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Whats the best cooler other than the Ultra 120 Extreme?

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  • Heatsinks
  • Cooling
  • Thermalright
  • Overclocking
  • Product
Last response: in Overclocking
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June 21, 2007 12:23:41 PM

I cant buy the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme where I live.

The reviews don't seem to agree with one another. One says that the Tuniq Tower is the best, another says that the Scythe Infinity is the best, and the third says that the Zalman CNPS 9700 is.

So, which one is it?

More about : whats cooler ultra 120 extreme

June 21, 2007 8:12:18 PM

Oh come on, it's an easy one!
June 22, 2007 12:34:44 AM

Quote:
Oh come on, it's an easy one!


Oh! the guy who knows much more about computers is asking for help 8) you said you had a c2d on 3.8 ghz but you dont know what the best cooler is :roll: didnt ur mum teach u lying is bad?

tuniq tower 120
thermalright ultra-120

best cpu coolers

got the scythe infinity in the rig im on right now, i guess its okay but i would go for a tuniq or the ultra-120 if u cant get the extreme.
June 22, 2007 2:36:54 AM

The issue is that the ultra 120's tend to be concave, thus if not mounted properly with enough TiM applied to the cpu/hs the temperatures will be relatively high in comparison to a perfectly flat bottemed ultra 120. In any case, if you really want tip top performance from any of the coolers you mentioned you should lap the surface. Another thing that can help is to check if the CPU's IHS is flat and either lap that or apply the paste so as to fill in the concavity.
June 22, 2007 3:08:35 AM

Didnt you say you lived in Israel? Well, check out www.petrastechshop.com

They have Ultra 120-Extremes there, and they ship internationally i believe.
June 22, 2007 7:42:44 AM

Does anyone know how come the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme is so much better than the Tuniq Tower, and yet its only half it's size?
June 22, 2007 8:40:40 AM

its fairy obvious that the sexiest and coolest cooler around is the enzotech ultra-x
June 22, 2007 8:42:36 AM

It has more heat pipes and each one is exposed the the full air blast from a fan. On the Scythe Infinity the pipes are all lined up in front of each other, so each pipe behond the first does not get optimal airflow.

Also the aluminium plates on the Scythe infinity and Ninja are further apart than you think, the ultra 120's look much closer together and therfore are denser and therefore a much greater suface area.

Or maybe anandtech had extreme luck in mounting the Thermalrights.

And also they never seem to say what the ambient temps are inside and outside the case. Apartently the Scythe Ninja with a strong fan can cool a X6800 to 27c at idle. My ambient temps are usually 27c and Uguru shows idle temps of around 32c, but Coretemp (which should be the temp you pay attention too) says around 42c.
June 22, 2007 9:02:44 AM

It's not only AnandTech who says it the best air cooler around... Frosty reviewed the ultra 120 (not the extreme) and found it's the best around.

But I also wondering why it seems that no one get any close with what being tested by the review centers.

In regards to your scythe ninja temp difference between the test and the core temp reading, surely the room temperature take some role of your end result. But if the review says that Intel stock air cooler idle at 41 and 56 degree at load, it means probably it will be more than 56 at idle and 71 degree at your current environment. That's pretty hot...
June 22, 2007 9:53:42 AM

as far as i know, thermaltake big typhoon vx quiet cpu cooler is the best. better than the ultra 120.
June 22, 2007 10:16:11 AM

Prove it.
June 22, 2007 10:21:45 AM

What about a Peltier cooler, it supposed to beat air cooling with none of the4 hassle of water cooling.

The THG PC build day three, used this cooler. I couldn't find the THG guide review, but I found this review. The price could be a barrier, but it looks like it would do the job.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/491/8/

Well thats my 2 pennies worth.
June 22, 2007 11:42:06 AM

Er, no... at $150, it's only 1 Degree better than the Scythe Ninja at load... the Ultra-120 is better than that for $50, you do the math.
June 22, 2007 12:37:44 PM

Quote:
What about a Peltier cooler, it supposed to beat air cooling with none of the4 hassle of water cooling.

The THG PC build day three, used this cooler. I couldn't find the THG guide review, but I found this review. The price could be a barrier, but it looks like it would do the job.

