The SI-120’s installation method does not differ from the XP-120. On the AMD Athlon 65 platform you swap out the default bracket, with the one included from Thermalright. This brackets mimics the default Intel S478 bracket and it also allows you to use Intel only heatsinks (which use the Intel bracket) on your Athlon 64 system.
The SI-120 is clipped on easily there’s enough clearance from all the motherboard’s components. The only thing to watch out for is the uninstall of this heatsink, the best method I found was to remove the 120mm fan, push down on the heatsink and use a small flat screwdriver to remove the clips on one side. Then you slowly twist and tilt the heatsink so it comes off without
taking your CPU with it. If you don’t pay attention you’ll have your CPU still attached to the base when you remove the heatsink. There’s a very real risk of bending the pins, even S754 offers more than enough pins to bend.
Thermalright’s XP-90(c) and XP-120 also have this same problem, and many other heatsinks with large flat bases; taking your time when installing and uninstalling can save you money.
With that all said, let’s see how much clearance the SI-120 provides compared to the XP:Clears the capicators around the socket
Performance and Noise :
Compared to the XP-90, XP-90C and the new/old AMD stock cooler. First at stock speeds:
The SI-120 takes the overall lead! the PWM area only saw a 1° drop compared to the XP, I had expected more; the CPU temps take a bigger plunge downwards: 3°C!
Time to increase the heat; At overclocked and overvolted settings the XP-90 is overwhelmed and the system crashes. It must be said that the Delta 92mm fan I use for testing is geared toward SILENCE, not performance; if you don’t mind extra noise, a faster fan will let you overclock your system easily with XP-90. So here are the results of the SI-120:
While a 3°C difference can still be called a “close call”, a 5°C difference between high end heatsinks can be called significant. The SI-120 has a comfortable lead; the PWM temperature remains in the safe zone; while the XP-90C with 74°C for PWM is worrying.The Verdict:
When the SI-120 was first released many respected review websites got a chance to test its performance and compare it to the XP-120; almost all of them found the difference to be very small, in the 1-2°C region. Fact is though that they performed their tests on an open test bench, where there is plenty of fresh cool air around. Inside a case however it tells a different story. The SI-120’s increased height and larger base give it a clear performance advantage over the XP-120, together with better compatibility it’s the best unit from Thermalright for silent computing. PRO
Easy Clip-On Installation
be careful during uninstall of this HS – CPU might pop out of its socket.
Default fan clips only work with none-bridged fan. (Others can be ordered for ~$1)Where to buy?
Next up is Thermalright’s latest offering, the HR-01 ->