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Appeared on: Wednesday, April 08, 2009
CPU Coolers Roundup For LGA1366 April 2009

1. Silent Spirit by Gelid - 1

Our CPU coolers roundup for April includes many solutions for both entry level and power users that can keep your Intel LGA1366 system cool and also add some space for overclocking. The models we are presenting today include Noctua's NH-U12P SE 1366, Scythe's Kama Angle and Mugen 2, XigmaTek's Cobra D984, Nepartak S983 and HDT-S1283 models, Gelid's Silent Spirit as well as a new solution by ProlimaTech, the Megahalems.

With start with the usual presentations of each CPU cooler and later on we will run some benchmarks related to cooling efficiency.

- Gelid Silent Spirit



Entry level users

Gelid Solutions recently made its appearance in the market of CPU cooling solutions. Their first ever model is the 'Silent Spirit' and we hope that the device will be as good as its promising name.

The Silent Spirit can be used in a variety of platforms including Intel Sockets 775 and 1366, all Pentium D/ Pentium 4, All Celeron D, all Pentium Dual-Core/ Extreme and all Core 2 Extreme/ Core 2Quad/ Core 2 Duo. Of course AMD sockets 754/ 939/ 940/ AM2/ AM2+/ AM3 are also supported.

The top-flow cooler "Silent Spirit" follows an open frame structure concept whereby both design and dimensions have been improved to eliminate humming and buzzing noises while maintaining a compact overall size. Gelid has chosen to equip the device with a 92mm fan for silent operation and high airflow. The intelligent PWM control allows users to set the fan speed in their BIOS accordingly. In addition, the anti-vibration fan mounts are made of high quality rubber for a long life span even during high temperatures.

By calculations and proven by prototype tests during the development stage, GELID's product developers concluded that the optimal distance between the upper holding rib and the Silent Spirit fan blade is around 5 to 5.5 mm to achieve minimum turbulent flow caused by the upper support rib at minimum height.

In addition, the optimal distance between the side support rib and the outer diameter of the Silent Spirit fan blade is around 9 mm to achieve lowest turbulent flow caused by the side support rib.

The location of two cable guards must be especially designed to protect the fan impeller wedge by cables and provide max space for incoming air with minimum resistance from the fan holder structure.

Thanks to the GELID intelligent PWM control technology, it is possible to keep silent operation at low CPU temperature and to accelerate the fan speed when the CPU temperature becomes higher.

2. Silent Spirit by Gelid - 2

The Gelid Silent Spirit comes in a medium-sized box. The cooler can be purchased online for about $30.

In the box everything well organized and secured in a plastic shell:

Unwrapping the cpu cooler, we can finally see how exactly it looks like...

A full copper base is attached to four heatpipes that go up to the aluminum fins. On the top side there is a 92mm fan. According to the Gelid Solutions web site, everything is well calculated to give users the best possible performance for the CPU and also the motherboard components nearby the CPU area, as well as low noise.

The package also includes a printed installation manual and two clips that should be used for installing the cooler on an AMD system.

The LGA-1366 mounting clip kit is is sold separately and its design is not different than what Intel has been following for several years now:

The installation is fast easy and just needs you to mount the included clips on the base. You don't have to take your motherboard out of the PC case since you don't have to do with anything new here. The procedure is not any different that what you may have done in the past with your old Intel stock cooler.

The base is also covered by Gelid's GC-1 thermal compound, which has some interesting specifications by the way.

3. NH-U12P SE1366 by Noctua





The Noctua NH-U12P is a product that we have already tested in our previous Socket 775 roundups, but today we are testing a special edition of it that uses an LGA-1366 mounting clip. It's relatively higher price compared to other CPU coolers means that the product should be offering more than the typical as it is addressed for overclockers. Let's hope its actual performance will worth the extra spending.

The package includes two NF-P12 120mm fans, the NT-H1 Thermal Compound and the special LGA-1366 mounting clip. Of course there are also other smaller screws, plastic anti-vibration tapes and a mounting tool. It is highly advised to read the manual before installing the cooler.

The device itself is not any different than the NH-U12P we reviewed recently. The cooler is height is the same, it has a big base and three U shaped heatpipes.

- Installation

The included screws will get you busy for quite some time during installation. First you have to read the manual to understand where everything goes to. Begin with the installation of the backplate on your motherboard and then mount the rest screws/plates to secure the cooler.