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/491/8/

Well thats my 2 pennies worth.
Compare to the temps in this review. Even with a faster CPU the temps are lower. I am unimpressed.

http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling/showdoc.aspx?i=294...
June 22, 2007 12:47:43 PM

Quote:
The issue is that the ultra 120's tend to be concave, thus if not mounted properly with enough TiM applied to the cpu/hs the temperatures will be relatively high in comparison to a perfectly flat bottemed ultra 120. In any case, if you really want tip top performance from any of the coolers you mentioned you should lap the surface. Another thing that can help is to check if the CPU's IHS is flat and either lap that or apply the paste so as to fill in the concavity.
I appreciate the information. Maybe this is responsible for some of the poor reviews out there. I am going to be installing this in about a month and I will check it against a straight edge and lap if needed.
June 22, 2007 12:54:39 PM

Quote:
http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=8757.
Although I don't personally agree, but.....


According to this the Thermalright Ultra 120 sucks.
Anyone agree?

Not agree

It's too strange when some reviewer mark it as a top notch product while other say it's a bad product. I don't believe that Anand make false review, I tend to believe that hexus got one which not concave...

There must be something wrong..., or probably just defective product....
June 22, 2007 1:01:40 PM

is the review at hexus use the fan as an exhaust? It seems that way from the picture... it should blowing the air, not sucking the air....

Edit:
Blowing the air towards the heatsink.... while it seems like the setup is sucking the air from the heatsink...
June 22, 2007 2:29:42 PM

Quote:
47C LOAD @ 3.9Ghz? Impossible.


My Ultra 120 X keeps my CPU at about 27C Idle and 41C load with an overclock to 3ghz. My load temps are less than the idle temps of the stock cooler at stock speeds.
June 22, 2007 2:54:48 PM

Quote:
47C LOAD @ 3.9Ghz? Impossible.
AnandTech have a good reputation and, as far as I know, don't lie about their tests.
Quote:
My Ultra 120 X keeps my CPU at about 27C Idle and 41C load with an overclock to 3ghz. My load temps are less than the idle temps of the stock cooler at stock speeds.
I appears that the temps in the review are quite realistic.
June 22, 2007 3:33:47 PM

Quote:
47C LOAD @ 3.9Ghz? Impossible.


My Ultra 120 X keeps my CPU at about 27C Idle and 41C load with an overclock to 3ghz. My load temps are less than the idle temps of the stock cooler at stock speeds.

Well, the proof by user is here as well....
June 22, 2007 4:03:12 PM

Quote:
47C LOAD @ 3.9Ghz? Impossible.
AnandTech have a good reputation and, as far as I know, don't lie about their tests.
Quote:
My Ultra 120 X keeps my CPU at about 27C Idle and 41C load with an overclock to 3ghz. My load temps are less than the idle temps of the stock cooler at stock speeds.
I appears that the temps in the review are quite realistic.

So between 2.9Ghz and 3.9Ghz there is a 6 degree difference?
I would like to believe that, I would.

But one review says that the Thermaltake Big Typhoon is best. Another says the Zalman CNPS 9700 is, and this one says that the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme is.

So now what?
Remmember that I cant get the Ultra 120 where I live. I will have to special order it at a shipping price of 50$.
June 22, 2007 4:16:51 PM

Get the Tuniq Tower 120 or Zalman 9700, which ever one is cheaper.
June 22, 2007 4:25:16 PM

Quote:
Get the Tuniq Tower 120 or Zalman 9700, which ever one is cheaper.


What about the Ultra 120 Extreme?

You dare doubt it's awesome power??
June 22, 2007 4:33:30 PM

Quote:
I cant buy the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme where I live.


Quote:
Remmember that I cant get the Ultra 120 where I live. I will have to special order it at a shipping price of 50$.
June 22, 2007 5:04:17 PM

Quote:
I cant buy the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme where I live.


Quote:
Remmember that I cant get the Ultra 120 where I live. I will have to special order it at a shipping price of 50$.


The 50$ includes shipping for the HR-03 Plus and two SilenX fans.

But the Ultra 120 Extreme is so much better than the Tuniq Tower.
June 22, 2007 5:23:38 PM

Spanki's Tips on Reading HSF Reviews...

1. Pay attention to the cpu being used for testing...

If some site is using a X6800 (raise your hand if you own one of those) that defaults to 2.9GHz, chances are that not much voltage adjustment is taking place in it's OC tests. Voltage = heat.

2. Pay attention to the platform being used for testing...

A cooler that performs well on an AMD system may not necessarily perform as well on an Intel system (or visa-versa) due to mounting mechanisms of that particular heatsink on each platform.

3. Pay attention to the 'load' test software...

If one site is "Looping the Far Cry river demo" and another is using CPU-Burn, Orthos or some other means of heating up the chip, you will see huge differences in results.

