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    Categories: Coolers

Xigmatek Gaia

Introduction

The Gaia from Xigmatek is in for testing today, we’ve all heard of Xigmatek, they came out of know where in 2005 with HDT (Heatsink Direct Touch) technology that not only performed well, but was very well priced too.  The Gaia seems to be very similar to what we first saw from Xigmatek so we’ll see if the performance stacks up!

Specifications

Dimension: 120(W) x 50(D) x 159(H) mm

Fan starting Voltage: ≥9V

Fanspeed: 800~1500 R.P.M.

Fan bearing Type: Hypro Bearing

Air Flow: 56.3CFM (Max.)

Air Pressure: 1.57 mmH2O (Max.)

Fan life Expectance: 40,000 hrs

Noise Level: 16-24 dBA (Max.)

Connector: 4 Pin with PWM

Weight: 460g

 

Unboxing

The box is made of a high quality card, shiny and is well designed.

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The back of the box has the most of the important specifications listed.

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The bundled items include: Instructions, Intel and AMD backplate, Intel and AMD mounting bars, eight rubber fan clips, sixteen mounting nuts and screws and a sachet of thermal compound.

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Mounting system

The mounting system of a cooler is an important part as without good contact between the base of the cooler and CPU heatspreader, you won’t get good CPU temperatures and could even damage your CPU.

The mounting system that comes with this cooler is excellent, it is clear that Xigmatek has taken time over refining and perfecting the system, I found it very easy to mount the cooler, fitting the fan after attaching the heatsink was fairly easy too. Intel socket 2011 mounts are provided too which is also good to see.

The provided thermal paste isn’t the highest quality in the world, in my testing the thermal paste did its job just fine but it would be nice if Xigmatek included some higher quality thermal paste.

The Cooler

The heatsink is pretty much your standard tower design and quite similar to what we first saw from Xigmatek.

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The fin array is shaped to force air over the heatpipe area in an attempt to cool them as well as possible.

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The base comes with a nice sticker in shipping to ensure your base comes in as good condition as possible.

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Here you can see the base, the three 8mm heatpipes spaced by aluminium which also transfers heat very well.

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You can see some light machining marks on the bottom but nothing that should affect performance, what matters is that the base is flat and I assure you, the base is very flat which should certainly help this cooler perform.

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The 120mm PWM fan would have been good if the cable was sleeved or atleast they could have used black cables instead of those vibrant colours.

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Here’s the cooler put together with the 120mm fan attached and the mounting system installed.

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Testing and Overclocking

 

Test Rig

CPU: AMD Phenom II 1090T

GPU: ASUS Reference 5870

Memory: 16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 DDR3

Storage: Crucial C300 128GB

PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro 850W

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Case: Corsair 700D equipped with many fans

 

Methodology

To ensure the results were consistent, the heatsink was mounted three times and idle and load tests run each time. An average of the results is shown below.

For idle testing, Windows 7 was allowed to run with no programs for ten minutes.

For load testing I used Prime 95 Small FFTs and temperatures were taken after twenty minutes.

The standard thermal paste, provided with the cooler, was used.

 

Overclocking

The settings we used for our stock and overclocked tests are:

Stock – CPU 3200MHz Auto voltage (1.325v)

Overclocked – CPU 4000MHz 1.456v

Due to the thermal probe built into the Phenom II CPUs being incorrectly calibrated, the temperatures displayed are 5C cooler than the actual temperature of the CPU. The temperatures are all taken from the same CPU so are all on the same scale.

Results

Stock

Idle temperatures are slightly higher than other similar heatsinks, this is because with the fan connected via PWM, it only spins at 221RPM! Excellent for keeping a computer quiet while Idle. The temperature doesn’t rise much with the fan reaching just 1005 RPM, I couldn’t hear it over my hard drives.

[easychart type=”horizbar” title=”Stock 3.20GHz” groupnames=”Antec 920 Silent, Antec 920 Extreme, Antec 620, Prolimatech Panther, Prolimatech Lynx, Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO, Coolermaster Hyper TX3 EVO, Coolermaster Gemini II M4, Coolermaster Gemini II SF542, Coolermaster Gemini II SF542 /w silent adapter, Coolermaster Hyper 412S, Coolermaster Hyper 412S /w silent adapter, EK Supreme HF Full Nickel, Xigmatek Loki, Xigmatek Gaia ” valuenames=”Idle, Load” group1values=”21,38″ group2values=”15,26″ group3values=”14,31″ group4values=”20,32″ group5values=”20,38″ group6values=”22,36″ group7values=”22,42″ group8values=”23,45″ group9values=”22,37″ group10values=”22,45″ group11values=”14,31″ group12values=”16,35″ group13values=”17,26″ group14values=”24,38″ group15values=”19,41″ ]

Overclocked

[easychart type=”horizbar” title=”Overclocked – 4GHz 1.456v” groupnames=”Antec 920 Silent, Antec 920 Extreme, Antec 620, Prolimatech Panther, Prolimatech Lynx, Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO, Coolermaster Hyper TX3 EVO, Coolermaster Gemini II M4, Coolermaster Gemini II SF542, Coolermaster Gemini II SF542 /w silent adapter, Coolermaster Hyper 412S, Coolermaster Hyper 412S /w silent adapter, EK Supreme HF Full Nickel, Xigmatek Loki, Xigmatek Gaia” valuenames=”Idle, Load” group1values=”21,46″ group2values=”16,36″ group3values=”25,46″ group4values=”24,48″ group5values=”25,55″ group6values=”27,52″ group7values=”32,77″ group8values=”28,76″ group9values=”23,67″ group10values=”26,74″ group11values=”19,49″ group12values=”21,58″ group13values=”22,36″ group14values=”27,76″ group15values=”19,50″ ]

Pushed to 4.0GHz the fan sits at 363 RPM which is still very low and reaches its full speed of 1486RPM which is mostly just a blowy noise and was certainly bearable.

Conclusion

The Gaia is an excellent performing heatsink overall, almost keeping up with the Coolermaster Hyper 412S. Give the Gaia some higher quality thermal paste and it should easily be on par or beat the 412S.

The build quality is good, everything is well made and well thought out but there’s something that makes the product just seem a little cheap, it’s things like the fan cable, lack of Nickel plating, non-LED fan and other minor cosmetic things that could be improved to be on the same level as other similar coolers.

The fact is that the Xigmatek Gaia retails at only £19.99 is amazing, for the performance you get, it is excellent. In fact I would go as far as to say it’s the best performing heatsink you can buy for the money.

 

Pros

Performs excellently on both stock and overclocked systems

Very good value for money

The one of the easiest coolers I have ever installed

 

Cons

Low quality thermal paste

Cheap feel

 

The build quality is good, everything is well made and well thought out but there’s something that makes the product just seem a little cheap, it’s things like the fan cable, lack of Nickel plating, non-LED fan and other minor cosmetic things that could be improved to be on the same level as other similar coolers.

William Hemmens :

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