GELID Silent Spirit ReviewRHKCommander959 -
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The heat sink sits at an angle, with the four heat pipes spreading out from the base and then forking over. The fan itself is quality and targeted for silence with rubber mounts, solid PWM fan speed adjustment, and longer fan blades with more surface area combined with low rpm operation. Thanks to the fluid dynamic bearings, the fan achieves a longer life span, and lower mechanical noise than sleeve bearings. The top of the fan has a sticker with the Gelid website, Silent Spirit brand name, and Gelid logo. The mounting brackets use the same pushpin system that the stock Intel heat sink uses.
The other side of the fan has the same information, and operational statistics like 12v, 0.21a, and 2400rpm. The fan bracket is held on by four clips, which grab on to the fins and also possibly helps shroud them to guide air through. The fins on the heat sink alternate in length, groupings of longer followed by shorter, repeated the length of the heat pipes to help direct airflow from the fan.
Each fin grabs on to its neighbor with overlapping flaps, which help keep the fins spaced apart and from being accidentally bent. Each fin is textured with small divots, which increase air turbulence and surface area, helping to improve the cooling capability.
The heat pipes are soldered between a copper base plate and aluminum mounting structure, which is also a miniature heat sink itself. The fins are oriented to allow the airflow to sweep through, and continue along to be vented out of the case.
The base has a pre-applied serving of Gelid’s own thermal paste, GC-1. The base itself is relatively flat, but machining marks gouge the surface and thus deter from the cooling capability of the heat sink.
Gelid produces their own line of thermal paste called GC1, the packing lists the awards given on the front. The back lists a few reviews, some features of the paste like “Durability: Consistent performance over 10 years”, “Viscosity: 2850 Poise”, “Specific gravity: 3.96 g/cm3”, “ Net content 5g”, and that it keeps up with the best thermal pastes out, and beats Arctic Silver 5 based on the graph which compares the two on a AMD 9600BE with Cooler Master Hyper 212 cooler. Included in the package is the insert, 5g of GC1 thermal paste, and a spreader.
Mounting the heat sink oriented properly is key. The heat pipes work most efficiently when they are overlapping the processor cores, rather than having the cores sharing one or two heat pipes. Mounting is easy with the pushpin mechanisms. Make sure the arrows are rotated to point away from the heat sink, and push them into the holes on the motherboard while applying even pressure on the heat sink. The levers are only rotated when removing the heat sink from the motherboard. In testing the temperature would soar into unsafe territory due to the direction of the orientation. Once rotated 90 degrees however, the heat sink worked somewhat better than the stock Intel heat sink assembly, operating well into the safe zone, and much quieter – which is a good combination with an OEM chip that does not come with a stock heat sink. Orientation is key with this heat sink.
Lets take a look at the features and see how well the Silent Spirit holds up to cooling an i7 processor!