4. Pay atttention to the ambient temps...

At least one user has run tests and found that each 1C of ambient temp rise equates to 2C cpu temp rises. Even it it's only a 1:1 ratio on your system, that can often mean the difference in 1-4th place on some of these lists/comparisons.

5. Pay attention to the fan being used...

The Thermalright heatsinks don't come with a fan, which means the reviewer has to decide what fan to use. If one reviewer is using a Noctua 800 and another site uses a High Speed Delta, then one is going to get super performance (at the expense of his hearing) and the other is going to get less performance, with the luxury of hearing himself think. Some of the best reviews I've seen test with various fans - including using the same fan on each heatsink - to give a better idea of how the heatsinks perform.

6. Pay attention to the site's motives...

Related to #4, above, a site like Silent PC Reviews is obviously more interested in "silence" before everything else - including cooling. So, be sure to look at the voltages used on the fans in thier reviews. Similarly, other sites may value "cooling at all costs", so.. be sure to pay attention to the fans being used if you value your hearing :) .

7. Pay attention to the test conditions...

If one site is testing on an open-air test-bed and another site is testing inside a case, thier results will differ. If one site tests in an Antec 900 case and another tests in some un-named case with no case fans enabled, thier results will differ. In addition, top-blower heatsinks will help cool other motherboard components, but if the testing is being done with no case fans, they will be at a disadvantage to side-blowers which, by design, push air out of the system.

...basically, there are many, many valid reasons why two different sites can come up with differing results, without resulting to conspiracy theories or labeling one site's results as being more 'correct' than another's. Not to mention the things like sample variances and human factor - TIM being used, how long or if it was let to setup, application of TIM (skilled reviewer vs non-skilled, good days vs bad days, etc), mounting pressure (maybe one reviewer cranked down harder), vertical vs horizontal testing (maybe that 800g+ monster is 'leaning' off the cpu under it's own weight), etc.

In short, it's not wise to compare site A's reviews with site B's reviews and expect an apples-to-apples comparison. It's probably also a good idea not to treat any one site's numbers as the "absolute gospel truth answer" that HSF A performs 2C better than HSF B (better to think in terms of 2-3C pread 'ranges' of heatsinks). If you read enough reviews and pay close enough attention to the test conditions, you can start to get a good feel for which heatsinks fall into which brackets.

Pet-pieves:

1. Users who show up in a forum and ask "what's the best heatsink?"
2. Forum members who think they can answer that question without first understanding what the questioner means by "best"...

- best looking cooler?
- best cooler from Thermalright?
- best cooler that's not Thermaltake?
- best cooler with an LED fan on it?
- best cooler with a red LED fan on it?
- best cooler that comes with a free case-badge?
- best cooler that can be purchased from Newegg?
- best cooler with an easily replaceable fan?
- best cooler at all costs?
- best cooling per dollar spent?
- best cooler that can reliably be transported to and from lan parties without HSF removal?
- best cooler that still allows them to remove thier mb tray without first removing the heatsink?
- best cooler that doesn't require removing the mb to install?
- best cooling for least amount of noise on a non-overclocked cpu?
- best cooler to fit thier odd-ball case setup?
- best cooling for thier massively overclocked cpu to fit thier odd-ball case setup, that they carry to lan parties, making the least amount of noise for under $40 shipped to alaska? (good luck on that one, btw :)  ).

...in other words, if you (the "generic" you) don't ask an intellegent question, don't expect an intellegent answer - we have no idea your priorities or prerequesits are.
June 22, 2007 5:52:25 PM

Quote:
What about the Ultra 120 Extreme?

You dare doubt it's awesome power??


I think thats probably the best cooler, but unless you don't care about price, I don't think the extra money you'll spend importing it is worth it. I'd go with the tuniq tower.
June 22, 2007 6:11:27 PM

Quote:
I cant buy the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme where I live.


Quote:
Remmember that I cant get the Ultra 120 where I live. I will have to special order it at a shipping price of 50$.
June 22, 2007 6:40:54 PM

Thank you for that, Spanki.

But It still does not explain how, in comparison to another cooler, the Ultra 120 Extreme performs greatly in one review and does not in another.

As in, in one review, its 5C better than another cooler. In another review, its 5C worse.

And when I say "best cooler", I mean "best performing cooler".
June 22, 2007 6:41:21 PM

I think u forgot something.
June 22, 2007 7:16:45 PM

Quote:
Thank you for that, Spanki.

But It still does not explain how, in comparison to another cooler, the Ultra 120 Extreme performs greatly in one review and does not in another.

