Introduction

Thermaltake Technology Inc. was founded in 1999 with the vision of building Thermaltake Technology into “a cultural brand for the enjoyment of entertainment, e-Sports, technology, and lifestyle”. Thermaltake Technology is focused on delivering the perfect user experience. Their products range from Power Supply Units, PC Chassis, Complete Custom Loop solutions, CPU Coolers, Fans to the range of the peripherals like keyboards, mouse, mouse mat, headphones, and even gaming chairs. The very essence of the Thermaltake DNA is based on Courage, Passion, and Perseverance. They are diversified in brands like TteSPORTS, Luxa to bring consumer-focused products from respective domains.

I remember the time when I took a spin on the Cooler Master G100M. That Mr. UFO gave us a chill for sure coming out purely from the design and RGB lighting were doing the magic for sure. Then came the Raijintek JUNO PRO RBW with what we can call fin-bunch design. Reminds me of the Zalman era designed coolers! Recently, Thermaltake released their take on such an approach in the form of UX100 ARGB lighting CPU cooler. I am wondering if it is the same OEM with a rebrand or what as the UX100 resembles the JUNO PRO RBW. Anyhow, the Thermaltake UX100 has features black coated aluminum fins designed in a bunch style to form a base on which the fan is suspended. Speaking of the fan this cooler features 9-blades with high airflow. This fan is using the hydraulic bearing. The most killer aspect – may be more than the performance – is the 16.8M ARGB lighting solution on this cooler. ARGB is at the forefront of this cooler with 15 ARGB LEDs mounted inside an 8mm thick diffuser on the inner side of the shroud. The blades have flame designed on them.

  • Product:               UX100 ARGB Lighting
  • Manufacturer:      Thermaltake
  • Price:                    PKR 3800/- [At the time of the review]
  • Availability:          Shing

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The cooler comes inside a cardboard box.

The front and the rear sides are identical. Tt brand logo and Thermaltake text are printed on the top left. There is a picture of the cooler with ARGB lighting on. Compatibility information of the lighting solution with the motherboards’ on-board lighting headers is printed at the bottom. UX100 High Air Flow CPU Cooler is printed on the right side. The cooler is not compatible with the HEDT platform from Intel hence socket LGA-20xx is out of the question. It is compatible with the Intel LGA 115X/1366/775 and AMD AMx/FMx sockets.

This side has the specifications of the cooler printed in the tabular format.

This side has the features of the cooler printed on the main section. A serial no sticker is pasted on the top left. Part No, EAN, UPC info labels are printed below the serial no sticker. The cooler is made in China.

The bottom side of the packing box has compatibility information with the leading motherboard manufacturers’ on-board lighting headers printed in 11 languages.

The cooler can be seen wrapped inside a transparent sheet once the box is opened.

Accessories

These are:

  • 1x Cooler
  • 1x Thermal paste
  • 1x Intel Mounting Bracket
  • 4x Black Color plastic standoffs for Intel
  • 4x transparent color plastic screws
  • 1x User Manual
  • 1x Warranty Policy

Closer Look

When it comes to ITX or SFF builds, the low profile coolers make their case stronger as they are designed to cater for the tight space restrictions. But, this design limits their cooling performance which is understandable. While there are many strong contenders in this segment, the recent trend seems to be the form over function and not the other way around. The Thermaltake UX100 ARGB Lighting CPU Cooler is one such example. This cooler has the cooling potential of 65W TDP and it packs some stunning ARGB lighting solution which definitely looks that good in person. But is this cooler really worth it? Time to find out. This is what Thermaltake has to say about this cooler.

“Thermaltake UX100 ARGB Lighting CPU Cooler features 9-high air flow blade, hydraulic bearing, and 16.8 million colors of 15 ARGB LEDs that is ready to sync 5V RGB enabled motherboards from ASUS, ASRock, GIGABYTE and MSI. Switching the customized lighting effect easily and get the ultimate gaming experience.”

It is time to take a closer look at the cooler.

The dimension of the cooler is 122.3×122.3×66.1mm (LxWxH). Looking at the cooler from the top side, we can spot a 120x120x25mm fan with 9 blades. The blades are transparent and there are flames designed on them. Maybe the ARGB flames! The center of the fan has a Tt logo sticker pasted on it. Thermaltake is printed at the bottom of the sticker. The fan is rated at 1800 RPM at 12V. Starting voltage is 6V. Rated current is 0.35A with a power input of 4.2W. The airflow is 38.82 CFM. The noise level is 26.92 dB(A). The static pressure rating is 1.48 mmH₂O. The MTTF is 30,000 hours. The fan is powered using a 3-pin cable. The cable is flat and has a length of 243mm approximately. The fan blades are built to generate a large volume of air passing through the aluminum heatsink at any angle for the steady airflow and cooling quality. The cooler is compatible with Intel LGA 775/1366/115x and AMD FMx and AMx sockets including AM4.