Before purchasing the specific product, you'd better read its motherboard compatibility page, although the list is long enough and it will most probably include your model.

The included low and ultra low noise adapters may be useful if noise is a concern for you.

Of course installing both the included fans requires a big PC case. To get better results, make make sure that the air flows coming from each fan have the same direction.

4. Megahalems by ProlimaTech


Power users

ProlimaTech is a new company and its first product is the 'Megahalems' CPU cooler. This is an impressive big tower cpu cooler with high specs and very good price. It's unique design make it easily recognizable, with two towers of fins next to each other. According to the company, the minimal air resistance between fins allowing best balance between noise and performance in range of 800-1200RPM. The heatpipes are are lined up in a straight line to prevent air back draft allowing air to easily pass through the heatsink body. The wide fins used have a mathematically calculated thickness to maximize best air-to-surface cooling rate.

The cooler can be installed in socket 775 and 1366 systems.

As we can see the product packs only the basics required for installing the cpu cooler into your motherboard. There is not any kind of fan. For our tests, we used the very good NF-P12 120mm fan from Noctua. The Noctua fan gives a good ratio at performance/noise but we assume that a faster and noisier fan would give even better results.

The product has a really clean design and looks like a power transformer :) The two tower design with U shaped heatpipes will be probably enough to do the job just fine.

Six heatpipes (6mm) are used to get the heat out of the big base and conduct it to the numerous aluminum fins for quick heat dissipation.

- Installation

Installing the MegaHalems product requires some of your time. First you have to remove the motherboard from the PC case. Then you have to place the backplate as you can see below:

The backplate is secured on the motherboard with four double threaded bolts

The next step is to place the two mounting plates over the bolts and secure them with the locking nuts:

Finally you should place the center plate and secure the whole structure using two additional screws. The procedure might sound long but it isn't; in the end the installed cooler feels very solid.

The 120mm fan can be very easily installed using the included metal clips. In fact due to the cpu cooler design, its also easy also to install even two fans.

5. Kama Angle by Scythe


Power users

Scythe offers a wide range of different cpu cooling products. Recently the company released the 'Kama Angle' model, which has a unique "angled" design of the aluminum fins. The angle-shape concept was co-developed by Scythe and Quiet PC and allows mounting the cooler in 4 different ways, while the PWM fan can be installed in three different positions.

Opening the box we will find mounting clips for popular AMD/Intel sockets among with a 120mm fan and thermal paste. Printed installation instructions are present although they are not needed :-)

As you can see in the picture below, the fins are placed in a 90 degree angle to each other and four copper heatpipes are running through the fins and the base platter. The design allows for a flexible installation of the included rotating fan according to your needs.

In order to install the Kama Angle to an Intel LGA-1366 system you should buy an add-on kit:


- Installation

The installation process is simple. All you have to do is use the included screws to secure the mounting mechanism of your processor's socket. In our case, we used the LGA-1366 mounting clip.

This would take you around 10seconds. As you can see, the design offers much free space around the CPU socket.

Getting the included 120mm rotating fan installed is also matter of seconds. In less than one minute, you will have your new Kama Angle cpu cooler installed at your system without having to remove your motherboard from the PC case.

6. Mugen 2 by Scythe



The Scythe Mugen 2 is an improved version of the company's Mugen series of CPU coolers, which had showed a very good performance in our previous tests. The new series are produced using the highest Japanese quality standards and its design allows you to install simultaneously up to 4 CPU fans for extreme cooling efficiency.

The box contents include mounting plates for various sockets, metal clips used to install the fan, screws, thermal paste and an installation manual.

Muge 2 is a rather big cpu cooler with five full copper heatpipes that pass through the nickel-plated copper base up to the aluminum fins. The unique design allows you to install up to four 120mm fans!. The total weight of this baby is 870gr, without no fans attached of course...

The included 120mm fan can be set to rotate at 200rpm ~ 1300rpm (±10%), meaning that you will be able to play with the spinning settings in order to find the best cooling efficiency and low noise levels.

- Installation

The installation process is rather lengthy ..First you need to read the instructions and understand what you have to do. For the the LGA-1366 platform, you have to remove the Intel's standard backplate and replace it with the one that Scythe bulks with. For that purpose Scythe has included the right tool.

The first move is to release the cpu latch and remove all the screws:

Carefully remove the upper base and next the bottom backplate. Keep them in a safe place because you may need them in the future.

