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

Cooling
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TESTING

Testing was done according to our unique heatsink testing methodology, and the reference fan was profiled using our standard fan testing methodology. A quick summary of the components, tools, and procedures follows below.

Key Components in Heatsink Test Platform:

  • Intel Pentium D 950 Presler core. TDP of 130W; under our test load, it measures 78W including efficiency losses in the VRMs.
  • ASUS P5LD2-VM motherboard. A basic microATX board with integrated graphics and plenty of room around the CPU socket.
  • Samsung MP0402H 40GB 2.5" notebook drive
  • 1 GB stick of Corsair XMS2 DDR2 memory.
  • FSP Zen 300W fanless power supply.
  • Arctic Silver Lumière: Special fast-curing thermal interface material, designed specifically for test labs.

Test Tools

  • Seasonic Power Angel for measuring AC power at the wall to ensure that the heat output remains consistent.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate the fan speed during the test.
  • Bruel & Kjaer (B&K) model 2203 Sound Level Meter. Used to accurately measure noise down to 20 dBA and below.
  • Various other tools for testing fans, as documented in our standard fan testing methodology.

Software Tools

  • SpeedFan 4.32, used to monitor the on-chip thermal sensor. This sensor is not calibrated, so results are not universally applicable
  • CPUBurn P6, used to stress the CPU heavily, generating more heat than most real applications. Two instances are used to ensure that both cores are stressed.
  • Throttlewatch 2.01, used to monitor the throttling feature of the CPU to determine when overheating occurs.

Noise measurements were made with the fan powered from the lab's variable DC power supply while the rest of the system was off to ensure that system noise did not skew the measurements.

Load testing was accomplished using CPUBurn to stress the processor, and the graph function in SpeedFan was used to make sure that the load temperature was stable for at least ten minutes. The stock fan was tested at various voltages to represent a good cross-section of its airflow and noise performance.

The ambient conditions during testing were 18 dBA and 21°C.

HDT-S1283 TEST RESULTS

Stock HDT-S1283 Fan

The stock fan was tested for acoustics. We didn't do a full range of airflow / noise tests, but SPL and RPM measurements were taken at 9V, 10V, 11V, and 12V. Normally we test at 5V, 7V, 9V, and 12V, but at 7V the stock fan barely spun at all (less than 100 RPM). Also, the fan would not start up with less than 8.7V, so 9V seemed like a good starting point. The non-linear relationship between voltage and RPM reflects this fan's PWM design. A PWM fan controller would probably be better for this fan. Most of the fan controllers built into motherboards these days are PWM, so they may work well. However, implementation of PWM fan control varies widely from board to board.

HDT-S1283 Stock Fan Measurements
Fan Voltage
Fan Speed
Noise Level
12V
1400 RPM
28 dBA@1m
11V
1230 RPM
25 dBA@1m
10V
960 RPM
21 dBA@1m
9V
670 RPM
19 dBA@1m

At 12V, there was a lot of turbulence. Not suitable for a silent PC, but much better than most stock fans that pass through the lab. At 11V it was bearable, but still not good enough by our standards. At 10V it really ramped down quite a bit and became fairly quiet. 9V was barely audible above the ambient noise level. Inside a typical, enclosed system, it would probably be indiscernable from the rest of the system noise.

The noise characteristics were fairly benign. At 1m there is a slight buzz and a sound reminiscent of something brushing up against a polyester sleeve. At higher fan speeds (higher than 10V), the extra turbulence dominates the noise profile. Overall, it's very similar to a typical high/medium speed sleeve bearing fan.

Cooling Results

HDT-S1283 w/ stock fan
Fan Voltage
Noise @1m
Temp
°C Rise
°C/W
12V
28 dBA
34°C
13
0.17
11V
25 dBA
35°C
14
0.18
10V
21 dBA
37°C
16
0.21
9V
19 dBA
40°C
19
0.24
HDT-S1283 w/ reference fan
12V
22 dBA
34°C
13
0.17
9V
~19 dBA
36°C
15
0.19
7V
<19 dBA
39°C
18
0.23
5V
<19 dBA
43°C
22
0.28
Load Temp: CPUBurn for ~10 mins.
°C Rise: Temperature rise above ambient (21°C) at load.
°C/W: based on the amount of heat dissipated by the CPU (measured 78W); lower is better.

The heatsink in conjunction with the stock fan provided excellent cooling at each fan voltage we tested. At 12V and 11V the increase in temperature was superb, among the lowest we've ever encountered. Performance did not suffer significantly at 10V or 9V. We never would've expected such great results from such a light-weight heatsink.

Already impressed, we put on the reference fan and re-tested the heatsink. Amazingly at 12V, our reference Nexus 120mm fan achieved the same result as the stock fan but with a 6 dBA improvement in noise level. High airflow does not seem to affect performance drastically. As the fan voltage was lowered, the increase in cooling efficiency tapered off, however at 5V, the rise in temperature was only 22°C over ambient — the best result we've ever seen.

HDT-S1283 vs. Top Competitors w/ reference fan
Noise @1m
Thermal Performance (°C Rise)
Ultra-120 Extreme
HDT-S1283
Ultra-120
Ninja Copper
22 dBA
12
13
15
17
~19 dBA
14
15
17
18
<19 dBA
17
18
21
20
<19 dBA
24
22
26
23

Compared to the other elite CPU coolers we've tested in the past, the HDT-S1283 comes in a close second to the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme. A measured difference of one degree is not enough to call one heatsink better than the other however. It was also the best performing heatsink we've tested with the Nexus fan at 5V (along with the Scythe Ninja Copper), though the tight fin spacing makes it a poor choice for completely passive operation.



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