This fan is using the hydraulic bearings. The hydraulic bearing self-lubricates with high quality, friction-reducing substance that lowers operation noise and enhance thermal efficiency. The seal cap prevents leakage of the lubricant and extends the lifespan of the unit.

There is no ARGB LED mounted on the center of the fan itself. The fan is suspended on the base using 4-arm assembly on its backside. The height of the base itself forming up to the bottom side of the fan is approximately 40mm. The ARGB lighting magic is coming from the 8mm thick diffuser which is mounted on the top side of the shroud. The transparent blades rotating in the axis of the diffuser creates one heck of a lighting show.

Let’s take a look at the bottom side of the cooler. The copper base is nickel coated. I am guessing it is a copper base as there is no such information provided on their website. Surprisingly, the base is slim in design as it measures 29x37mm (WxL) only. This cooler could not cover the entire IHS of the AMD Ryzen 2700X. I know we need to cover the die portion primarily. Since the IHS is sitting between the die and thermal paste, covering it fully with the cooler’s base would be beneficial for maximum heat transfer. The base is extended towards the bottom side of the fan and this height is 40mm approximately. This complete portion has to be a copper made. The exterior is black coated. The fins are bunched narrower at the base and extends widely towards the top side of the cooler. There is a warning sticker, asking the user to peel it off before installing.

Taking a peek at one side of the cooler, we can see black coated aluminum fins forming a part of the fin stack. There are 50 fins on one side. There is a wave pattern on the angled portion of the housing. The housing is finished in matte black.

There are two cables coming out from the above-shown side. One is the 3-pin black color flat cable measuring 243mm approximately in length. The other cable is two pins LED power cable measuring approximately 446mm in length. It is black and red color-coded. One cable has a label D while the other cable is labeled as ground. Since there is no dedicated controller included in the box, the user is dependent on the motherboard to must have a 5V ARGB header. Make sure to connect the correct connector to the correct pin on the 5V ARGB header otherwise it may damage the LEDs.

This side is identical to the side we took a look above. If there is any difference it is not in the heatsink design but on the housing part where the Tt Thermaltake cutout is present.

The above picture shows that cutout in the Thermaltake pattern clearer. Once light up, this cutout gives a dope look as it is facing the diffuser.

The above picture shows the side of the heatsink where the pre-installed mounting bar is coming out. It has latch on both ends. This mounting is convenient to be installed on the AMD sockets. For Intel sockets, the mounting mechanism is different.

Plastic made standoffs and screws are to be used for the Intel platform. Although this is a cost-cutting method, I wish Thermaltake could have provided more robust mounting accessories.

RGB Lighting

The ARGB lighting on the Thermaltake UX100 ARGB Lighting CPU Cooler is on the money and gives one heck of a show to the user. Here are some of the pictures that we took during its testing.

 

Installation

We have tested the cooler on the AMD AM4 socket. Here is the guideline for that socket:

  • Apply the thermal paste on the IHS of the CPU.
  • Remove the warning sticker from the base of the cooler.
  • Place the cooler on the CPU in the center. Press the latch handle on one side to hook it up with the catcher on the AMD’s stock backplate.
  • Press the latch handle on the other side to hook it up with the catcher on the AMD’s stock backplate. You will need to apply more pressure. Just take your time and be patient as well as careful.
  • Connect the 3-pin cable to the CPU Fan Header or any other fan header of your choice. Just make sure the fan header if not the CPU Fan Header is set to DC mode.
  • Connect the LED cable connectors to the correct pins (D and Ground) on the 5V ARGB headers on the motherboard.
  • This would complete the installation.

Clearance and Installation Notes

One of the very basic limitations that could come from the low profile CPU coolers is the clearance for the RAM modules. The Thermaltake UX100 ARGB Lighting CPU Cooler has a RAM clearance of 33.8mm. There goes your chance of using high profile RAM. Since the cooler is circular, there is no chance of orienting in the direction to make room for RAM. However, this limitation is coming from the DIMM slot located right next to the CPU socket. This limitation holds when you are using all 4 DIMM slots. I have used the Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB RAM on the slot no 2 and 4 (B2, A2) and they were visible all the way. They are approximately 50mm tall. This should help you out.

Testing

Following test bench has been used for testing this cooler: –

  • Asus Strix X470-F Gaming
  • AMD Ryzen 2700X
  • Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB 16GB @ 3200MHz
  • HyperX 120GB SSD
  • Antec HCP 1300W

Following software is used for testing and monitoring.

