Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme Impressions

Last response: in Overclocking
Share
May 10, 2007 6:24:03 AM

My new heatsink and fan combo came in. Here are my first impressions, in order to help anyone that may be interested in purchasing one for themselves. Keep in mind that every case and motherboard combination is different, so your experiences will vary from mine depending on your hardware.

Case: Lian Li A10a
Motherboard: EVGA 680i SLI
CPU: C2D E6600
Fan: Scythe S-flex 1600 rpm SFF21F

The heatsink is fairly big, but deceptively light. The fin portion matches the size of a 120mm case fan, is about 2.5 times as thick, and the heatpipes and block extend downward another 2 inches. After installation, I tested the stability of the mounting system. There seems to be hardly any leeway for it to tilt or rock off of the cpu contact area. It is very sturdy. However, it does twist around easily. I don't think that will affect anything though, and it's definitely not close to being heavy enough to where I'd worry about it ripping through a motherboard despite it's size.

Installation: I had to take my motherboard out for this. I'd read elsewhere that you could slip the 4 point bracket under the motherboard and just line the holes up. It doesn't fit this way for me. Not enough clearance.
I also was forced to remove the top 120mm case fan at the top of my case. There wasn't enough clearance for it to fit alongside the heatsink. All in all, not a huge deal.

After getting everything settled in again, I realized the heatsink doesn't clear the top of the case if you try to slide it in on the motherboard tray. You have to install the rest of the heatsink while it is inside the case. The heatsink barely clears on any given side.

I installed it so that the airflow goes from the front of the case towards the rear exhaust fan at the back of the case. The lengthwise portion clears the northbridge hsf by a couple of millimeters, at most. Same goes for the top of the case.

I had to buy a 120mm fan filter for a way to hold the top fan grill to the case, as the screws had nothing to hold onto once I removed the 120mm fan.

Screwing the heatsink on was a breeze. Just be careful with the amount of downwards force you put on the screw, in case you slip. Don't want to slice a trace or anything like that if you miss. They stop screwing in on their own after enough turns, and there is no guesswork on your part.

Clipping the 120mm fan onto it was tough, given the almost non-existant clearance on any side of the heatsink and the fidgety clips you have to use. This, aside from taking the motherboard out and putting it back in, was probably the most time consuming part of the entire process.

My particular s-flex fan seems to be emitting a high pitched whining noise described by a handful of reviews on newegg. It's akin to having a cricket chirping inside your case. Highly irritating. I do not look forward to replacing it once I talk to the place I bought it from. It was a lot of work to get that sucker in correctly.

Performance: Astounding. Previous heatsink was an AC freezer 7 pro. At stock: I'd idle somewhere around 40-45c with probably 26-28c ambient temps. Would break 60c sometimes on full 100% loading, both cores, through intel TAT. Never bothered with overclocking on this hsf, since my temps were already uncomfortably high. I also had to remove the top 120mm fan on the Lian li for this hsf.

With the Ultra 120, My idle was somewhere between 30-34c at stock, and I don't remember breaking 40c at full 100% load through TAT. I'm now at 3.2ghz, 1.2375 vcore, 400fsb x8 multi. Intel TAT at dual 100% load was hovering between 54-56c after 15 minutes, and didn't go any higher. After taking off the load, temps return to 38-40c idle within 15 seconds. That was fast, I had to try it twice just to make sure things weren't going wrong. I am currently running a dual prime95 torture test, and at 100% load I'm at 50-51c for each core after nearly an hour and a half, with no stability issues.

I was able to successfully run HL2 lost coast video stress test.
1600x1200, 4x AA, 16x AF, highest quality settings on everything I could find in the options menu.