As in, in one review, its 5C better than another cooler. In another review, its 5C worse.

And when I say "best cooler", I mean "best performing cooler".


Which other cooler? Which two reviews?

So, by "best performing cooler", I have to assume you mean:

- regardless of price
- regardless of availability
- regardless of size
- regardless of weight
- regardless of quality (ie. whether you'll have to lap it and/or fix it's mounting mechansim)
- regardless of fan noise
- regardless of mounting mechanism
- regardless of fan mounting mechanism

...and I'll just assume you're not concerned about looks, just to keep things simple :) . If the above pretty much describes your question (and we're talking about air coolers), then the answer (for now) is probably the Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme, that's been lapped and had it's mounting mechanism tweeked to hold it tightly to your cpu, with a loud-ass fan (or two) on it, pushing tons of air through a well ventilated case.

Of course I don't recall you saying which cpu you use or what kind of voltages you intend to apply to it or which case you use or what your system airflow setup is or what motherboard you use, so that setup could very well be overkill for your situation (or not work/fit at all).

You did start the thread by asking about HSFs other than the Ultra 120 eX, so currently, the other(s) that generally fit the above parameters are the Tuniq Tower, Ultra 120 (non extreme), EnzoTech Ultra-X and a few others. These could also be overkill (or simply not the best choice) for what you actually need, but it's the best answer you can get, based on the supplied information in the question.
June 22, 2007 7:38:21 PM

Quote:
So between 2.9Ghz and 3.9Ghz there is a 6 degree difference?


I have a E6300 at 3ghz 1700FSB while they used the unlocked X6800 for testing. If I could get to 3.9 I would tell you what my temps are but I don't think that's likely. I do however have a CM Stacker 2 with 6 case fans so I'm sure that has a lot to do with my temps. Go with the Tuniq, I haven't used it but I have yet to hear a negative comment about it.
June 22, 2007 7:51:59 PM

Quote:
So between 2.9Ghz and 3.9Ghz there is a 6 degree difference?


I have a E6300 at 3ghz 1700FSB while they used the unlocked X6800 for testing. If I could get to 3.9 I would tell you what my temps are but I don't think that's likely.

Exactly. An unlocked X6800 (can use a 14x cpu multiplier) can hit really high overclocked speeds with very little additional voltage applied and relatively low FSB speeds (ie not a lot of heat). Higher FSB speeds will add some heat, but the thing that _really_ adds the heat is when you start juicing up the cpu voltage. An E6300 cpu (with a 7x max cpu multiplier) is going to require really high FSB and high voltages to reach high overclocks.

Also, the AnandTech review platform "Loops the Far Cry demo" to generate "load" - in an attempt to show "real world" results. The problem is, when most people think (or talk about) "load", they're thinking "Orthos Load" or even "TAT load". These are extremely different animals.

AT also doesn't have any case fans on during it's tests, so top-down blowers may suffer by re-circulating heated air.

AT also keeps the ambient test environment "within a 2C range" (20-22C). But as far as I can tell, they don't specifically measure it for each test and they don't report what it is for any specific test, so expect some amount of error based on that.

I'm not trying to bash AT (or any other site), I'm just pointing out some issues I was talking about in my longer post, above.
June 22, 2007 7:53:53 PM

Two reviews - In my the Ultra 120 is worse than the 9700 and it another it's better. How do u explain that?

And I dont know how to lap or tweak the mounting mechanism.
June 22, 2007 7:59:42 PM

The E6300 needs higher voltages to get to 2.93Ghz because it's voltages are already low.
The X6800's voltages are already higher, so there is no need to make them even higher.
So the X6800 does not generate less heat than the E6300.

As to the Anadtech review..
Did they really use a 3+ year old game to test the CPUs?
Thats pethetic. I won't believe them from now on.

Can u just give me 800$ so I can buy Phase Change, and then this will all be over with?
June 22, 2007 8:03:33 PM

Quote:
Two reviews - In my the Ultra 120 is worse than the 9700 and it another it's better. How do u explain that?

And I dont know how to lap or tweak the mounting mechanism.


WHICH two reviews? If I know which reviews you're talking about, I can probably tell you why they came up with different results, but 5C is easy to account for, for any number of reasons:

- one site used a faster fan on the Ultra 120 than the other (my number 1 guess, without knowing more)
- one site used an Intel mb and the other used an AMD
- one site tested one HSF (or the other) with a higher ambient temp and didn't note or mention it
- one site got a 'good' mounting on one HSF and not the other
- one site got a cherry-picked sample and the other got a bad sample
- one site got a 'good' TIM application on one sink, but worse on the other and the other site got consistent application or the reverse

...etc.
June 22, 2007 8:10:27 PM

Quote:
WHICH two reviews?


