Date: October 4th, 2010
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Xigmatek
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SMALL HEATPIPE TECHNOLOGY TUTORIAL
I am going to keep this as simple as possible to get the basic premise across to all of the Tweaknews readers. Please don't be insulted if this is too simple for your education level. I have to cater my writing to the least technical reader looking for information.
The basic idea behind heatpipe technology is really simple.
1.) With a tube containing a compressed fluid/gas, the fluid comes in contact with the heat source (the cpu core, in this case) which heats up the volatile fluid and turns it to a gas. The energy is absorbed in the gas production process and is ready for transportation.
2.) The heated gas now travels along the inner portion of the tube where it comes to the cooling portion of the heatsink in this example.
3.) The radiator, with or without a fan, will cool the liquid and transfer the energy (AKA heat) to the radiator to be dispersed to the surrounding air. With the heat removed, the vapor quickly condenses back to a fluid and runs along the inside surface of the pipe, back down to the bottom, where the process can be started all over again.
For another example, you can consider a boiling pot of water with a glass lid as a very very basic heatpipe. When the water boils, the water vapor comes in contact with the cooler glass pot lid which forces the vapor to condense back to water, where it dribbles back down the inside of the lid back into the pot.
It's basic, but it gets the point across.
PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS AND FEATURES
The specifications are pretty self-explanatory and the real gem of the design is the base design and overall finish, which we'll get to later. Installation headaches were the only issues that I had with Xigmatek's otherwise excellent Thor's Hammer cooler, and I expect the Dark Knight to share the Balder's excellent mounting solution. The Dark Knight supports all modern sockets and processors, and AMD enthusiasts can even use this cooler on their old 754 and 939 platforms. Black nickel plating, combined with a smoke tinted, white LED fan should give a unique look while PWM control promises good cooling with a relatively low acoustic footprint. We'll see.
The box features a small picture of the heatsink and a clear window gives us a good look at the fan. The Dark Knight features Xigmatek's H.D.T. or Heat-Pipe Direct Touch design and the back of the box includes a list of specifications.
Inside, the Dark Knight is accompanied by all the accessories necessary for getting it installed on a supported mobo. We'll be going over all these goodies in more detail during the installation phase of this review, but I can say right now that the Intel mounting solution looks very good, and the AMD folks will not be disappointed either. A welcome change from some previous Xigmatek products is the user's manual. Most of the examples I've seen in the recent past had a boilerplate manual that addressed multiple mounting solutions and was somewhat confusing. I applaud Xigmatek for this improvement, bit I found a discrepancy regarding socket support. While the website specs list includes Intel socket 1156 support, the manual would lead you to believe that this is not the case. The Intel mounting brackets clearly have holes with the correct spacing, so I would assume that one could easily install the Dark Night on an 1156 board.