two new CPU coolers in the summer heat
Summer is hardly the least favorite time of the year among overclockers. Although the sun, tanning and vacation time are not overclocked, all these earthly joys are far from alien to overclocking supporters. However, the fact that the summer heat, which has recently come to our territory, has an adverse effect on overclocked components and central processors, in particular, cannot be denied. Some of the overclockers even have to reduce overclocking to maintain stability, as evidenced by frequent reviews in our conference. Well, for all other overclocking fans, the increased ambient temperature is a good reason to once again check the stability of the frequencies achieved in more severe conditions. And today two new air cooling systems for central processors from the companies XIGMATEK and APACK, already well known to you and me, will try to help them in this.
Packaging of a new cooler manufactured by XIGMATEK Achilles S1284 made in a very original style. The cooling system is sealed in a transparent plastic box with cardboard inserts inside, one of which depicts an ancient shield:
Apparently, by doing so, the manufacturer is developing the theme of the Trojan War, which is inherent in the very name of the cooler – “Achilles”, that is, Achilles (or Achilles), the invincible hero of ancient myths, whose only weak point was … the heel. By the way, it turned out quite symbolic. 🙂 Although, everything in order.
Transparent plastic packaging allows you to see the novelty without taking it out of the box. What is noteworthy is that the cooler’s radiator is inside in an inverted state, which immediately draws the attention of a potential buyer to its main distinguishing feature, namely, the use of the technology of direct contact of heat pipes with the processor’s heat spreader in the design. The back of the box contains detailed technical characteristics of the cooler and a list of processor connectors with which it is compatible.
At the bottom of the package is a small accessory bag containing the following components:
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- clip-swing for mounting a cooler on motherboards for AMD processors of the K8 and K10 families;
- two fasteners with plastic latches for motherboards with an LGA 775 socket;
- four silicone anti-vibration pins;
- adapter cable for connecting the cooler power from the Molex power supply connector;
- two screws for fixing the LGA 775;
- 1 gram bag of Stars thermal paste;
- instructions for assembling and installing the cooler in several languages.
The cooler’s radiator is made according to the classic scheme: a tower structure made of aluminum fins strung on four copper heat pipes:
The total number of aluminum fins is 46, and their thickness is about ~ 0.35 mm, which is slightly more than the more common in coolers of this design, the fins with a thickness of ~ 0.25 mm. The intercostal distance is 2 mm.
The dimensions of the XIGMATEK Achilles S1284 cooler are 120 x 85 x 159 mm and weighs 660 grams (including the fan).
The sides of the radiator are partially covered by the ends of the ribs bent downward:
Moreover, they are made quite interestingly – in the form of inclined ledges, which is clearly visible in the photo of the radiator in the foreshortening from above:
As a rule, closed sides of the heatsinks contribute to more efficient air flow from the fan and lead to an increase in the efficiency of the cooler as a whole.
From the same perspective, it is not difficult to find that the heat pipes are placed in the body of the radiator with an offset relative to each other, which, in addition to saving on the dimensions of the radiator, allows the heat flow to be distributed slightly more evenly along the edges than in the case of straightly spaced heat pipes:
The total number of tubes, as you probably already noticed, is four, and their diameter is 8 mm. Unlike Ice Hammer products, which also use “Heatpipe Direct Touch” (HDT) technology, the XIGMATEK Achilles S1284 tubes are coated with a thin layer of nickel-containing alloy.
The base of the cooler is covered with a protective film, which must be removed before installing the cooler:
The tubes at the base are inserted into a slotted aluminum blank. The gaps between the tubes are 2 mm:
Of course, no one was going to polish the tubes at the base, but the surface of the base is even, which is much more important than polishing. The imprint of the processor heat spreader for the LGA 775 socket on the base of the cooler turned out to be as follows:
As you can see, the processor is in contact with only two central heat pipes and about 40% of the outer pipes. Moreover, a part of the processor’s heat spreader does not come into contact with the tubes at all, since they are spaced with an offset, as you remember, and therefore it was simply impossible to ensure contact of the cooler base with the processor’s heat spreader over its entire area. Maybe, coupled with 2-mm gaps between the tubes, this is the very Achilles’ heel? Tests will show, but for now we will continue to study new items.
Cooler XIGMATEK Achilles S1284 is equipped with a very beautiful 120mm fan with seven translucent orange blades:
The fan speed is automatically regulated in the range from ~ 800 to ~ 1500 rpm by means of pulse width modulation (four-pin wire and block):
In addition, four white LEDs are installed in the corners of the fan. The noise level is declared by the manufacturer at 20.6 dBA, although it is not indicated in which operating mode of the fan it was measured. Most likely, I dare to assume that this is the minimum noise level.
The fan is attached to the radiator with four silicone pins inserted into the groove and between the ribs:
Thus, a lower noise level is achieved (than with direct contact of the fan with the fins) due to the reduction of vibrations from the fan. The pins are strong enough and at the same time soft, so there is no need to worry about breaking one of them when installing the fan.
With the fan installed, the XIGMATEK Achilles S1284 cooler looks like this:
Installation of a second fan on the opposite side of the radiator is not provided.
In order to install the cooler on a motherboard (all modern CPU connectors are supported) it does not need to be removed from the case of the system unit. So, in the case of platforms for AMD processors of the K8 or K10 families, a swing clip is used that clings to the teeth of a standard plastic frame and fixes the cooler with a flag:
The distance from the lower edge of the cooler heatsink to the surface of the motherboard is about 40 mm, so there will be no interference with the elements of the space around the socket (or vice versa).
In turn, to install XIGMATEK Achilles S1284 on motherboards with an LGA 775 socket, you need to screw two mounting brackets with fixing plastic latches to the base of the cooler:
In this case, the backplate is not used, so the board will be slightly bent after installing the cooler. Not critical, but it could be better, especially since, as we already know, coolers with direct contact technology are very demanding on this aspect of cooling systems.
Inside the case of the system unit, the new product from XIGMATEK looks very stylish:
By the way, the cooler is installed with heat pipes across the inscriptions on the processor heat spreader cover, since for coolers with direct contact technology this orientation on the processor is most beneficial (the gain is from 2 to 4 degrees Celsius, depending on the CPU heat dissipation). I have already drawn your attention to this fact earlier.
Even more charm is given to the cooler by the white fan illumination, which looks especially impressive in the evening or at night:
The recommended cost of the XIGMATEK Achilles S1284 cooler is declared by the manufacturer at $ 44.99, which is quite an acceptable price for cooling systems of this class.