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Thermalright XP-120 K8/P4 CPU Cooler Review


In-Depth Look

The heat sink came in a plain cardboard box with Thermalright's logo stamped on it. Inside the box, I found the heat sink protected by styrofoam cut to the shape of the heatsink. I inspected the heat sink carefully and found no shipping damage.

Packaged in the box, I also found the following:
  • (2) Screws
  • (2) Pieces of Rubber
  • (2) Fan Clips
  • Black Socket
  • Instructions
  • Thermal Paste

There is currently two versions of the XP-120, one that will fit both P4 and K8 CPU's and other that just fits P4's. The K8 package will come with a custom bracket that will allow you to use a K8 setup.


Despite the fact that the XP-120 is so massive, it actually doesn't weigh all that much since it's made mostly from aluminum. The XP-120 consists of 52 aluminum fins with total of 5 heat pipes, two on each side and one in the center. Thermalright has been successful with heatpipes on their other CPU coolers and I would expect the XP-120 to be no exception. For those of you that don't know what a heatpipe is or how it works, I'm going to attempt to explain it.

1. The pipe itself is actually a hollow tube that contains a special fluid. When the fluid becomes in contact with the CPU core, it heats up and that fluid turns in to a gas.
2. Once heated, the gas flows to the opposite side of the heatpipe (to the cooling area of the heatsink).
3. After the gas has been cooled by the heatsink/fan, the gas will again become a liquid and flow back to the hot side of the heatpipe (where the CPU core is).

The bottom of the XP-120 was not lapped well like you would expect from a $50 heatsink.. I think Thermalright could have invested more time in to the lapping process, to achieve a smoother and shinier end result.

Instead of using a four bolt design like some K8 CPU's use, the XP-120 uses regular clips that we are all so familiar with. This could become a problem when installing the heatsink, since the heatsink is so large it may be difficult to clip it to your CPU socket. We will take a closer look at that during the installation process.

  1. Introduction, About Thermalright, Specifications, Features
  2. In-Depth Look
  3. Installation, Compatibility
  4. Testing & Conclusion
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