Date: June 10th, 2010
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited By: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Xigmatek
<--CLICK FOR GREAT PRICES ON A CPU COOLER IN THE UNITED STATES
<--CLICK FOR GREAT PRICES ON A CPU COOLER IN CANADA
PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
A lot of nice, widely spaced fins would indicate good cooling performance with quiet, low RPM, low-pressure fans. Notice that the fins are folded along the center of each edge to direct the airflow through the cooler. Four 6mm copper heatpipes carry the heat generated at the CPU to the fins to be dissipated by the cooling fan. Deep cutouts in the fins, along with the folded sides help keep the air moving through the cooler for better heat dissipation. Xigmatek includes one fan with this cooler, but they also include mounts for another, should the user wish to go with a push-pull fan arrangement. Also, the narrower cross section of the SD964W, compared to some other tower coolers, should make installation much easier as the fins don't overhang the fastening hardware. The fin profile is engineered to improve airflow and cooling performance while keeping noise to a minimum, and openings in the outboard edges of the individual fins interface with the rubber fan mounts for a secure and quiet install.
Here's a shot of the Heatpipe Direct Touch design. Notice that there is very little space between the heatpipes and their respective channels in the base. Many coolers we've tested in the past have had noticeably larger gaps in this area, requiring a lot of thermal paste and decreasing the useable surface area for the cooler to do its job. In this design, however, there are large aluminum ribs separating the copper heatpipes and, while this surface is dead flat, it lacks the highly polished finish we saw on the Xigmatek Balder.
The mounting solutions for the supported Intel and AMD platforms are ingenious and appear to be very robust. Xigmatek includes some thermal paste and nine rubber fan mounts as well. The included 92x25mm fan supports PWM control and has an RPM range of 1200 to 2800, with a maximum flow of around 52 CFM. With a maximum pressure rating of 3.7mmH2O, this fan should get the job done. No LEDs or other bling augment the fan, and it appears conventional in all respects but does have a fully sleeved fantail.
I'm anxious to see how the HDT SD964W performs, so let's proceed to the installation phase of this review.