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Roundup: 15 affordable coolers
by Marc Prieur
Published on July 11, 2011

Xigmatek Gaia SD1283

The Xigmatek Gaia SD1283 is in the standard design based on three heatpipes. They are in direct contact with the CPU and the aluminium fins are cooled by a 120mm PWM fan. The fan doesn’t run at under 9V, which reduces its range. The cooler comes with a multilingual installation guide and a sachet of thermal paste.
It’s mounted using a support plate at the back of the motherboard, which requires you to remove the motherboard except when you’re using a specific case. Depending on the platform, you screw the AMD or Intel mounting brackets to the radiator before screwing everything on. The fan is mounted using plastic brackets.

Optimal orientation means memory bars with large radiators can’t be used on the first slot on our test LGA 1155 motherboard unless you force them, which we don’t advise you to do, though they can be on the second. In spite of the fact that it’s mounted with the same orientation on the AM3 motherboard, no DIMM was affected on our card with the gap from the centre of the CPU to the 1st DIMM 51mm against 50mm on the Intel motherboard.

The Xigmatek Gaia SD1283 cools the Core i7-2600K well at 9V and remains quiet in doing so. Moving up to 12V has a significant impact on noise levels (up 14.2 dBA) and only reduces the CPU temperature by 7.3°C. The Gaia SD1283 doesn’t cool an overclocked i7-2600K correctly at this setting.
The reduced operating range of the fan combined with an average to high cooling/noise ratio means this fan isn’t a particularly good bet.

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