Xigmatek Battle-Axe: First Direct-Touch Heatpipe VGA Cooler

Cooling
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TEST RESULTS

Results: Xigmatek Battle-Axe
State
System Fan Speed
System Noise
GPU Temp.
VGA Amb.
CPU Temp.
System Power
Idle
5V
~19 dBA
38°C
36°C
23°C
102W
CPUBurn
5V
~19 dBA
42°C
41°C
51°C
188W
CPUBurn + ATI Tool
5V
~19 dBA
71°C
62°C
57°C
271W
7V
22 dBA
70°C
60°C
56°C
271W
9V
29 dBA
71°C
61°C
56°C
272W
12V
35 dBA
70°C
60°C
56°C
272W

Fans @ 12V: At 35 dBA it was uncomfortably loud, but we were expecting that since there are two fans, and not one. The majority of the noise was your run-of-the-mill growling turbulence.

Fans @ 9V: The fans exhibited a semi-high pitched buzzing. There was also a grinding noise coming from the motor.

Fans @ 7V: The acoustics were very smooth, with some slight ticking evident at 1m.

Fans @ 5V: The fans were essentially inaudible except for the ticking which could be heard within one foot of the case.

The GPU temperature remained basically constant throughout testing, no matter how fast the fans were spinning. This was a very surprising result, especially considering the difference in airflow and noise between 5V and 12V. This unusual behavior could possibly be the result of the lack of direct contact between the GPU core and the two heatpipes at the Battle-Axe's extremities. The potential may be there for better temperatures. With numbers like these, we see no reason to have such loud fans. They could probably have gotten away with using just one. We considered attempting to jerry-rig the Battle-Axe with just one fan in the center, but during the course of our review, a second hex-screw broke, making it more trouble than it was worth to continue testing it.

Comparison: Battle-Axe vs. VF1000 & Accelero S1
Zalman VF1000
Xigmatek Battle-Axe
Accelero S1
(Nexus 120mm)
System Noise
GPU Temp.
System Noise
GPU Temp.
System Noise
GPU Temp.
20 dBA
77°C
~19 dBA
71°C
<20 dBA
67°C
22 dBA
75°C
22 dBA
70°C
22 dBA
64°C
24 dBA
73°C
n/a
23 dBA
63°C
29 dBA
71°C
29 dBA
71°C
n/a
Note: 1°C was added to the results for the VF1000 as the ambient temperature was 1°C higher at the time it was tested.

The Battle-Axe is significantly better than the Zalman VF1000, but falls short of our favorite, the Accelero S1 with a single Nexus 120mm fan. With two loud 92mm x 25mm fans, we were expecting it to blow the Accelero S1 out of the water, but the issue of no-contact for the outside heatpipes limits its performance.



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