Thermalright XP-90 Heatsink Review



The XP-90 will be compared against a stock AMD64 cooler which is milled from a solid block of aluminum and has a 70mm fan in push configuration. The fan on the XP-90 will be in pull configuration.


To compare how each handles increased heat loads of overclocked processors the heatsinks will be tested at two different processor speeds:

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  • Stock – 2.00Ghz, 200 HTT, 10x Multi, 200FSB, CPU@1.45v
  • Overclocked – 2.38Ghz, 238HTT, 10x Multi, 194FSB, CPU@1.53v

Temperatures will be monitored through Motherboard Monitor using the on chip die (for CPU) and system sensors (for Case). Take these measurements skeptically. The onboard sensors can be read differently from one system to another and can very large error percentages from actual true temperatures. Although both heatsinks are being tested on the same system under the same conditions, therefore the results are standardized for comparison.

In addition to CPU temperatures, I was curious to see how heat removal at the CPU could affect the temperature of other board components, such as the power MOSFET regulators (the six square chips lined up vertically in the following picture). I used an Infrared Temperature gun to measure the surface temperature of the topmost MOSFET.

The following shows cooling comparisons between the stock AMD64 cooler and the XP-90 under stock and overclocked conditions. As well as power MOSFET temperature at each state and the temperature difference between input case air temperature and chip temperature. Room temperature for all testing stayed within a range of 23C +/- 0.3C.


In regards to the impact the heatsink had on power MOSFET temperatures I was actually shocked. Initially I thought that it was because the higher output fan from the XP-90 caused more air circulation in the area, which may be part of the reason, but it is also commonly know that heat from processors dissipate vertically to the heatsink and down to the PCB. Therefore if more heat is being effectively removed from the processor, less heat output is being dissipated downward to the PCB , and the radially to other components on the motherboard. I can’t say for sure, but something to think about.

Performance of the XP-90 however was well above stock. This new design should give many a reason to break the copper clad trend. I can say that Thermalright has produced a product that even though it doesn’t follow the big copper heatsink trend, still performs. It is a solid, well engineering heatsink with clever features and good construction; couple that with a company that provides quality in everything down to the packaging their heatsinks go into, and you have a winner. For those looking for a K8 heatsink that provides top notch cooling not only at stock processor speeds but also overclocked, look no further than the Thermalright XP-90. I am giving this heatsink a 9.5 out of 10 and the OCmodshop Seal of Approval.


  • Lighter than big all copper heatsinks
  • Good fan clips
  • Lots of accessories
  • Detailed instructions
  • 80 and 90mm fan mounting
  • Solid mounting system


  • Fins bend easily
  • May hit motherboard components while mounting
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