Xigmatek Prime SD1484 Reviewairman - February 2, 2012
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Looking at the cooler in its bare form, its size and shape is of typical dimension for a single/double fan tower cooler. It has four (4) 8mm nickel plated copper direct contact heatpipes that are symmetric in pattern on both sides of the cooler. Since there is plenty of clearance between the bottom of the fins and the bottom of the cooler, clearing motherboard components and tall memory shouldn't be much trouble. Taking a close look at the heatpipe terminations at the top of the cooler, you can get a close look at the fins' geometry and their construction. Each long edge of the fins have been shaved down from 0.5mm to 0.3mm which is said to improve airflow produced by the fan through the cooler. The difference in thickness can be seen with a close eye by comparing the thickness of the fins on the short edge versus the thickness along the long edge. Underneath the cooler where the heatpipes enter the fins, we can see a tight, press-fit between the outside heatpipes and fins versus oversized holes on the inside heatpipes for the first few fins. The oversized holes are to make sure the final bend in the heatpipes clear the holes before ending into a straight line.
Looking down on the top of the cooler, the fin geometry and heatpipe layout can be clearly seen. On the short sides, the small cutouts are for holding onto the rubber fan straps while I am not sure (other than for cosmetic reasons) what the purpose is of the larger cutouts on the the long sides. In the middle of the top fin is the Xigmatek "X" logo etched into the surface. Turning the heatsink around and checking out the bottom will give us a look at the direct contact heatpipe setup and heatpipe routing out of the base and into the fins. There is a nice little protective film on the base that alerts the user to remove it before installing the cooler. From this view we can see what gaps are present in the base between the heatpipes. While not staggeringly large, they don't appear to be surprisingly minimal either.
The base's reflectivity isn't all too impressive, but it's not poor either. With direct contact bases it is rare to see a finely polished surface. Whether it's difficult to do from a manufacturing perspective or the return on "investment" for polishing these bases produce little improvement, it's uncommon to see direct contact heatpipe bases that look differently than this. The main objective of offering a good direct contact base is minimizing the gaps between the base material and the individual heatpipes. These gaps are much more of a concern than the microscopic ones left behind from the machining process and are always the focus of evaluating the base of a direct contact heatpipe cooler. As far as the base goes on the Xigmatek Prime SD1484, I am not blown away because I have certainly seen better examples, but I have also seen worse ones. In an attempt to fill these gaps, there is a small amount of epoxy that is visible which is probably also used help hold the heatpipes in place and assist in the heat transfer between the small areas of the base that aren't occupied by heatpipes and the heatpipes themselves.
The 140mm fan included with the Xigmatek Prime SD1484 is branded as Xigmatek is black in color and round in shape. The edges of the blades have a silvery/chrome paint which accents the fan nicely and removes the plain look — also helped by the waves in their shape. I have seen the wavey design of fan blades before. The blade geometry supposedly reduces the overall noise, but at such low rotational speeds I doubt the noise decrease is anywhere over "negligible". The fan uses a 4-pin PWM connector and is listed to pull 0.3A at 12V while operating between 800-1200RPM and moving 62.2-90.3 CFM at a maximum of 18dBA. 18dBA is practically silent and being able to move 90.3 CFM at that sound level is very reasonable. The front of the fan has a sticker in the center of the propeller with the text "Xigmatek" written thrice in a circular pattern.
Installing the cooler is simple and follows a common procedure and components. For Intel LGA 1366, the four through-screws are placed in the appropriate positions on the backplate which is fed through the mounting holes on the motherboard. A plastic spacer is placed around each of the screws and their snug fit helps hold the backplate temporarily in place. The two Intel mounting strips are placed over the ends of the through-screws and secured into place by each of the four thumb nuts. Once the lower mounting components are in place, the heatsink is set into position and the hold-down clamp is screwed onto the two threaded posts on the mounting strips until they bottom out. At this point the fan(s) can be installed and the computer may be powered up!
Now that I have the Xigmatek Prime SD1484 properly installed in the testbed, it's nearing time to get the computer fired up and check out what kind of results that this cooler produces. It will be compared to some of the latest heatsinks on the market along with some older heatsinks that still sit atop the performance latter. However, let's check out a list of the heatsink's specifications and features as provided by the manufacturer, Xigmatek.