2.4ghz w/ ac7: 153 fps average
2.8ghz 400x7 Ultra 120: 170 fps average
3.2ghz 400x8 Ultra 120: 178 fps average

Overall: I never really expected this much from the cooler. I've been simply amazed at the difference in performance. My load at 3.2ghz is even lower than load @ stock with the old hsf. I may try to get some pics up to show anyone who might be interested just what kind of clearance I'm talking about. We'll see. Keep in mind that your experience could vary greatly from mine depending on your case, video card, airflow, motherboard, thermal compound (I used AS5, no burn in yet) and seating of the hsf. This was just to give people a general idea of what to expect if they are using components or cases similar to mine. Hopy you found it helpful or at least informative.
May 10, 2007 8:21:36 AM

Quote:
My new heatsink and fan combo came in. Here are my first impressions, in order to help anyone that may be interested in purchasing one for themselves. Keep in mind that every case and motherboard combination is different, so your experiences will vary from mine depending on your hardware.

Case: Lian Li A10a
Motherboard: EVGA 680i SLI
CPU: C2D E6600
Fan: Scythe S-flex 1600 rpm SFF21F

The heatsink is fairly big, but deceptively light. The fin portion matches the size of a 120mm case fan, is about 2.5 times as thick, and the heatpipes and block extend downward another 2 inches. After installation, I tested the stability of the mounting system. There seems to be hardly any leeway for it to tilt or rock off of the cpu contact area. It is very sturdy. However, it does twist around easily. I don't think that will affect anything though, and it's definitely not close to being heavy enough to where I'd worry about it ripping through a motherboard despite it's size.

Installation: I had to take my motherboard out for this. I'd read elsewhere that you could slip the 4 point bracket under the motherboard and just line the holes up. It doesn't fit this way for me. Not enough clearance.
I also was forced to remove the top 120mm case fan at the top of my case. There wasn't enough clearance for it to fit alongside the heatsink. All in all, not a huge deal.

After getting everything settled in again, I realized the heatsink doesn't clear the top of the case if you try to slide it in on the motherboard tray. You have to install the rest of the heatsink while it is inside the case. The heatsink barely clears on any given side.

I installed it so that the airflow goes from the front of the case towards the rear exhaust fan at the back of the case. The lengthwise portion clears the northbridge hsf by a couple of millimeters, at most. Same goes for the top of the case.

I had to buy a 120mm fan filter for a way to hold the top fan grill to the case, as the screws had nothing to hold onto once I removed the 120mm fan.

Screwing the heatsink on was a breeze. Just be careful with the amount of downwards force you put on the screw, in case you slip. Don't want to slice a trace or anything like that if you miss. They stop screwing in on their own after enough turns, and there is no guesswork on your part.

Clipping the 120mm fan onto it was tough, given the almost non-existant clearance on any side of the heatsink and the fidgety clips you have to use. This, aside from taking the motherboard out and putting it back in, was probably the most time consuming part of the entire process.

My particular s-flex fan seems to be emitting a high pitched whining noise described by a handful of reviews on newegg. It's akin to having a cricket chirping inside your case. Highly irritating. I do not look forward to replacing it once I talk to the place I bought it from. It was a lot of work to get that sucker in correctly.

Performance: Astounding. Previous heatsink was an AC freezer 7 pro. At stock: I'd idle somewhere around 40-45c with probably 26-28c ambient temps. Would break 60c sometimes on full 100% loading, both cores, through intel TAT. Never bothered with overclocking on this hsf, since my temps were already uncomfortably high. I also had to remove the top 120mm fan on the Lian li for this hsf.

With the Ultra 120, My idle was somewhere between 30-34c at stock, and I don't remember breaking 40c at full 100% load through TAT. I'm now at 3.2ghz, 1.2375 vcore, 400fsb x8 multi. Intel TAT at dual 100% load was hovering between 54-56c after 15 minutes, and didn't go any higher. After taking off the load, temps return to 38-40c idle within 15 seconds. That was fast, I had to try it twice just to make sure things weren't going wrong. I am currently running a dual prime95 torture test, and at 100% load I'm at 50-51c for each core after nearly an hour and a half, with no stability issues.

I was able to successfully run HL2 lost coast video stress test.
1600x1200, 4x AA, 16x AF, highest quality settings on everything I could find in the options menu.

