Thermalright XP-120 Review: New sound of Silence?

Cooling/CPU Cooling by jmke @ 2004-09-03

Thermalright introduces a new heatsink with support for 120mm fans, made from aluminum it?s light as a feather, but does it perform? We?ve installed the XP-120 on our test system with a variety of fans on top to see how it stacks up against the competition.

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Introduction & Specs


How do you reduce noise and increase performance when sticking to air cooling your CPU? You can either start increasing the heatsink’s size in height like Cooler Master did with their Hyper6, or design a radial heatsink to maximize the cooling efficiency while using a fan in the center like Zalman’s 7000 series does. The third option is to increase the size of your heatsink to make it compatible with larger fans. When going for the best performance/noise ratio this is an excellent solution.

Not satisfied with the 92mm fan support on the SP-94, Thermalright decided to go one step further, the XP-120, as the name suggests, is made solely for 120mm fans. These fans have big blades and don’t need to spin fast to create enough airflow. This reduces noise while keeping performance up. At least that’s what Thermalright had in mind when they designed the XP-120. Bacata in France send us our evaluation sample which comes packaged in a cardboard box featuring the Thermalright logo on top.

What is inside the box?

  • Thermalright XP-120
  • 2 metal fan-clips
  • Thermal grease
  • K8 installation bracket (*only with P4/K8 version, absent in the vanilla P4 version)
  • One A4 page installation guide
  • A Thermalright promotional sticker


  • 120mm Recommended fan for maximum cooling capability
  • Multiple heatpipes for well spread heat around aluminum fins
  • Soldered fins to copper base (nickel plated) to make effective contact
  • Light weight and easy installation
  • Compatibility across multiple platforms (socket 478/754/939/940)


    L110 x W125 x H63 (mm) heatsink only, the base is rather small however L54 x W50 w H5 (mm). The heatpipes stick out approx 30mm into "obstructive" zone on some motherboards. Thermalright is aware of this and has created a growing list with motherboard compatibility info for AMD K8 and Intel S478.

    One of the most remarkable specifications of this heatsink, beside its size, is the weight at only 360 gram (without fan) it comes very close to that of a default aluminum P4 heatsink.

    Let’s take a closer look at the XP-120 ->
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