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Xigmatek HDT-S1283 CPU Cooler Review

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AkG

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High Performance fan results

Q6600 w/ Noctua NF-P12-1300 fan



Where here at Hardware Canucks feel it is out duty to provide you with as many answers as possible and the very fact that it is downright fun modding things has nothing to do with us going “above and beyond”….honest….trust us! Whether you believe us or not, one question I am sure many of you are asking themselves about this cooler has to do with that fan. Lets face it, on a cooler that costs as little as this one does, the fan is always going to be suspect (i.e. “how much better would it be if it had a really good fan”). In order to answer this question we yanked the NF-p12-1300 fan that came with the Noctua cooler we recently reviewed and stuck that bad boy onto the Xigmatek to see what would happen. Here is what we found out.

q6600_24_nfp12.jpg


q6600_34nfp12.jpg

While the fan that comes with this unit is decent, when you pair this down right amazing cooler with a great fan the results are even better. At stock speed it dropped temperatures by an average of 1.7°C and at maximum overclock it dropped it by a full 2.3°C. This is pretty impressive as the standard configuration numbers are pretty good; however spending $12 to $20 for a Noctua NF-P12-1300 fan (or 38% - 63% of the 1283s cost) does seem pretty excessive.
 
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AkG

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Value

Value


The term “Value” is such an amorphous term that it truly has different meanings for different people. For some a CPU cooler is only as good as it overclocking potential, for others it is how quiet it does its job; for others still it’s how effective it is for its cost. We here at HWC try to provide as many answers as possible for the term “Value”. Hopefully by this point in the review people looking at OC potential or loudness levels will have a fairly good idea of what its Value is. For the “best bang for the buck” crowd we have included a chart below showing how much each 1*c less costs when compared to Intel’s FREE stock cooler. No consideration has been made for noise levels, “looks” or any other extraneous factors; this is just raw performance vs. monetary cost. For any cooler which performs worse than the Intel stock cooler a rating of “FAIL” will be given. For any cooler which has a “Value” of more than $10 per 1*C a rating of “FAIL” will be used in the graph but the chart will list its actual “value”.

All prices are based on either their MSRP (if no e-tailer prices were available at review time) or the online price they sold for at the time of their review. IF a CPU cooler does not include a fan the price of a Scythe F has been included ($12).

To make it as easy as possible for you to modify this ratio we have also included the various coolers temperature difference so if you do come across one of them on sale you can easily modify its “Value” rating. We here at HWC are in no way saying this is the definitive answer to “Value”, rather it should be considered another tool to help you make your final decision. After all something is only as “valuable” as what you consider it to be.

E4600 Cooling Value

Please Note: This chart has be calculated based upon the differences between Intel stock cooler’s average load at its highest OC on a e4600 @3.2GHz versus various after market coolers average load temperatures (in their stock configuration with MX-2 TIM) also on a e4600 @ 3.2GHz.

e4600_value_chart.jpg


e4600_value.jpg

For anyone who is on the fence about this cooler, these numbers have got to push you over the edge. Those numbers are insane and I truly doubt we will ever seem another cooler come in with value numbers like this…unless Xigmatek somehow figures out how to improves on darn near perfection that is!


Q6600 Cooling Value

Please Note: This chart has be calculated based upon the differences between Intel stock cooler’s average load at its highest OC on a Q6600 @3.0GHz versus various after market coolers average load temperatures (in their stock configuration with stock TIM) also on a Q6600 @ 3.0GHz.

q6600_value_chart.jpg


q6600_value.jpg

Even when it comes to quad core value to performance ratios this one simply smokes its comeption and leaves them in its dust. Even people who are not “into” overclocking could justify the price of this CPU cooling solution just by the amount of noise reduction it has. This cooler really does bring a whole new meaning to the term “value oriented” because this one little rewrites the book!
 
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AkG

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Conclusion

Conclusion

The Xigmatek HDT-S1283 really does prove that more heatpipes and more weight is not needed since from a performance point of view it has heralded in a new cooling era as it is simply in a league of its own. It easily leaves bigger, heavier and above all else more costly coolers in its dust. Why would anyone want to stick a full kilogram of copper onto their motherboard when almost half that will give you just as good results?

Unfortunately, not everything is perfect with this unit. By relying on plastic pins, we feel that Xigmatek has really limited its true potential and it is a crying shame such a kick ass cooler is hobbled with such a cheesy mounting setup. Worse still is the fact that its fan installation process can be considered truly frustrating; however the HDT-S1283 actually has the cooling potential to make up for its prima-donna ways.

