We began testing in our Socket AM2+ thermal test rig with the fan speed at minimum. The Extreme got off to a terrible start, with our CPU overheating and thermally throttling to 800MHz. In our books, thermal throttling counts as a comprehensive fail. Turning the fan speed to maximum decreased the delta T by 6°C, making the Extreme only slightly better at cooling than the AMD reference cooler, though it was also quieter.
Moving on to our LGA775 thermal test rig, things started to look more promising. With the fan speed on high though, the temperatures were still a long way off bit-tech's current favourite CPU cooler, the Titan Fenrir.
Under load and with the fan on maximum, the Tuniq achieved a respectable delta T of 44°C, a temperature that’s in the upper third of the LGA775-compatible cooler rankings. However, it’s still 6°C shy of the Titan Fenrir which managed a delta T of just 38°C. If you're looking for a cooler to tame the temperatures of your overclocked Intel Core 2 Duo CPU then the Fenrir is still your best bet.
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The LGA1366 testing gave an even more disappointing result. The Extreme produced a delta T of 54°C with the CPU under load and the fan speed set to high. This doesn’t compare well to the load delta T of 48°C from the Titan Fenrir with its fan set to low speed. If you fancied spending a few more bucks then you could bag yourself a Thermalright Ultra eXtreme 120, which is a breeze to install and produced an even better result than the Fenrir in our LGA1366 tests.
We had our doubts about this replacement for the Tuniq Tower 120, and they proved to be well founded. The cooler’s best results were achieved when bolted to an LGA775 socket, but even then the delta T temperatures were a way off what we’d want for this sort of money. The Extreme is even trickier to install than its predecessor, with sharp, pointy bits potentially translating into some gnarly cuts on your poor digits. Titan’s Fenrir TTC-NK85TZ is £10 cheaper than this cooler, just as quiet, and provides better cooling no matter what CPU socket you strap it on to. If you're in the market for a decent all-round CPU cooler then the Fenrir is one of the best we've had in the bit-tech labs.