Installation  7 / 10
 Accessories  7 / 10
 Overclocking  6 / 10
 Value of Money  6 / 10
 Overall  7 / 10

 

Thermalright Ultra120 Extreme

From the very beginning Thermalright clams to be the No.1 for its air-coolers for CPU, Chipset, RAM, VGA etc. Their one of the best seller was Ultra-90 which was used with a 80mm / 90mm / 92mm fan. Then they brought Ultra-120 to support 120mm fans with it. Now, one step ahead, they launched Ultra-120 eXtreme !!

"Put the X in your Cooling System"

Thermalright name is not that much familiar in India. Very few people, specially few hard-core modders and  overclockers, know about them. Indian market is filled with coolers from Coolermaste, Asus etc. as they have a full chain of distributors and resellers. But true hardware lovers still can find jewel products. Thermalright is one of such few low profile company with long and respectable products line-up from CPU-coolers to GPU-coolers. 

The product line of Thermalright has expanded as rapidly as the size of heatsinks in recent years and now appears to have over 15 different CPU cooler models in its lineup. Mix in a few chipset and VGA coolers and you have a complete cooling family. 

The Ultra-120 Extreme is another "stand-up" cooler that detours away from the design that has made Thermalright famous with the heatpipes curling back overtop of base coming perpendicular to the CPU surface. The Ultra-120 Extreme is actually an upgraded edition of The Ultra-120.

Product Details

Features 

  • Construction: Nickel plated aluminum.
     
  • Quiet and powerful cooling due to 6 heat pipes and large aluminum fin area.
     
  • Proprietary bent winglet design to minimize airflow resistance.
     
  • Heat pipes soldered to base (nickel plated)and fins for optimum heat transfer.
     
  • Include both bolt-thru-board retention brackets for Intel and AMD**

Specifications

Dimension:

L63.44 x W132 x H160.5 mm (heatsink only)

Weight:

790g (heatsink only)

Recommended Fan:

any 120mm Fan

 Compatibility:

 INTEL: All Intel LGA775 processors
AMD:   All AMD Socket AM2 Processors

All AMD Socket 753/939/940 processors (Retention kit sold separately)

Both Ultra-120A and Ultra-120 eXtreme do not include a backplate for AM2 systems. If you have motherboard manufactured by either Asrock or Gigabyte that utilizes the push pin method, you will need to make a separate purchase for an AM2 metal backplate .

Motherboard compatibility List

 

Whats the difference ? 

UL120 compare
As you can see in the side-by-side comparison with the current Ultra 120, Thermalright has managed to add two more heatpipes to the Ultra 120 Extreme, raising the total heatpipes from four to six !!

Package 

As everyone knows by now, Thermalright does not believe in spending on fancy packing, its a simple but sturdy cardboard box, the cooler is held safely in between styrofoams. On top of the box, a bold label of 'Extreme'.

UL120e Box

Package open and the cooler lying in its fully glory along with a full compliment of mounting hardwares.

UL120 Accessories

It comes with only 775 and AM2 socket support brackets, for other platforms, like 939 or 940 or 754, you would need to buy the brackets separately.


A closer look at the slightly folding or bending of the convection fins.

UL120 Fin

 

Detailed Installation guide

Test Configuration 

 Processor  intel CORE 2 DUO e4300 @ 3.3 GHz
 Motherboard  Asus P5Ne-SLI
 RAM  Kingston DDR2 667MHz 1024MB x 2
 Power Supply  Cooler Master Extreme Power 600W
 Hard Disk  Seagate 160BG 7200RPM Sata
 Graphics Card  Nvidia 7900GTX
   Driver: Forceware 94.24
   
 OS  WindowsXP Pro + SP2
 BIOS Version  0602
   
   
 CPU Cooling
  • Stock Cooler
  • Cooler Master Aquagate mini R80
  • Thermalright Ultra-120 extreme

 

 intel stock cooler  CM Aquagate Mini 80  Ultra 120ex
 intel Stock Cooler  Cooler Master Aquagate mini R80  Thermalright Ultra120 Extreme

Following test were run with case closed. 1 x 80mm Coolermaster intake fan and 1 x 120mm exhaust fan. Fan used on the cooler is a Glacialtech 2200RPM, 87.5 CFM.

Also, we use only single-fan setup for Ultra-120. There are some mod-sites that display dual-fan setup, push-pull configuration. But, as we want to see the default power of Ultra-120, so we choose the single-fan setup.

Temperatures were measured with the help of CoreTemp .95 + SpeedFan + ASUS Probe

UL120 installed

 UL120 Extreme Installed

Scores 

Before we start with statistics, do remember, lower the temperature better the performance

Test run with Stock Cooler

 Status    Default Speed     OC Speed at 2.9 GHz
         
 Idle     35 °C    43 °C
 Load    50 °C    65 °C

  • Though I was able to OC further with the stock cooler but the temps were way too high from comfortable for running Orthos Blend test.
     

Test run with Cooler Master Aquagate Mini 80

 Status    Default Speed     OC Speed at 3.3 GHz
         
 Idle     33 °C    41 °C
 Load    40 °C    62 °C
  • For some reason with the Mini80, I was not able to boot to Windows any further than this speed.
     

Test run with Thermalright Ultra120 Extreme

 Status    Default Speed    OC Speed at 3.55 GHz
         
 Idle     33 °C    42 °C
 Load    39 °C    52 °C

Overview

UL120 Performance

Final words

The fan used on the Ultra120 extreme was a mere Rs. 450 Glacialtech with a high 2200 RPM throwing air @ 87.5 CFM (the fan comes highly recommended as well). If you compare the Ultra120 with Mini80 I am able to overclock higher, still within temps that is nowhere close to alarming. It simply crushed the Mini80 (which of course is not the best cooler but still not that bad after all its 'water cooling system'). Except for the stock idle temp which I was expecting to drop a bit further I am damn excited with the performance of the cooler.

According to several tech web-sites, the nearest competitor is Tuniq Tower 120 But, unavailability of the product in the Indian market, not even in gray market, there is no competition against Ultra-120 or 120E.

Now to the price part, got hold of the cooler from Todphod for an excellent price tag of Rs. 2700 + 135(shipping) compared to the price of Rs. 3700 for the CM Mini80. At this price point you cannot find any cooler which can come close to its performance and as someone says its 'Neighbors Envy, Owners Pride'
 

The Positives:

  • Excellent performance with high speed low-noise fan.
     
  • Cooler's orientation can be any 4 ways for AM2 and 775.
     
  • Option to mount 2 x 120mm fan of your liking. High speed High noise fan or Medium Speed Low Noise, its your take.
     
  • Excellent build quality.
     
  • Not huge in size, neither very heavy.
      
  • Fair price for its great performance.
      

The Negatives:

  • Fan not included - adds more 400/- to the final price, though fan is optional but we highly recommend it due to Indian hot weather.
     
  • Motherboard removal necessary for installation.
     
  • Installation on AMD 754/939 doesn't allow free orientation of the heatsink.
     
  • After few years of use, cleaning those tightly packed fins will be very tough.

 

Final Ratings

 Design  8 / 10
 Installation  7 / 10
 Accessories  7 / 10
 Overclocking  9 / 10
 Value of Money  9 / 10
 Overall  8 / 10