The Scythe backplate supports both the LGA775 and the LGA1366 platforms, but of course you should use different holes for each case. The printed manual will not help you much here so you have to guess which hole should be used for the LGA775/1366 system

First you have to place the four screws as well as the plastic insulation washers:

Then place the backplate on the motherboard and fasten it using the included tool:

The next step is to secure the LGA1366 mounting mechanism. Keeping the cooler upside down, we carefully placed the motherboard on it and in the right position then secure it using the included screws.

After sometime, our cpu cooler is installed and our system ready to use.

The size of the cooler is really big especially with the 120mm fan installed. It's a good idea to install memory modules first before attaching the CPU fan.

7. Cobra D984 by XigmaTek


Entry level users

We welcome XigmaTek to this CPU cooler roundup. The first product we received from the company is the 'Cobra D984', a medium- sized cpu cooler . Instead of a copper base, Cobra D984 is designed with both Patented "Fin connected to HDT base" and "H.D.T. Technology" to provide efficient cooling performance. The Direct Heat-Pipe CPU cooler does not use any cooper base making it is light weight.

In addition, instead of screws or clip to install fan on fin, Cobra D984 uses patented Anti-vibration rubbers absorb fan vibration.With 4pcs Φ8mm heat-pipe, PWM fan and Push-pin/Clip for Intel & AMD application design, Cobra D984 provides not only cooling high performance but also easy installation .

The included manual is brief but a good read. Mounting clips are also available for each platform.

Below you see the Direct Heat-Pipe "base" of the cooler, where the four Φ8mm heat-pipes are directly in contact with the CPU.

The 90mm fan is strong to produce strong of air flow (1200~2800 R.P.M.).

In order to use the XigmaTek cpu coolers with an LGA1366 platform you should buy the corresponding mounting clips, which offer better installation options than the standard Intel clips.

- Installation

We used the Xigmatek Crossbow LGA1366 kit for the installation of the cooler in our X58 system.

First you need to secure the mounting clips on the base as the picture shows:

Then you have to place the backplate under the motherboard and secure the cpu cooler using the with the included screws/springs.

8. Nepartak S983 by XigmaTek


Entry level users

The Nepartak S983 by XigmaTeK has a typical design also met in other CPU cooling solutions. Again, the cooler follows the Direct Touch (H.D.T.) design, it has 3 Φ8 mm heat-pipes and anti-vibration rubber for fan. The cooler also comes equipped with a 92mm PWM fan.

The printed manual is small but good to read. In the box you will also find mounting clips for Intel/AMD platforms. By default the XigmaTek cpu coolers use Intel's standard mounting method, which is convenient and easy to follow.

The cooler is placed into a hard plastic shell.

The three Φ8mm heat-pipes are in contact with the CPU and conduct the produced heat directly to the aluminum fins.

The 92mm fan can operate at 1200~2800 R.P.M., which should be enough to help aluminum fins dissipate the produced heat.

If you are planning to install the XigmaTek cpu cooler in an LGA1366 system, you will need to buy the extra mounting clips:

- Installation

For our installation process we used the Crossbow LGA-1366 mounting kit. The procedure is the same we followed with the installation of the D984 model in the previous page.

The cooler's height is good enough to fit even in medium-sized PC cases:

It would be nice if XigmaTek Nepartak S983 allowed the installation of a t second 92mm fan.

The compact size of the cooler makes allows you to add/remove the nearby memory modules easily, even when the cooler is already installed.

9. HDT-S1283 by XigmaTek


Medium level users

The final product from Xigmatek is the 'HDT-S1283'. We have to do with another cooler based on the Direct Touch (H.D.T.) design equipped with a 120mm fan.

The HDT-S1283 comes in a medium sized retail box with a semi-transparent window

The retail box includes a manual, a 120mm fan, mounting clips for various sockets and of course the the HDT-S1283 cooler.

The cooler is big and it uses three Φ8 U shaped copper heatpipes.

The bottom of the cpu cooler follows the H.D.T. design as we saw in the previous pages.

The 120mm fan has rotates at 800~1500 R.P.M., meaning that the cooler should offer quiet operation.

Again, our LGA1366 system requires the use extra mounting clips (sold separately):

- Installation

For our installation we used the Crossbow LGA-1366 mounting kit. The procedure is the same we followed in the previous pages.

The increased height of the cooler will help you install it fast and easily. What's left now is to attach the 120mm fan.

10. Test Methodology

Test bed

Each of the CPU coolers was installed in the following PC:

We tested the cooling efficiency of each CPU cooler by producing high temperatures using the OCCT v2.0.1 software. We set a custom 30mins (mixed) operation.

We left both cores running at full load for ~30 minutes. All temperatures were logged using the CoreTemp 0.99.3 utility and the software itself. We also followed two realistic overclocking scenarios:

The operation noise for each model was measured with the Precision Gold N09AQ Environment Meter. All measurements were taken at a distance of 30cm from the cpu cooler, with its fan(s) spinning at full speed.

For all the coolers we used the same thermal compound by Tuniq, the TX-2. All in all we tried to have the exactly same environment conditions for all the coolers in test.

11. Test results

Besides the results of the CPU coolers we present today, the following graphs include the results of some other solutions we have tested in the past.

In the first series of tests our Core-i7 920 processor was set to operate at its stock voltage and clock. The Intel stock cooler kept the CPU's temperature at 58 degrees Celsius, so we expect any other cooler to offer a better result.

It is obvious that the size matters when it comes to CPU coolers. The Gelid Silent Spirit was a nice surprise in the test keeping the temperature down to 52 degrees C, while the best performance came with the XigmaTek Nepartak S983, mainly due to the high rotation speed of its fan.

We also tested the ProlimaTech Megahalems cooler without any fan installed (passive) and the temperature reached the 82C under full load. This means that you might use this cooler as a passive solution only in large PC cases with several fans.

The next step was to push the Intel Core-i7 920 to operate at 3.60GHz by increasing its voltage. Intel's stock cooler could not offer much here and the CPU temperature was higher than 90 degrees C. As you realize, using any passive cooling solution in such demanding cases is not a good idea. The MegaHalems (passive) cooler was very weak here and the reported temperature reached the 99C.

A look at the results below confirms that that the smaller the cpu cooler the less heat it can dissipate. For example, the XigmaTek Cobra D984 didn't perform as well as the NeparTak S983.

Higher performers such as the ProlimaTech MegaHalems really shined with one of the available fans installed. The Titan Fenrir is also a very capable cpu cooler but also more noisy. The Scythe Mugen 2 is also very capable and it takes the second place with two rotation fans installed. Adding four fans would give an even better performance.

Let's have a look at the noise levels. The Scythe Kama Angle keeps its promises for quiet cooling with 41 dB and the XigmaTek HDT-S1283 gave the same result. The Gelid Silent Spirit is also a good performer with just 46dB, while the other two XigmaTek (D984, S983) products produce high amount of noise, due to their small dimensions and the high rotation speeds of their fans.

Finally, we have a table with the retail prices. The Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 is the most expensive solution here with a cost of more than $70, meaning that means that buying two extra fans would probably cost you more than actually buying the NH-U12P SE1366 itself. The ProlimaTech Megahalems also retails for $60!

The rest of the cpu coolers are much more affordable. We pleasantly see the e Scythe Mugen 2 priced at just $32 and the XigmaTek NeparTak S983 to cost $27. You may also buy all these products for even less using return coupons so be sure to check at your local market for the latest retail prices.

12. Conclusion

In general we are satisfied with the performance of each LGA 1366 CPU cooler of this roundup, considering the specifications and physical dimensions of each product. According to our tests, the newcomer ProlimaTech did a great job with the 'Megahalems' model. Combine this product with two powerful 120mm fans and you will get amazing results.

Let's now see each cpu cooler individually:

Our 'Editor's Choice' award goes to the ProlimaTech Megahalems for its impressive design, big base and the best performance, which could be even higher if you use two highly rotating fans. For our test we chose to install the Noctua NF-P12 fan that offers a great noise/performance ratio. The product also comes with a convenient mounting mechanism for easy installation. Priced at almost $60, the ProlimaTech Megahalems is an expensive cooling solution for power users,but we feel that it's a great product.

We should also mention two other products here that deserve the 'Safe Buy Award'.

The first one is the Scythe Mugen 2 that delivers a very good performance combined with a great retail price. It's mounting mechanism could be better but who knows, perhaps the Mugen 3 series will be the ideal product :)

Another 'Safe Buy' product is the XigmaTek NeparTak S983, which managed to outperform larger CPU coolers Noise could be an issue for some users but you cannot have it all.. The product available for just $27 after all.



Ending this roundup, we would like to thank the following companies for providing their products:

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