Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 (TRUE)

Performance and Test Results

Lead in…

You either survived the Test Spec and Methodology or you skipped the page, either way you have arrived at the juicy portion of the review; thermal performance. From the first page, you know the TRUE Rev.C comes supplied with wire fan clips for only a single fan and we did not get the version with the Thermalright fan, so we have testing with only our trusty Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850. Since I am in a torturing the readers mood, I am going to delay the results a bit further and force you to view the cooler mounted on our EVGA Classified 760 and a shot of the typical TIM print. Once again, I have no idea which mount the TIM print photo is from, I just pulled the cooler off for another mount and snapped the photo quick.

  

 

If you are familiar with the EVGA X58 Classified, you know the orientation of the CPU socket, if not then this orientation is what I call “Fan perpendicular to socket arm” which is the best performing orientation for the TRUE on our bench and will be used for all logged test runs. Even with the Classified’s huge fin tower between the PCI X1 slot and the CPU socket, mounting the TRUE was nice and easy with only the two spring loaded screws needed to mount/unmount the cooler. Looking at the TIM print, you see what I consider ideal, look at the strip down the center right over the silicon die meaning the mount system does its job very well. Now, the TIM is not Thermalright Chill Factor that comes with the TRUE Rev.C, we toss that aside and use Arctic Cooling MX-3 for all tests. Those of you who have worked with MX-3 before know firsthand of the consistency, which I can only describe as an oily, clay like combination. When I first opened a tube and started using MX-3, I thought maybe I got a bad batch… but no, each tube had the same consistency. For more info on Arctic Cooling MX-3, check out our TIM Round-Up V1.1.

 

Single Gentle Typhoon 1850 (AP-15)

Starting out, we have the Gentle Typhoon 1850 strapped in and running all out at full RPM. The TRUE comes in with a very low four-core average of 62.69C on our hot Core i7 920 D0. Additionally, the mount system proves its worth with only 0.21C mount variance… see simple and easy can be very effective as well.

Ramping the Scythe GT-1850 down to 1300RPM, we see the temps increase as expected, but surprisingly we only rise 4C. This rise brings our four-core average to 66.73C when adjusted for a 21C Ambient/Air In. Again, the mount system proves itself with 0.20C maximum variance between the three mounts.

Slamming the brakes on the Gentle Typhoon, we arrive at lowest tested fan speed of 900RPM. With this low of fan speed we push the coolers to their limits and see if they can handle our abnormally hot Core i7 920 D0 at 1.275V Vcore. The TRUE handles the heat load and remains stable through testing logging a 74.92C core average and a low mount variance of 0.19C.

Comparison Results

Even though we only have three tests to show off the TRUE’s performance, we have enough to present a comparison against our chosen cross comparison cooler the Noctua NH-U12P. To reiterate from the Test Methodology, the Noctua was chosen as our lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) comparison cooler since the Noctua comes with stock fans and supports dual fans which gives us the best cross comparison capabilities amongst the air coolers we test. However, for this comparison we only have the single fan data since the TRUE Rev.C we have can only support a single fan. Therefore, here are the single fan plotted results for both the Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 Rev.C and the Noctua NH-U12P…

In the comparison chart, you really see a tale of two different coolers, one designed for medium to low speed fans and silence while the other for pure performance. If you have not been following our air cooler series, the Noctua is designed for lower fan speeds and silence where it should be obvious from the chart that the TRUE is after all out performance. The surprise here was just how well our TRUE performed at 1300RPM, besting the Noctua by over 1C (1.05C to be exact). The coolers are dead even at 1200RPM and lower fan speeds is where the Noctua shines. Before I end up rolling right into my conclusion and final thoughts here in the comparison results, turn the page and get to the conclusion for the Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 Rev.C.

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