Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme 1366 RT CPU Cooler Review

by 3oh6     |     January 22, 2009

Package & Accessories

Our last Thermalright review here at HWC was back in October, not that long ago, but even at that time Thermalright was still using their tried and tested brown box packaging. Much to our surprise, we didn't receive a plain brown box when we opened the shipping package...Thermalright has gone mainstream retail.

At first we were a little put off by the fact that we were not greeted with a plain brown box that we knew would have had the Ultra-120 eXtreme-1366 safely tucked away inside. Truthfully, looking at this package with the flimsy outer plastic shell, we didn't know what to think. The front is clear so we can see inside where the cooler is located and the overall feel of the package is very subtle but nicely done. There isn't too much flash but just enough details to make the package very professional looking. The sides and rear of the package have ample amount of information about the Ultra-120 eXtreme-1366 including technical specifications, features, and a full listing of package contents. The real test to this new package was going to be what we found inside, and whether it protected the heatsink like previous generations of Thermalright packages.

Our concerns were quickly dashed the moment we opened the plastic package and pulled out the cardboard frame enveloping the heatsink and fan. In typical Thermalright fashion, the Ultra-120 eXtreme-1366 was ready for war and looked like it would have come out of one unscathed. The cardboard interior literally folds in around the heat sink and fan, protecting them from all sides with multiple layers and hard corners. This package is built like a tank and despite the lack of styrofoam anywhere, really rivals that of their standard brown box.

The heat sink itself is cable tied down to a sturdy shelf that also acts as the lid to a compartment of sorts, housing the accessories. The whole bottom takes a bit of effort to open without tearing the interior but can be done. Thermalright package designers must have just finished their origami class down at the local community college because this package is one nifty little unit how it is folded together.

The accessory pack is what we have come to expect from Thermalright and a CPU cooler. The mounting hardware and thermal paste are locked up tight in a bag accompanied by installation instructions and a Thermalright sticker. The hold down bracket is the same scissor design that the LGA775 Ultra-120 eXtreme had, but has slightly longer arms to accommodate the larger footprint of the LGA1366 socket. A back plate is also included along with the mounting screws that are designed to provide a specific amount of mounting pressure. For current Ultra-120 eXtreme owners, you should be able to simply purchase this mounting hardware from your favorite Thermalright supplier by the time this review is published. This also means that if you have AM2 or LGA775 hold downs, you can certainly use this heat sink with those sockets as well.

Some complaints have been made about Thermalright not providing multiple hold downs making their heat sinks universal but at the same time, they are very universal. You simply buy the Ultra-120 eXtreme with whichever hold down you wish, then purchase additional hold downs if your Ultra-120 eXtreme needs to be a jack of all trades. This helps keeps initial costs of the heat sink down but still provides an avenue for the smaller portion of buyers that need multiple mounting possibilities. It is a bit of a give and take but those that only need a single hold down are certainly happier with a slightly cheaper package than one that comes with a bunch of extras they will never use.


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