I was just thinking the same thing. I googled it and found 2 reviews one by Anand and another by spcr which had the u120x rated the best in both.

Quote:
Did they really use a 3+ year old game to test the CPUs?


It isn't a test of CPU's it's a test of cooling efficiency and as long as you keep as many variables the same as possible your results should be right.

Quote:

What about the Ultra 120 Extreme?

You dare doubt it's awesome power??


And there is really no reason to be an a$$. The U120X is arguably the best air cooler available. It is not so much better to be worth the extra shipping. The Tuniq, Arctic 7, or Scythe Infinity would all do a great job.
June 22, 2007 8:30:59 PM

Quote:
The E6300 needs higher voltages to get to 2.93Ghz because it's voltages are already low.
The X6800's voltages are already higher, so there is no need to make them even higher.
So the X6800 does not generate less heat than the E6300.


Sorry, you're just wrong on this. I can't seem to find a link, but as far as I know, the X6800 uses the same core voltage as the E6300 (~1.325) - and even the same default bus speed (1066). The reason it runs at 2.9Ghz out of the box is because it's using a higher cpu multiplier...

E6300 (max cpu multiplier is 7)
~418 FSB * 7 = 2.93GHz

X6800 (has an unlocked multiplier, that can go up to 14x)
293 FSB * 10 = 2.93GHz
266 FSB * 11 = 2.93GHz (<-- default)
244 FSB * 12 = 2.93GHz
225 FSB * 13 = 2.93GHz
209 FSB * 14 = 2.93GHz

...(I'm not positive how low a multiplier the X6800 can use, but...) as you can see, the X6800 doesn't have to have nearly as high a FSB to get the same clock speed.

The E6300 can very easily run hotter than the X6800 - just to get to 2.93GHz (where the X6800 starts), you're (extremely likely) going to have to add voltage to the core.
June 22, 2007 9:17:52 PM

Quote:
as far as i know, thermaltake big typhoon vx quiet cpu cooler is the best. better than the ultra 120.


LOL! :roll:
June 22, 2007 9:25:37 PM

Quote:
http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=8757.
Although I don't personally agree, but.....


According to this the Thermalright Ultra 120 sucks.
Anyone agree?

They used a crap fan for the test.
Themalright makes the best air coolers for CPU/GPU/MB chipsets and voltage regulators.
June 22, 2007 10:21:08 PM

@ Spanki - save your breath

@ Track - if you already have all the answers, why ask questions?
June 23, 2007 12:44:09 AM

Quote:
The E6300 needs higher voltages to get to 2.93Ghz because it's voltages are already low.
The X6800's voltages are already higher, so there is no need to make them even higher.
So the X6800 does not generate less heat than the E6300.


Sorry, you're just wrong on this. I can't seem to find a link, but as far as I know, the X6800 uses the same core voltage as the E6300 (~1.325) - and even the same default bus speed (1066). The reason it runs at 2.9Ghz out of the box is because it's using a higher cpu multiplier...

E6300 (max cpu multiplier is 7)
~418 FSB * 7 = 2.93GHz

X6800 (has an unlocked multiplier, that can go up to 14x)
293 FSB * 10 = 2.93GHz
266 FSB * 11 = 2.93GHz (<-- default)
244 FSB * 12 = 2.93GHz
225 FSB * 13 = 2.93GHz
209 FSB * 14 = 2.93GHz

...(I'm not positive how low a multiplier the X6800 can use, but...) as you can see, the X6800 doesn't have to have nearly as high a FSB to get the same clock speed.

The E6300 can very easily run hotter than the X6800 - just to get to 2.93GHz (where the X6800 starts), you're (extremely likely) going to have to add voltage to the core.

You know lowering the FSB has little to no effect on how hot or cool your cpu will run? It's all about voltage. And the FSB pertains to the northbridge, not the cpu, so when you lower the FSB you lower the speed of your memory and the stress on your northbridge. People typically do the opposite, lower the multiplier and raise the FSB so they can run their memory at high speeds while keeping their cpu at a speed they can manage with their cooling.
June 23, 2007 1:25:27 AM

Quote:
Prove it.


Just buy a Tuniq Tower 120 and live a little, we could go on forever about the reviews. I'm running a E6600 @3.6GHz idle 30c-32c, loaded 50c-55c with a TT 120.
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