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Appeared on: Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme


1. Features, specs
Manufacturer
Tuniq
Model
Price 

$65

Category
Power users

Today we have in our hands a big-sized cpu cooler by Tuniq, aimed for high-end powerful systems. The much praised Tuniq Tower 120 has gone through a radical redesign that made it look cool and hopefully more efficient, according to Tuniq.

The cooler has unique wave-like fins for increased air-contact area and thus higher thermal performance. The nickel-plated surface combined with the LED fan creates a cool visual effect. To ensure that the maximum cooling performance is obtained, Tuniq have also included the TX-3 thermal compound. Furthermore, an adjustable fan controller places the control in your hands.

- Product features

MFDB Fan Features

■  Silent 120mm Fan MFDB ( Magnetic Fluid Dynamic Bearing)
■    Low Noise Level (16db)      
■    Long Life of 50,000 Hours

- Specifications

Tower 120 Extreme Specifications

Dimensions(mm) 131(L) × 112.31(W) × 150.7(H)
Weight: 775g (without fan)
Heatpipe Ø 8mm x 3 + Ø 6mm x 2

TX-3 Specifications:

Appearance Grey
Viscosity 83500 cP
Thermal conductivity 6.2 W/mK
Operating temperature -45°C ~ 200°C
Specific Gravity 3.011 @ 25
Volume 0.33ml (1g)

MFDB fan Specifications:

Bearing Type: Magnetic Fluid Dynamic Bearing
Rated Voltage: 12V DC
Rated Current: 0.26A (Max)
Air Flow: 90.65 CFM (Max)
Noise: 16~20 +/- 10%dBA
Speed: 1000~2000 RPM
Life: 50,000 hours
Thermal Resistance 0.092 ( / W)

2. The package, installation

The retail price of the Tower 120 Extreme is around $65 (online price). The product is compatible with LGA 1366, LGA 775 (& LGA 1156 via special backplate) and AM2/AM3 sockets.

The Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme cpu cooler comes in a large package:

The box includes all the accessories needed for installing the the cpu cooler on your motherboard, as well as fan speed controller that can be mounted on the back side of your PC.

The main unit is securely packaged into a hard plastic case:

The coolers is rather big measuring 150mm in height, 131mm in width, 112mm in. It is also quite heavy, weighing 770gr without the pre-installed 120mm fan!

As you can see in the picture below, five U-shapped copper heatpipes ( Ø 8mm x 3 + Ø 6mm x 2) are available to conduct the produced heat to the wave-like aluminum fins:

The 120mm fan is embedded in the middle of the fins. It spins at 1000~2000 RPM, which should be enough to keep your overclocked CPU cool:

The design of the base looks like what we have seen with Xigmatek's products, with the copper heatpipes to actually be part of the base.

Before installing the cooler, make sure to pick up the right backplate and the corresponding mounting screws for your platform. In our case, we used the components for the Socket 775/1366 CPUs:

The first step is to mount the long screws on the backplate as you can see below:

Then you are ready to place the backplate in the right position under the motherboard, in order to be able to fasten the cooler on your system's CPU area using the available thumb screws as the following picture shows. The installation procedure won't take you more than 5 mins.

The installed CPU cooler is really big:


3. How we test

For our tests we used an open air testbed with the following configuration:

We tried to produce the the highest possible temperature inside our test PC using the OCCT v2.0.1 software with a custom 30mins (mixed) operation.

We tried to produce the the highest possible temperature inside our test PC using the OCCT v2.0.1 software with a custom 30mins (mixed) operation.

We left both CPU cores running at full load for ~30 minutes. All temperatures were logged using the CoreTemp 0.99.3 and the software. We also followed two overclocking scenarios:

We measured the produced noise with a Precision Gold N09AQ Environment Meter. All measurements were made at a distance of 30cm away from the cpu cooler running at full speed. For all the coolers we used the same thermal compound from Tuniq, the TX-2.


4. Test results

The Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme CPU cooler promises high performance under any condition. Let's see how it performs compared to other cooling solutions.

The Intel Core i7-920 processor produces enough heat even at normal operation and stock voltages. Under full load, Intel's stock CPU cooler kept the CPU' s temperature at around 58 degrees Celsius (C). The Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme managed to lower the CPU temperature down to 45 degrees C. That's the best performance we have ever got from a single fan cpu cooler:

Let's now see how the coolers perform under a more demanding scenario. We overclocked the Intel Core-i7 920 to 3.60GHz. Intel's stock cooler was not so efficient here and the temperature measurement showed 90 degrees C. The Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme cooler managed to keep the CPU temperature down to 61 degrees C. The ProlimaTech Megahalems and the Titan Fenrir coolers had the same performance:

What about the produced noise? The Intel stock CPU is very quiet at just 37dB measured from a distance of 30cm. Under the same environment, the The Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme cooler produced 49dB and 42dB, with the fan was spinning at its full and the lowest speed, respectively:

Lastly, let's have look at retail prices of the products we have in test. The Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme CPU retails for $65. This is a relatively high price, considering that a comparable product in terms of performance such as the Scythe Mugen 2 cooler would cost you the half the money:


5. Conclusion

The Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme CPU cooler makes the difference with its very interesting design, with a pre-installed 120mm fan embedded into the fins and its impressive dimensions.

First of all, its retail package is full and includes mounting mechanisms for both Intel/AMD sockets for greater flexibility and compatibility. The bundled fan controller is also very useful allowing you to adjust the cooler's R. P.M. according to your demands and keep the produced noise at low levels. The cooler is also very easy to install, although it requires you to remove your motherboard from PC case before installation.

The cooler is also smoking in most tests, managing to keep the temperature of our overclocked Intel Core i7-920 (3.60GHz) at just 61 degrees Celsius. Of course, the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme CPU cooler was not the only product to perform that well in the specific test, and two other CPU coolers gave exactly the same great performance.

On the other hand, we think that the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme CPU cooler is a little pricey. In addition and according to our tests, in order to take advantage of the cooler's great efficiency you should have the fan spinning at full R.P.M., producing more noise. Limiting the rotation speed at the minimum, would result to higher temps (69 degrees C in our case). Of course, using the included fan controller could help you find the optimum balance between noise and performance.

In short, we to do with a very good cpu cooler from Tuniq, with extreme performance but also price. There are several other cooling solutions in this category available at the half price (i.e. Mugen 2), although the inclusion of the complete mounting mechanism into the Tuniq's package could give the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme the lead. A lower price would definitely make it a highly recommended product.

Retail package
Design
Motherboard compatibility
Installation time
Copper Base quality

Pros:

+ Great retail package
+ Works with both AMD/Intel platforms
+ Tuniq TX-3 thermal paste bundled
+ Includes a fan controller
+ Great design and aesthetics

+ Great performance under both stock and overclocking tests
+ Good noise level at low R. P.M.

+ The 120mm fan can be replaced

Cons:

- Cannot be upgraded with a second fan like other differently designed coolers
- High noise levels when fan is operating at full R. P.M.



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