Thermalright XP-120: 1st 120mm fan CPU heatsink

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Sept 13, 2004 by Ralf Hutter

Thermalright XP-120 Heatsink
Thermalright, Inc

Thermalright has become one of the top contenders in the high performance heatsink market in the past two years. They made a nice splash with their beautiful, all copper SLK series of coolers, then followed it up with their SP-94, one of the first heatpipe coolers and certainly the most successful. The SP-94 has been a top contender for King of P4 Coolers for the past year and their SP-97 is a top cooler for AMD CPUs. Their heatpipe technology, while perhaps not optimally executed, seems to give another level of cooling ability to the standard Thermalright heatsink design.

The engineers at Thermalright have not been resting on their laurels. Intel's newest P4 core, the Prescott, forces system builders to deal with over 100 watts of heat output for the first time. Thermalright designed the XP-120 to be a Prescott Cooler. They've taken the well-proven heatpipe-equipped SP-94/97 design and re-engineered it for use with a 120mm fan. To my knowledge, this is the first commercially available CPU heatsink to feature a 120mm fan.

The XP-120 differs from its predecessors in that the large fins are made of aluminum instead of copper. They are soldered onto a nickel-plated solid copper base. The large, hybrid copper/aluminum XP-120 comes in at a light 370 grams compared to the 590 gram weight of the all-copper SP-94. The low weight allows the standard plastic Intel retention mechanism to be used. The heavier all-copper heatsinks use bolt-through mounting, necessitating the removal of the motherboard from the case for installation.

They've also designed a plastic mounting bracket for K8 AMD boards. This bracket mimics the Intel retention bracket design so the XP-120 can be attached to K8 boards in the same manner as it attaches to the Intel bracket. It is, indeed, a cross-platform HS.

XP-120 in all its glory.

Thermalright's typical sturdy and unassuming packaging.

Package contents: Heatsink, AMD retention bracket, mounting hardware, manual and thermal compound.



AMD: Athlon 64 FX 3200+ (socket 939/940) / Athlon 64 3200+ (socket 754) and above
Intel: Pentium-4 socket 478 3.2 GHz and above

Dimensions: L110 x W125 x H63 (mm) Fin only, without fan
Weight: 370g (heat sink only)
Recommended Fan: Panaflo FBA12G12L1A


  • Multiple heatpipes for well spread heat around aluminum fins
  • Aluminum fins soldered to nickel plated copper base to make effective contact
  • Light weight and easy installation
  • Compatibility across multiple platforms (socket 478/754/939/940)

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