First I’d like to say a few words about the “younger” brother – Thermalright Ultra-120 A. although it has two heatpipes less than Ultra-120 eXtreme, it has minimal influence on the results. Looks like two extra heatpipes on the sides of the Ultra-120 eXtreme’s base do not make any significant contribution into the final result. That is why paying $10 more for the eXtreme version is hardly justified. However, if you are an overclocker who hunts for every additional degree, then you should still go with the eXtreme model.
And now about the cooler that truly amazed us with its efficiency – Thermalright SI-128 SE. We knew that SI-128 was just a little behind Ultra-120 eXtreme. Now we can state that its modified version outperforms the former leader. See for yourselves: Ultra-120 eXtreme and SI-128 SE are equally efficient in an open testbed, while in a closed case SI-128 SE is even better than the competitor. SI-128 SE also boasts lower weight and more affordable price point: Ultra-120 eXtreme is considerably more expensive, which may swing the votes in favor of the SI-128 SE. Besides, SI-128 SE directs the airflow towards the mainboard PCB thus cooling down the components around the processor socket, although it has very little influence on the processor overclocking potential. As always, it is up to you to decide. As for me, I have found my new ideal. All I will do now is work on the impeccable finish of its base.
In conclusion we would like to wish Thermalright Inc. to pay a little more attention to the base surface quality. I believe that if you are buying a cooler priced like an inexpensive CPU, you do not really want to bother finishing off the base with all related consequences.