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Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme or Koolance Exos 2

By NFSFAN ยท 8 replies
Mar 13, 2008
  1. Hi, I have been gone a long time; sorry I've been very busy with school and tests. But here it goes. I am trying to make a decision, between which to go with. The Koolance Exos 2 off ebay used in perfect condition for $50 or the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme. The Koolance does not come with any waterblocks, but I am going to buy a Swiftech Apogee GT block. Now my question is, which one should I go with. I currently have a watercooling system, but its not so good; KingWin AS-3000. The CPU that I plan on using this on is in my sig; Opteron 180 @ 2.75GHz. Which would give me better temperatures, I want temperatures under 50 Celsius, as the Opteron's max temp should be 59 Celsius. With the current watercooler it gets up into the low 60s. Any advice, need some asap, since I need to make the decision quickly. Thanks
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TS Evangelist Posts: 5,270   +104

    I'm not sure I would trust a liquid cooling system off Ebay heh :(.

    I can give a personal testament as to how good the Thermalright Ultra 120 (not the "Extreme") works. It keeps my Pentium D 820 OC'ed to 3.64GHz at around 105F-110F with my fan running at 750RPMs rather than the 1900RPMs it's rated for.

    NFSFAN TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 244

    I see, any other opinions guys? Thanks
  4. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,043   +13

    Sometime ago, I looked quite in depth into LCSs.

    The question I ended up asking myself is this: why buy a LCS? If you can't give yourself a reasonable answer to that, go with the Ultra, like I ended up doing.

    There are reasons why you might go for LCS: noise, cooling, overclockability, etc. But is it worth the extra costs associated with it, or the risk, maintenance requirements, etc?

    Right now, on about 200 bux in an air-cooler, I could have gotten an LCS. However, nothing can replace the fact that my air cooling system runs pretty close to an LCS cooled system, with comparable noise, without the risks of leaks or the need for maintaining an LCS (which may involve checking water levels, contamination, waterblock blockages, fungal growth, etc).

    But I must say my temps are BETTER than what I can get for an LCS which costs the same (which would mean a pretty medium priced LCS), but would perform WORSE by a few degrees compared to what you're thinking of getting.

    Pros and cons. We love making decisions don't we? XD

    NFSFAN TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 244

    Well said. However I am looking for something like a comparison in temperature if possible. Would there be a temperature gain using the Exos 2 over Ultra 120?
  6. Nick Lee

    Nick Lee TS Enthusiast Posts: 109

    I'm not sure if this helps or not, but since I was able to buy me a Ultra 120 I could overclock my AMD 3800+ to 2.7Ghz /1.45v /Idle 27-C /Load 34C.
  7. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,043   +13

    I can't say about absolute temperature gains.

    All I can say is you'd see some, in the 1-2 degree range.

    I'd be very surprised if you'd be able to maintain a significantly lower temps than that.

    Also, I'd point out that you have to understand how an LCS work. Its just using moving water, instead of metal, to transfer heat from a hot component, to the heatsinks. After that, its plain old air again to remove the heat from the heatsinks.

    Heatsinks are just plain surface area, so you'd have to look at the total surface area of both the Ultra-120 and the radiator you're thinking of using. This would give you an estimate on how much better at cooling your system would be (bear in mind, its not linear. The closer you get to room temp, the more air or surface area you'd need to reduce the temps furthur). This is assuming you can't find any direct, real world comparison between the 2.

    NFSFAN TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 244

    I bought a Swiftech H20-220 Compact. Temps are at load 42 Celsius at 2.75 Ghz. However I find it quite amusing that even when I up to 3.0Ghz its only goes up to 43 Celsius. Im rock stable at 3.0Ghz Prime for 14 hours and it was stable. It took me however a lot, and I mean a lot of work to get my ram running at 500Mhz. I'm running the Opteron with an IHS on, and have not removed it, and I don't plan on doing so either. I am very happy, because during gaming COD 4 MP, it only reaches maximum 37-38. This is at a room temp of 22-23. Not even in Crysis it reaches more than 39 Celsius, so its good for me. The next thing that I might add into the cooling loop, is my 8800GT, but the card runs quite cool about 49-51 Idle, Load 71 Max I've seen. I read of this card being able to easily handle up to 90 C, so its fine for me. I don't game that much as I used to, and this system can handle anything I throw at it. I did a lot of research on what cooling systems are good, and advantages/disadvantages. I came to the conclusion that if you want state of the art cooling technology, and performance Swiftech is the best choice. The unit only cost me ~$210 CAD with shipping included from NCIX (got a nice deal from them right before easter :)). I have not had a problem with it, the pump is inaudible, the fans are very quiet especially at 7v. This unit can handle quad core cpus in SLI with ease. If anyone wants to change their cooling, I reccomend for water to go with Swiftech, and don't go cheap. Air: Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme or Tuniq Tower 120.
  9. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,043   +13


    If you were going to consider Swiftech, I could've told you the same thing XD

    As I mentioned, when I was considering LCS, Switech was the only LCS system I would have bought if I went that way. However, I noted that it'd cost me about 250% the cost of the aircooling system I currently have, and since I wanted as much money as possible into hardware.... we all know how that went XD

    I reckon its a good buy (Is it the Switech storm block they have in the set?).

    Cooling your RAM might help it get to 500 with nicer timings. Consider the Thermalright HR-07 for that. However, you would limit yourself to 2 sticks of RAM, instead of 4. And probably wreck your warranty (do we care about warranties?).

    Owell. Keep us posted.
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