If you are like us and don’t trust 600 grams to four little push pins, Thermalright makes a very good conversion kit that will change this cooler from pushpins to a screw and backplate system for about 10 bucks. To us this would be money wisely spent and it more than likely would translate into even better results. As already mentioned, we were not too fond of the fan mounting system, since even if you do end up mounting the fan the way we recommend this setup still leaves a good-sized gap between the fan and the heatsink. We believe if Xigmatek had gone for a normal friction style mount it would have increased the cooling potential (as no air would have escaped through this gap) and the CPU numbers would have been even lower. Another minor quibble we have with this unit is we have to wonder how much better this cooler would have been if its face was as good as the Noctua’s we tested a while ago. To us if you take the mounting system of the Noctua and the front face from the Noctua and combine it with the Xigmatek HDT-S1283, you would have the best cooling solution available in terms of performance and ease of installation

In the end the HDT-S1283 has a lot going for it, and has very few negatives. We hope that future revisions will fix these little things and turn this from a very good cooler at a great price into a great cooler at an amazing price. For this reason we believe that this cooler is a Dam Good Value and should be at the top of your short list.


Pros:
- Amazing dual and quad cooling performance
- Quite fan
- HDT base works as advertised
- Great price
- Tool-less installation

Cons:
- Plastic mounting system
- Short warranty
- Fan installation may make you feel like a tool



DGV.gif


Thanks to Xigmatek for sending us this product for review
 
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AkG

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Xigmatek Addendum

XIGMATEK ADDENDUM



Recently we reviewed the Xigmatek S1283 cooler and while it was a down right impressive cooler, Xigmatek felt it could have done even better and requested we redo the testing using a different TIM application methodology. Honestly, when manufactures come to us and complain that following standard installation instructions is not good enough (for them) I’m usually less then sympathetic when it comes to their “do over” requests.

In most cases, good bad or indifferent the results should be comparable to what you an actual paying customer will be able to achieve. My increased experience may allow me to get slightly better than the average user but it should be fairly close; and more importantly using the same mounting methodology for all reviews allows for a more “apples to apples comparison”. The only time I am enthusiastic about coming back and changing my methodology is if the manufacturer intends to significantly diverge from my normal methodology and recommend a radically different approach. In this case this is exactly what is going to happen. Due to the passionate work of Olin Coles over at Benchmark Reviews Xigmatek will start to include installation instructions for a radically different approach to TIM application.

Rather than using a ball or line application, Mr. Coles recommends two lines of TIM be applied to the two center metal posts. With this method it has been found to provide significantly better coverage than the more typical method. For an in-depth look at this ingenious technique you should refer to:
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.p...ask=view&id=170&Itemid=1&limit=1&limitstart=5

TIM_sm.jpg

Before we start the retesting phase I would like to add a little background on my testing methodology which I usually use. Before testing any CPU cooling solution I mount and remount the cooler numerous times using slightly different amounts of TIM each time until I get what I consider the right amount. I then make note of this amount and use it for my 4 rounds of tests. How am I able to accurately reproduce how much TIM I use each time? The answer is I use a 1cc syringe which has had the needle removed, and I manually transfer TIM from the a 30gram tube of MX-2 to it (its messy but the reproducible results are worth it). Since the graduations are in .01cc I can accurately reproduce my TIM application amount from test to test. For most CPU cooling solutions it takes about 4-6 applications for me to find the perfect amount; but for the Xigmatek S1283 it took 11 times. Using the new and improved method it took 5 times, and it was found two lines of 0.03 +/- .005 CCs of MX2 was optimal. All tests were run 4 times (two with fan mounted N-S and two with it mounted E-W) and only the best score was recorded.

E4600 Results

IDLE
e4600_idle24.jpg

e4600_idle32.jpg

e4600_idle35.jpg


LOAD
e4600_load24.jpg

e4600_load32.jpg

e4600_load35.jpg
 
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AkG

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Addendum pg.2

Xigmatek Addendum con't



Q6600 Results

Idle

q6600_idle24.jpg

q6600_idle30.jpg

q6600_idle34.jpg


Load

q6600_load24.jpg

q6600_load30.jpg

q6600_load34.jpg


As you can see this improved application method does reduce temperatures enough to be considered significant. Due to the fact Xigmatek will be recommending this application method these new numbers will be used for all future reviews as the official HWC Xigmatek S1283 performance results.

For anyone wondering why we did not read this previously posted review until after our review was written and post the answer is complicated but it all boils down to us not wanting to go into a review with any prejudices or preconceived ideas. We like to start with a “clean slate” so to speak and feel any occasional error requiring an addendum such as this one is worth the risk in order to give you our readers the best unbiased review we can give you.

We would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Olin Coles for his innovative work on advancing the art of TIM application.

We would also like to take this opportunity to personally thank Xigmatek for bringing this errata to our attention and the solution to it. Its one thing to point out “issues” its another thing to be able to provide viable solutions to said issues.
 
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