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Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme & IFX-14

Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme & IFX-14

Thermalright IFX-14
Packaging and Bundle

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Much like the packaging of the Ultra 120 eXtreme, the packaging of the IFX-14 has little artistic value but it is a very tough and secure cardboard box. It is also extremely big for a CPU cooler package when you notice that many PSU packages are actually smaller! As well as the IFX-14 and its backside heatsink you will find a rich bundle consisting of installation instructions in 3 languages, all of the hardware necessary to mount the heatsink on socket 775/AM2/AM2+ motherboards, two pairs of fan mounting clips and anti-vibration strips, double sided thermal tape for the backside heatsink, a large tube of quality thermal paste and a large sticker with the company logo printed on it.

The Cooler

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The IFX-14 is a tower cooler but of frightening size and peculiar shape. There are four very thick (8mm) heatpipes soldered at the base and they expand both directions, resulting in eight effective heat tunnels transferring the heat to the aluminum heatsinks above. However there are two sections of heatsink fins instead of one and there are four heatpipes moving through each of these. The fins have a peculiar yet very cool futuristic type shape. Much like the Ultra 120 eXtreme, the IFX-14 is entirely nickel plated and therefore the copper heatpipes and base of the cooler will never corrode or in any way degrade.

Thermalright have also meticulously soldered every joint; the heatpipes to the base and each heatsink fin to every heatpipe it comes in contact with. While the fins of the IFX-14 are made out of aluminum and only the base and heatpipes are copper, the cooler weights about 800gr without any fans attached to it. 800gr should not be a problem for most modern motherboards to handle if the cooler is well secured, but we advise against moving the case too much or too abruptly with this fitted.

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Along with the IFX-14 you will also receive a backside cooler called the IFX-10. The IFX-10 is a small heatpipe cooler designed especially to cool the motherboard behind your CPU socket, aiding the overall cooling performance of the system. It has a very thin copper base and two flat heatpipes transferring the heat away from the base and to a small constellation of aluminum fins. The copper heatpipes are also wrapped in a thick plastic tube to prevent them from shorting any motherboard components. Caution is necessary with the IFX-10 because the very long and thin heatpipes which can be easily bent or broken.

Installation

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The installation procedure of the IFX-14 is not difficult, but it takes some time and patience is required. As you can imagine you will have to remove the motherboard from your case. To begin the installation you need to prepare the backplate in order to secure the retention brackets around the CPU socket. However as well as placing the hollow hex screws into the right holes for your CPU socket, you also have to properly align the IFX-10 cooler. The base of the IFX-10 should be right at the middle of the backplate and the heatsink should be over the top of the motherboard when you place the backplate behind the CPU socket. Finally you have to secure the proper retention brackets.

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Because of the size and weight of the IFX-14 you better make sure that the cooler is sitting firmly on the processor and that the screws are tight. Afterwards you only have to clip one or two fans of your choice on the heatsink and the installation is complete.

Because of the extreme size of the IFX-14, there are a few things that you should consider before purchasing one, the IFX-14 is wide. It extrudes 1-2cm above the top side of most motherboards, so you need to make sure that there is enough clearance between the motherboard and the PSU in order for the cooler to fit. Furthermore the IFX-10 is designed to go behind the PSU, which is not a very good idea if you have a PSU longer than a standard ATX unit as it will probably get in the way. Therefore, most 750W+ units may not fit with the IFX-10 installed.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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