Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme Rev.C Reviewccokeman - May 6, 2010
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So what makes the Revision C TRUE different from the Revision A? At a casual glance, they look pretty much identical front to back and side to side. It's the details that show the difference. If you sit down and count the aluminum fins in the array, you have a total of 52 on the Revision A and only 48 on the C. This means the fin spacing is opened up a bit at the cost of some surface area. The fins are not as spread out as say on the Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366, but a less dense fin package is better for lower airflow(noise) fans. Where this loss of surface area may be recovered. I can surmise the V shaped holes in the fins could create some turbulence, instead of laminar flow through the heat sink fin array. Now on to where the two are similar. Both designs use similar construction and are both nickel plated for excellent looks. Each use a total of six copper heatpipes running through the copper base and aluminum fin array with the heatpipes staggered to hit as much airflow as possible. Each uses what is called a Bent Winglet design to improve the airflow through the fin array. Thermalright also ensures that each point of contact between the heatpipes, fins and base are soldered to promote better heat transfer from the CPU to and through the fins.
Thermalright has been much maligned for the less than flat surface of their TRUE heat sinks but the convex surface takes advantage of the depression seen on most IHS equipped Intel processors. Even Intel's own stock cooling solution for the Core i7 920 has a round copper slug that sits in the center depression of the IHS on the processor. The base is nickel plated as well and is not mirror finished but you can still easily make out the reflection of the tube of thermal grease.
The fan included with this package is one of Thermalright's FDB (Fluid Dynamic Bearing) fans. This Fluid Dynamic Bearing technology is used to reduce both vibration and noise during use and help allow the fan to run all the way down to 7 volts. The FDB fans come in five different speeds from 800 to 2000RPM. This one is rated at 1600 RPM and discharges 63.7 CFM worth of air and is rated at 28db/A so you get low noise and reasonable airflow. To get rid of the wire clips that hold on the fan(s), you use the Ultra Series fan holder that just clips onto the TRUE like it is giving the heatsink a hug. Simple and easy to use.
The new Revision B mounting hardware for the Intel socket 1366 package is a bit different from the old bolt through design that used an x shaped bracket and 4 spring loaded screws to hold the TRUE in place. This revision functions much the same way that Noctuas Secufirm2 mounting hardware does. The backplate is secured to the board with a solid mount and dual brackets that have a single screw hole that attaches to a cross brace so you only have to worry about tightening down two spring loaded screws. Same thought process just a different way of getting to the end result. This mounting system is easy to use although it does not "feel" that it gives the same pressure as the old design. However the proof is in the testing.
As an added bonus for this test we were able to get our hands on a TRUE Copper to see how its performance compared to the Revision C and A TRUE coolers. Where the regular cooler has aluminum fins and is nickel plated the Copper is 100% copper and is a thing of beauty. We shall see how it performs during the testing to see if if it is all its cracked up to be. If my experiences with Thermalrights all copper coolers in the past is any indication, it should do well.
Lets see how this duo perform and see if they earn the right to be called TRUE!