Thermalright SI-120 Heatsink
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 11-18-2005
Provided by: Thermalright

I will be installing the SI-120 on the following system:

Chaintech VNF4
A64 3000+ Venice

Unlike the XP-120, the SI-120 does not have a limited list of motherboards it is compatible with. On Thermalright's website there is only one AMD motherboard noted that they have interference problems with. Of course this would just happen to be the motherboard we are using for testing.

Thermalright claims that a capacitor on the Chaintech VNF4 prevents the clip mechanism from attaching to the included bracket. With this motherboard however I have found this to be the case even with the XP-90, as all Thermalright K8 heatsinks utilize the same retention bracket and clip design.

As with the XP-90 install, I have been able to work around this issue by hooking the clip onto the bracket prior to screwing the bracket down tight into the backing plate. With the SI-120 however, there is another issue with that same bank of capacitors, this time relating to clearance with one of the heatpipes.

Although it does contact the capacitor and push it slightly out of alignment, I do not feel this issue is inhibitive enough to prevent using the SI-120 on this motherboard. If the installer can get around the clip issue (which affects the entire XP series of heatsinks) the heatpipe clearance is really a minor flaw.

As with other Thermalright K8 coolers, the finned portion overhangs a large part of the area surrounding the CPU socket. On this particular motherboard this includes the lower two memory slots, which is very beneficial for providing indirect active cooling for overclocked DDR modules.

Some motherboard and case combinations may position the SI-120 too close to other components such as the rear exhaust fan, drive bays or power supply. Luckily there were no other clearance issues with the heatsink or 120mm fan in our test setup.

The Si-120 looks even bigger when mounted in place and fan attached then it did outside the case.

Now let's see how this cooler performs.

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