Thank mother nature in all her glory, the hot summer seems to have finally subsided up here in the Pacific Northwest. All of my poor test bench systems were wheezing on some of the hottest air ever recorded. Most of the retail coolers were just getting by whirring away at their fastest speed. However, it still hasn't cooled off for many folks in year round hot weather. Our efforts continue in looking for ways to help you cool off your CPU.
Tuniq, one of the trust names on the market, continues to design and create some artistic, yet contemporary CPU coolers. Their latest CPU cooling solution, the Tower 120 Extreme, can cool every processor available from both Intel and AMD. Let's have a quick look at this new design to see whether if it's all show and blow or just the best damn CPU cooler ever.
Features and Specifications
When heat pipes first arrived, it didn't seem much more could be done to improve thermal transfer capacity. However, Core-Contact proved to be a simple solution where the heat pipes are positioned directly on top of the CPU. This dropped temperatures about another 5 C degrees in many tests of coolers using this design and the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme takes advantage of this.
There are two different 120 Extreme versions: One comes with a stock unlit cooling fan and the other contains blue LEDs for that added extra modified look. In either model, a decent looking Fan Controller is included that slows the fan to drop noise to 16 dBA. At its max speed, the fan produces a whopping 90 CFM (cubic feet of air per minute) which can improve cooling capacity dramatically.
The 120 Extreme is currently compatible with all except for the new Intel LGA1156 platforms. However, I have it on good authority that brackets have been shipping and adapter kits are being provided. The pre-mounted base plate can easily swapped out by removing two screws. It's easy as that.
The bundle is quit simple and very well organized. You'll find the CPU cooler in an easy to remove plastic packaging. (We hate blister packaging) Inside the white box are the polished black Fan Controller, mounting screws, AMD/Intel motherboard back plates, and individually marked baggies separating the AMD and Intel installation parts.
The manual is super easy to understand. I found the directions and illustrations perfect and well presented. Whether you have an AMD or Intel processor, any novice should be more than able to install this CPU cooler successfully. Just make sure you keep a soft cotton towel near by for wiping off finger prints as the shiny surfaces of the cooler do tend to pick them up.
CPU Cooler or Medieval Weapon?
The Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme CPU Cooler is one of those heat sinks you can't quite grasp by just looking at the picture on the box or on a web page. Once you have it in your hands you understand the design theme more and can appreciate its creativity.
The impression is that it looks like it's meant to slice and dice your foes on some archaic battlefield. The Tuniq stamped matt black plate on top and all of the bladed looking fins that give the cooler that look. However, they are in fact quite dull and are very light weight with smooth buffed edges. Safety first.