  • AIDA64 6.0 for AMD

Here is the settings table for testing:

AMD Stock Voltage (V) 1.1125
Stock Clock (MHz) 3700
Turbo Boost Disabled
Voltage Control Manual
Thermal Paste Noctua NT-H1
Each Test Run Time 60 minutes
Idling Time between Runs 15 minutes
Fan Speed Manually set to run at 100% speed

 

The thermal paste that I am using is the Noctua NT-H1. The use of the same thermal paste for all coolers will ensure the standardization and mitigate any performance benefit that may come using the supplied thermal paste. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs. The testing is done on an open air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis. The testing was done on the stock clocks using 3.7GHz on all 8 cores using 1.1125V. Normally, this should not be an issue for any high profile cooler but for low profile cooler, this could be a challenging task.

Not every run of the stress test may yield the same result. This could well be due to many factors like mounting pressure, thermal paste application, varying ambient temperature. Not to mention the silicon differences even among the same category of the chips. Hence, it is pertinent to mention the testing methodology along with the specifics.

Let’s take a look at the results.

The cooler did 55.2°C delta temperature. The ambient was 25.8°C. It is sitting at the bottom of the graph. It is clear that this cooler is not adequate to handle workload producing the 97W TDP. Keep in mind that this was under the stress test including the CPU, FPU, and Cache. The regular desktop task will not put this much load.

Acoustic Performance

I could not measure the sound level of the unit due to certain environmental noises that would invalidate the actual sound level reading from the sound meter. Based on my experience with the fans and coolers testing so far, the fan on the Thermaltake UX100 ARGB Lighting was audible sitting in a quiet room.

Conclusion

Thermaltake UX100 ARGB Lighting is a low profile, high airflow designed with 65W TDP cooling potential. The main feature of the cooler is the stunning ARGB lighting coming from the thick frosted diffuser installed on the inner side at the top of the shroud or main housing. The design of the cooler reminds me of fins bunching idea back in the time when Zalman was making such coolers. The idea is simple. The fins are designed in such a manner that they converge towards the base of the cooler forming a circular structure on which the fan is suspended from the top.

The dimension of the cooler is 122.3×122.3×66.1mm (LxWxH).  There is a 120x120x25mm fan with 9 blades. The blades are transparent and there are flames designed on them. Maybe the ARGB flames! The fan is rated at 1800 RPM at 12V. Starting voltage is 6V. Rated current is 0.35A with a power input of 4.2W. The airflow is 38.82 CFM. The noise level is 26.92 dB(A). The static pressure rating is 1.48 mmH₂O. The MTTF is 30,000 hours. The fan is powered using a 3-pin cable. The cable is flat and has a length of 243mm approximately. The fan blades are built to generate a large volume of air passing through the aluminum heatsink at any angle for the steady air flow and cooling quality. The cooler is compatible with Intel LGA 775/1366/115x and AMD FMx and AMx sockets including AM4.

Each side of the heatsink has 50 black color coated aluminum fins. The base measures mere 29x37mm (WxL). There is a main block in the center holding the base as well. Seems like only the base is made of the copper with nickel coating. The mounting bar is pre-installed on the central block. it has latches on both sides. This cooler uses the AMD stock backplate which is a good thing. Once installed, it is tedious to remove the cooler from the AMD motherboard. For Intel, Thermaltake is using the plastic made standoffs and screws which is something that the local peeps don’t prefer. I remember talking with many local sellers/dealers/resellers and almost all of them mentioned that coolers with such plastic-based mounting have a low sale as such mountings usually break in a longer run.

There are 15 ARGB LEDs packed inside the diffuser that gives vivid and stunning ARGB lighting show. There is no dedicated controller hence the user is bound to the motherboard to must have 5V ARGB headers. Almost majority of these days motherboards have such headers except the budget ones.

The Thermaltake UX100 ARGB Lighting Low Profile CPU Cooler is listed at Rs.3800/- at the time of the review. The price is a clear indicator of who the target market is. We put the cooler to test the AMD Ryzen 2 2700X CPU with 8 cores set to run at 3.7GHz using 1.1125V. The total TDP as reported by the AIDA64 was 97.80W. This cooler is designed for 65W TDP chips. Generally, we expect the coolers with such rating to perform a bit better on higher TDP but this is not the case with this cooler. The cooler did 55.2°C delta temperature under the stress test. The CPU hit 81°C max during the stress test. Mind you, this was with the stress test including the FPU. This cooler can handle the job if one is not overclocking and using the locked CPUs with lower TDP. The acoustic noise was elevated and the cooler can be heard sitting inside a quiet room.

We are thankful to the Thermaltake for sending us their UX100 ARGB Lighting CPU Cooler for the review.

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