2.4ghz w/ ac7: 153 fps average
2.8ghz 400x7 Ultra 120: 170 fps average
3.2ghz 400x8 Ultra 120: 178 fps average

Overall: I never really expected this much from the cooler. I've been simply amazed at the difference in performance. My load at 3.2ghz is even lower than load @ stock with the old hsf. I may try to get some pics up to show anyone who might be interested just what kind of clearance I'm talking about. We'll see. Keep in mind that your experience could vary greatly from mine depending on your case, video card, airflow, motherboard, thermal compound (I used AS5, no burn in yet) and seating of the hsf. This was just to give people a general idea of what to expect if they are using components or cases similar to mine. Hopy you found it helpful or at least informative.
I can't believe the poor performance of the AC Freezer7(either that or the great performance of my Intel HS/F). I just ran TAT on my E6600 to see. 30C Idle..After 15min....53C on TAT...54/55C with Core Temp .95.




-ASRock DUAL775 VSTA
-E6600@2530(281x9) Stock Intel HS/F..AS5 and a <10min. lapping of the HS/F.
-6800GS unlocked -16/6..OC'ed to 427/1150 (Stock untouched cooling)
-2x512 OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev.2 running 211@2-2-2-5 1T
-Seagate 320G SATA 3g, WD 80G 8MB IDE
-Antec TP 480w
-Antec PlusView 1000AMG(full tower). No front fans, 2x80mm(30cfm)rear fans, 1x80mm window fan(37cfm intake),80mm exhaust fan on PSU.

Not exactly a good flowing setup...i could lower my temps a few degrees easily....my GPU doesn't put out the heat that yours does. I must have done one hell of a lap job.. :D  ...and nowhere near a shiny finish. :wink:
May 10, 2007 9:30:44 AM

I never really did try a reseating, but I do remember using AS5 on the Freezer. In the same case, the freezer 7 was actually performing worse than my cousin's intel stock hsf. I never really did an in-depth analysis of it, but he idled between 3-5c lower than I did, but also got higher load temps than I did. I'm pretty sure his ambient temp was lower by 1-2c, which might've made up for it.

Aside from that, the only difference would have been seating. We have the same case, motherboard and cpu. I do have a hotter running video card (he has a 7900gt), and his top 120mm actually fit without any modification to the hsf. I, on the other hand, decided to forgo the top 120mm and went for the AC f7.

The freezer was something of an impulse buy, as I figured whatever it was, it couldn't be much worse than the stock cooler... and I didn't really trust stock cooling much at the time. But it worked for the time being, and I never got around to trying to lower temps.

On another note, dual prime 95 had one core fail after an hour and a half with 400x8 settings @ 1.2375v. I'm trying it again at 1.25v vcore. Not really sure what safe temps are under 100% TAT load, but I'm trying not to go over 60c. 1.25vcore brought me close at 58-59c, so hopefully this is stable enough to do 6-12 hours of prime testing.
May 10, 2007 9:54:11 AM

Quote:
I never really did try a reseating, but I do remember using AS5 on the Freezer. In the same case, the freezer 7 was actually performing worse than my cousin's intel stock hsf. I never really did an in-depth analysis of it, but he idled between 3-5c lower than I did, but also got higher load temps than I did. I'm pretty sure his ambient temp was lower by 1-2c, which might've made up for it.

Aside from that, the only difference would have been seating. We have the same case, motherboard and cpu. I do have a hotter running video card (he has a 7900gt), and his top 120mm actually fit without any modification to the hsf. I, on the other hand, decided to forgo the top 120mm and went for the AC f7.

The freezer was something of an impulse buy, as I figured whatever it was, it couldn't be much worse than the stock cooler... and I didn't really trust stock cooling much at the time. But it worked for the time being, and I never got around to trying to lower temps.

On another note, dual prime 95 had one core fail after an hour and a half with 400x8 settings @ 1.2375v. I'm trying it again at 1.25v vcore. Not really sure what safe temps are under 100% TAT load, but I'm trying not to go over 60c. 1.25vcore brought me close at 58-59c, so hopefully this is stable enough to do 6-12 hours of prime testing.
At least they are cheap(price-wise). :wink: BTW... nice rig. :) 
!