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Low Noise Socket 1156 Heatpipe Cooler Shootout
Author: Chris McInnis
Manufacturer: Various
Source: Various
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April 30, 2010

Thermalright MUX-120:

Our third challenger is from a brand we haven't had a chance to review in almost two years - Thermalright. Today we take a look at their socket 1156 solution, the MUX-120. This cooler is a dedicated solution, so you won't be able to mount this on anything other than a socket 1156 setup). Below is a stock image that gives you a general idea of the cooler and the supplied fan.

Promo Image

In the below left image you can see the ever familiar plain brown box that Thermalright is known for. The next image on the right gives you a glimpse of the sturdy foam inner packaging and the included instructions. Not really much else to say here; the packaging is first rate, but it's not overly elaborate and based on Thermalright's reputation - it doesn't need to be.

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After removing all of the bits from the box, we can see everything you get with the MUX-120. In the below left image you can see all of the mounting hardware. From top to bottom, we have a small tube of high quality thermal paste, the center mounted bracket, the socket 1156 mounting bracket, two fan mounting braces, two motherboard mounting brackets, two mounting pins, four screws for mounting the CPU bracket. You will also get two additional fan braces that are already mounted on the heatsink and four anti-vibration strips. The image below right shows the 120mm Thermalright branded fan that is provided with the unit. The fins are a really nice smoke black and the power cable is sleeved to complete the theme.

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Now we look at the MUX-120 in all its glory. The image on the left shows you the heatsink itself. You can see that this is a thin cooler with four heatpipes and the Thermalright logo stamped on the top. This is a much smaller cooler than the other two we have seen so far. The image on the right shows you that while the nickel-plated copper base is not polished to a mirror-like finish, the machining on it is very well done. You may also notice that this is a two-piece base and that the four heatpipes are very densely packed.

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Next, we mount the MUX-120 onto our test board according to Thermalright's instructions, and we run into a clearance issue with our video card in the top PCI Express slot as shown in the below left image. The bracket holding the fan is actually making contact with the back of the card. To remedy this we rotated the heatsink 90 degrees and then ran into clearance issue number two. In the below right image, you can see that the mounting bracket bumps up against one of the capacitors surrounding the CPU socket. We were ultimately able to get it mounted this way, but a bit more room would be nice - not a deal breaker though.

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The final two images below shows you the MUX-120 mounted on our test board, and in our case, to give you a general idea of the size and scope of the cooler.

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The Thermalright MUX-120 is currently in stock for $49.99 after a $10 instant rebate at

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