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Thermalright Ultima 90 Review

Former staff writer    -   February 4, 2008
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Conclusion:

Although the Ultima 90 does allow you to use a 120mm fan, it did not make a difference in temperatures when I tested it with one. I actually did get a one degree difference on the Intel system, but it was an increase other than a decrease. This could be due to the decreased CFM of the fan I used or because the 120mm fan did actually come over the top of the heatsink itself. My Panaflo fan (92mm) is rated at 68 CFM, while the Thermaltake (120mm) is rated at 62 CFM. I figured that six CFM wouldn’t make much of a difference since the fan covers much more of the heatsinks body. I just might be wrong.

How well did the Thermalright Ultima 90 actually do? On the Intel side, compared to the stock heatsink, the Ultima 90 won hands down. As per its other two competitors, both come equipped with 120mm fans that put out between 85 and 110 CFM, where the fan that I used only put out a max of 68 CFM. On the AMD side, while it was only compared to the ZeroTherm Nirvana and the stock heatsink, it performed just as well or better aside from idle temps while overclocked. The Ultima 90 is much lighter and compact than the Nirvana and the Tuniq tower, which to me is a plus since I always seem to cut my hands on the fins of the others. Although the Ultima sat firmly on both platforms, I did not like the fact that did move up and down with just a light nudge (turning motion). The other problem I encountered is that although the back plate is universal, on some motherboards it may cover resistors on the back of the motherboard. Even though it comes with plastic anti-ground strips attached to the plate, it can cause a ground or even crush the resistors if not carefully placed. I experienced that with the DFI 680I motherboard and had to RMA the board due to that problem. A simple fix would be to send two mounting plates, the second being the x-type.

Although the Thermalright Ultima 90 has one or two faults, those should not be a deterrent if you are careful enough, as it performs fairly well and you may find that it outperforms what you are using at this time.

 

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Accommodates both 90mm and 120mm Fans
  • Easily Installed with Proper Care
  • Six Heatpipes
  • More Compact than Most

 

Cons:

  • Rear Mounting Bracket can cause Problems (without careful installation)
  • Can be Moved with Slight Nudge

 

 

OCC Silver



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (Continued)
  3. Installation
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing (Setup & Intel Benchmarks)
  6. Testing (AMD Phenom Benchmarks)
  7. Conclusion
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