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