The cooler installation is very simple and is described in detail on the official company web-site. I don’t think I need to repeat it here. The installation guide offers the following schematic description of the installation procedure:
I would only like to add that you have to remove the mainboard from the system case only if you are trying to install Ultra-120 A onto an LGA 775 platform. With AMD 8 processors you use a standard backplate, so no need to remove the mainboard from the case. The cooler is pressed very tightly against the processor heat-spreader and the plate that holds the cooler base not only from the top but also on the sides prevents it from shifting or rotating on top of the CPU.
The distance from the cooler base to the lowest heatsink plate is 41.7mm, so I cannot think of any heatsinks in the area around the processor socket that could hypothetically prevent you from installing Thermalright Ultra-120 A cooler. Maybe a tall chipset cooler could cause a problem, though, in this case all you have to do is rotate the Ultra-120 A by 90 degrees. Look at the photos below:
I would like to say a few words about attaching the fans to the heatsink. First, they included only one pair of retention wire clips with the cooler (although you can fasten two fans to this heatsink). Moreover, these wire clips can barely hold the fans in place almost sliding out of the retention holes. S, if you have the same problem, just turn the clips the other way around and attach them from the opposite side:
In this case it is harder to fasten the fan, however, once you succeed, the clips will stay locked dead in place and you will be able to use one clip per fan. In conclusion I have to add that you have to stick the vibration-absorbing silicon strips between the heatsink and the fan (unfortunately, there are only two of them bundled with the cooler).
Thermalright Ultra-120 A is priced at about $44, which is about $10 cheaper than Ultra-120 eXtreme. Our today’s tests will show if paying extra $10 will actually pay back, and now let’s take a closer look at the second testing participant.