The installation of Tuniq Tower 120 is fairly simple. If it is a Socket 478 or LGA775 mainboard, first you fasten the corresponding backplate onto the back side of the PCB. Then you cover the CPU top with a thin layer of thermal paste and install the cooler. You screw it to the backplate through the corresponding holes in the H-shaped plate. You will hardly ever mix them together, but just in case they are all marked.
As for the AMD K8 processors, the installation is absolutely identical, with that only difference that you use a default backplate and fasten it with two screws.
These are thumb screws, as I have already said, and you can tighten and untighten them easily with bare hands due to ribbed tops. This was exactly the retention mechanism we would advice Thermaltake to use for their Big Typhoon cooler. Tuniq guys seem to have listened very carefully to recommendations like that and as a result, they eliminated these drawbacks typical of their competitor.
Well, Tuniq Tower 120 is easier to install, is more compatible with contemporary platforms. Now all we have to check is the cooling efficiency.
Testbed and Methods
I have already referred to our previous article called Battle of the Titans: Super Coolers from Scythe, Thermaltake and Zalman Face to Face for a good reason. The thing is that it doesn’t make much sense to test only one cooler without comparing it against any other competitor’s, and the more testing participants are involved the more informative the comparison would be. However, it is a pretty time consuming task to test the whole bunch of coolers anew. So, I decided that I would simply assemble the same testbed we used for that previous test session and see how the newcomer from Tuniq will perform against the rivals.
The testbed was configured as follows:
- Asus P5WD2 Premium (i955X) rev. 1.02 mainboard, BIOS 0422
- Intel Pentium 4 521 CPU (overclocked from its default 2.8GHz to 4.06GHz frequency)
- Corsair TWIN2X1024-8000UL memory
- Matrox Millennium PCI graphics card
- Western Digital Raptor WD740GD hard disk drive
- SilverStone Zeus ST65ZF power supply (650W)
- Zalman thermal paste
- Windows XP with Service Pack 2
We used the same thermal chamber to maintain stable environment temperature. As for the software, we used S&M utility version 1.7.3 and SpeedFan 4.26. The operating system was also practically the same, because it was restored from the image created with Norton Ghost. Since all the testing conditions were absolutely identical as in the previous case, we decided to test only Tuniq Tower 120 cooler and borrow the results of the other comparison participants from the previous article.
Only one question remained unanswered: what fan rotation speed we should set. At the maximum fan rotation speed of 2,000rpm it works just like any other 120mm fan: it is not too noisy, but you can still hear it working. But if you reduce the speed down to about 1,600rpm, the noise from the fan will be completely absorbed by the other system noises and will be eaten up by the case. Moreover, this was the speed our Scythe Shogun, Scythe Ninja and Thermaltake Sonic Tower coolers worked at during our last test session.