Silenx Ixtrema Review

gotdamojo06 - 2008-07-06 10:51:24 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: gotdamojo06   
Reviewed on: July 6, 2008
Silenx
Price: $49.99

Introduction:  

Have you been looking for an upgrade to your cooling solution for your processor? Maybe your temperatures are higher than you want them to be, which is limiting your overclock? Maybe you are just looking for some of the latest and greatest technology to cool your processor when it comes to air cooling solutions. Well Silenx may just have the solution to all of your problems with its Ixtrema CPU Cooler. The Ixtrema CPU Cooler is part of Silenx's Pro Series CPU Coolers, which features support for a wide range of processors and is designed specifically for overclockers and gamers. I am very interested to see how the cooler does when it is put up to the test against some of the other coolers that are out on the market, so let's get to it and see what it looks like.  

Closer Look:  

Taking a look at the packaging for the Silenx Ixtrema CPU Cooler, you are able to see from the front a few of the features that Silenx has decided that consumers are going to need to know about the cooler before they purchase it, which include, at the bottom, that the Ixtrema Pro Series Heatpipe CPU Cooler is designed for gamers and overclockers, which is a good sign that Silenx has tested the cooler to make sure that it will keep the temperatures down. The Ixtrema CPU Cooler supports all Intel Socket 775 and AMD Socket 754/9xx/AM2 processors, which covers all of the most popular processors to overclock. Silenx claims that the cooler will do less than 18dBA in your case, which is a great sound level as you will barely be able to hear the cooler, allowing you to play your games without distraction. The back of the packaging is very simple and plain, telling you the specifications of the cooler and the compatibility list. There are more features that Silenx shows you with pictures on one of the sides of the packaging, including the direct contact heatpipes to the CPU's IHS, the fan's low noise, as well as the fifty-five fins that are included on the heatsink.  

 

 

 

The Silenx Ixtrema CPU Cooler is able to have two 120mm fans that can be installed on the cooler at the same time in a push-pull configuration, Silenx has sent me a second fan to install on the cooler for testing purposes. There are specifications of the fan on the back of the packaing, it is the exact same fan that is included with the heatsink; this looks like a winning pair.

 

 

The mounting hardware that is included with the Silenx Ixtrema is a little different than Intel Socket 775 users are used to seeing. It is a retention bracket that goes around the CPU socket, which reminds me of the AMD style of stock cooling solutions back in the day of the Socket 939 boards. This black piece of plastic has four pressure clips that go through the usual mounting holes in the motherboard and then you are able to install the heatsink. All of these pieces of mounting hardware are tucked away in the white box that is kept in the packaging. Also included in the box is a fan speed controller if you wish to adjust the speed of one fan. There are four pieces of thin paperclip like clips that are used to mount the two fans to the cooler.  

 

Now that we have taken a look at the Silenx Ixtrema CPU Cooler's packaging and seen what was packaged with it, it's time to take a detailed look at the actual cooler to see what we are going to be sticking on our processor.  

Closer Look:  

The Silenx Ixtrema CPU Cooler is a very unique looking piece of equipment as it utilizes the tower design that has been very well proven in the past to be a great way to cool an overclocked processor, especially when it is used in an active setup, which is why Silenx has included a large 120mm fan to cool the fins. There are fifty-five thin fins that are spaced very closely together to allow enough air to pass through them to cool it. Both the front, as well as the back, of the the Ixtrema look exactly the same. The cooler itself is very thin, which makes me a wonder exactly how effective the cooling is going to be. On the sides of the cooler there is a depression that increases the amount of surface area the heatsink has, allowing more heat to be transfered from the processor to the fins. There are four very thick heatpipes that come out of the base of the cooler and travel all the way up through the array of fins, allowing for the heat to be effectively transferred.  

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you install both of the 120mm fans on the Silenx Ixtrema, you are able to see that the cooler has become quite a bit thicker, which in some situations may be difficult to install on your motherboard, however it does allow the processor to be more effectively cooled.  

 

 

 

When you take a look at the cooler from an overhead view, you will be able to see that Silenx has decided to polish the top to add a little bit of cosmetic value to the cooler and add its company name, that way you will know exactly who is cooling your computer. You can see that all four of the heatpipes that pass through the entire cooler are evenly spaced as they pass through the the large number of fins mounted on them, which will ensure uniform cooling all over the cooler. The base of the cooler is very interesting as the copper heatpipes are visible and have direct contact with the IHS of the processor, allowing for a better transfer from the processor to the heatpipes.  

 

 

Specifications:  

 

Socket Type

Intel: LGA775
AMD: 754, 9xx, & AM2

Heatsink Material

Pure Copper heatpipes; Aluminum Fins & Base

Heatsink Dimensions

125.4 x 104.2 x 155.8mm

Heatsink Heatpipes

4

Fan Dimensions

120 x 120 x 25mm

Fan Speed

900-1700 RPM (10% variance)

Fan Bearing Type

Fluid Dynamic

Fan Noise Level

11 dBA

Fan connector

3 pin

Fan Colr

Gun Metal

Total Weight

685g

 

Features:  

Testing:  

To properly test the Slinex Ixtrema, I will need to record temperatures during both idle time (little to no CPU usage), as well as during full load (100% CPU usage). I will be using SpeedFan 4.33 to gather the temperatures of the CPU cores. I will be using OCCT:PK to simulate the full load testing, and run it for thirty minutes. I will let the computer sit and cool down for thirty minutes before gathering the idle temperatures. I will be testing the processor at both stock speeds with stock voltage settings, as well as overclocked speeds of 3.60GHz, with the voltage increased to 1.46 volts. All of the temperatures are measured in degrees Celsius.  

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Heatsinks:

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see in the graphs above, the Silenx Ixtrema was beaten by a few of the coolers that were tested, the second fan that was installed on the cooler did help with the overall temperatures, however not by as much as I would have expected.

 

Conclusion:  

The Silenx Ixtrema CPU Cooler lived up to its name by being a very silent, yet effective, solution for your processor's cooling needs. The Silenx Ixtrema was not only able to keep the temperatures down, but also looked good when it had both 120mm fans installed. This was only hindered by the fact that you had to really push to get the cooler installed in its clips due to the large heatsink installed on the Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6 motherboard that pushed up on the fan. That inconvenience could have been avoided if the cooler was designed to be a little taller, allowing extra clearance for the underlying components and their cooling needs. However, I was very impressed with the thickness of the heatpipes of the Ixtrema, they are thicker than most of the other coolers that I have played with in the past, which helped the cooler stay so cool. I was also impressed with the way that the base of the heatsink was designed with the heatpipes making direct contact with the IHS of the processor that it was cooling, adding less resistance for the heat to pass through. The temperatures that were achieved with this cooler were very impressive; I would suggest this cooler to anyone who is looking for a new solution for their overheating problems, either it be due to a stock cooler or an aggressive overclocker who wants to stick with air cooling. I did not like how the cooler was intended to be mounted to the motherboard, the plastic circular bracket just seemed like it would not allow the cooler to make a very tight fit with the processor, however it did prove to work well, as well as making it a tool-less installation.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: