Xigmatek HDT-S1283 & SD964 "heatpipe direct-touch" CPU coolers

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April 3, 2008 by Lawrence Lee with Mike Chin

Xigmatek HDT-S1283
CPU Cooler
Xigmatek HDT-SD964
CPU Cooler
Street Price
~$35 USD ~$30 USD

There seems to be one constant when it comes to CPU coolers — they keep getting larger and larger. And for good reason — usually in head-to-head competition, the bigger heatsink prevails. Our current champion, the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme is a prime example. Not only is it very wide and tall, it's not exactly a featherweight, either. The Extreme weighs 790g, without a fan, and a typical 120mm fan weighs 150g. Having almost one kilogram hanging sideways off a motherboard mounted in a tower case isn't easy on the nerves. The extra amount of material required to manufacture such a behemoth also makes the overall cost high.

While tower heatsinks have become larger, the efficiency has not really changed as manufacturers stick to the same common design: Heatpipes soldered to a copper base and multiple aluminum fins rising up to as high as 16cm. The majority of the heat generated by a CPU has to go through several mediums: The CPU heatspreader, the base of the heatsink, the heatpipes, the fins, and from the fins, finally, to the air. Each transition represents an impedance point for heat transfer.

The Xigmatek HDT-S1283 and HDT-SD964 coolers tweak this model by eliminating one of the middle-men in the heat transfer chain: The base. Flattened heatpipes form their own base and make direct contact with the CPU heatspreader, thus eliminating the usual copper plate which forms the base. Both heatsinks are also fairly light by modern standards, weighing closer to a pound than a kilogram. The S1283 appears to be a standard tower heatsink with three heatpipes and is designed to be used with a 120mm fan. The shorter SD964 has much less surface area, though it does sport an extra heatpipe. It is paired with a 92mm fan.

Xigmatek appears to make and sell these products to other brands. For example, the Kingwin Revolution is identical to Xigmatek's HDT-963, and the OCZ Vendetta is also very similar. OCZ's promotional material about the Vendetta states, "Using a distinctive, highly efficient heat pipe and fin design developed by Xigmatek..." which makes it clear that Xigmatek is the manufacturer.

Xigmatek's retail boxes are not excessive compared to many others.

Xigmatek HDT-S1283 and SD964: Key Features
(from the respective product web pages here and here)
Feature & Brief
Our Comment
H.D.T. (Heat-pipe direct touch) technology. Eliminating one heat transfer interface will likely improve performance.

Anti-vibration rubber design.

Good. They can reduce vibration transmission, provided they do not create a wide separation between the fan and heatsink.
Option of Double fans installed design.
(SD964 only)
The SD964 with only a 92mm fan, may benefit from a push-pull setup.

Particular spoiler design.
(S1283 only)

The spoiler is intended to direct airflow toward some of the board components.
3pcs high performance U type heat-pipe.
(4pcs for SD964)
Typical of today's tower heatsinks.
Light weight. The lack of bulk means they will have to be very efficient to compete with the big boys.
High performance & easy installation. To be determined.
120mm highly efficient PWM fan (92mm for SD964) PWM fans are useful as some motherboards do not support DC voltage control.
3 in 1 application: LGA775 push-pin/K8 & AM2 tool-less clip. No love for S478.

Xigmatek HDT-S1283 and HDT-SD964: Specifications
(from the respective product web pages here and here)
Product Name
Product Number
120(W) x 50(H) x 159(D) mm
92(W) x 51(H) x 133(D) mm
600g (w/fan)
466g (w/fan)
Thermal Resistance


All Intel Socket 775 CPU
Core 2 Extreme / Quad / Duo
Pentium Extreme Edition / D
Celeron D

All AMD Socket AM2 / 754 / 939 / 940 CPU
Athlon 64 / FX / X2 / Opteron / Sempron

Copper base, Aluminum Alloy fins
8mm x 3
6mm x 4

120(W) x 120(H) x 25(D) mm

92(W) x 92(H) x 25(D) mm
Voltage Rating
800~1500 R.P.M.
1200~2800 R.P.M.
Bearing Type
Rifle Bearing
Air Flow
56.3 CFM
39~54.6 CFM
Air Pressure
1.57 mmH2O
1.7~3.3 mmH2O
Life Expectance
40,000 hrs
50,000 hrs
Noise Level
27.2 dBA
22~30 dBA
4 Pin with PWM

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