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Xigmatek Achilles Plus SD1484 Heatsink E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling
Written by David Ramsey   
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Xigmatek Achilles Plus SD1484 Heatsink
Closer Look: Achilles Plus Prototype
Heatsink Test Methodology
Testing and Results
CPU Cooler Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Closer Look: Achilles Plus Prototype

Here's what we received from Xigmatek: the actual heat sink, a universal base plate and mounting hardware, and a printed booklet that seems to be for Xigmatek's existing SD1284 cooler. The mounting system described in the booklet largely matched what we had.

xigmatek_achilles_plus_sd1484_proto.jpg

The Xigmatek Achilles Plus SD1484 Prototype Sample is a fairly standard-looking heat pipe cooler. 46 aluminum fins are pierced by four U-shaped heat pipes. The heat pipes are unusually thick at a measured 8mm. The heat sink measures about 6.5" high, 2 3/8" deep and 5 5/8" wide.

xigmatek_achilles_plus_sd1484_proto_34.jpg

The base of the cooler is aluminum, with the four heat pipes exposed in what Xigmatek calls a "heat-pipe direct touch" design. While the theoretical advantages of this design seem obvious (you're eliminating a material transition that the heat has to cross), some of the very best air coolers do without it. The base finish has the typical grained look of this design, since the heat pipes must be ground down to be flush with the rest of the base. Using a straightedge, I noticed that while the base was perfectly flat front-to-back (i.e. across the heat pipes), it was very slightly convex side-to-side, with the center of the base bulging a fraction of a millimeter out from the sides.

xigmatek_achilles_plus_sd1484_proto_base.jpg

The mounting system comprises a base plate with a relatively thick foam rubber pad that accommodates Intel Socket 775, 1155/1156, and 1366 as well as AMD Socket AM2/AM2+/AM3. Long screws thread through the base and are secured by knurled nuts, which form supports for the main mounting brackets. The mounting brackets and the pressure bar, are secured with hex nuts. Xigmatek supplies a small wrench to tighten the nuts. Assembled outside a case, it looks like the image below. The thick foam on the base plate makes mounting the system a little difficult; you need to be careful to tighten the knurled nuts as tightly as you can to compress the foam as far as it will go. I'd prefer to have seen a thin layer of insulating plastic or perhaps Teflon washers used here.

xigmatek_achilles_plus_sd1484_proto_mount_assembled.jpg

According to the included booklet, two small pegs on the bottom of the pressure bar that secures the heat sink to its mount should fit into matching holes on the heat sink base. The SD1484 Prototype Sample instead had a "stair step" base as shown below. This didn't affect the mounting.

xigmatek_achilles_plus_sd1484_proto_crossbar_fit.jpg

Lacking any official specifications, I didn't know what kind of fans the retail cooler would include, or if it would include fans at all. Normally, relatively thin coolers like this work best with two fans, but for the results to be comparable with the other coolers I used the same "stock" and "high speed" fans that I used in previous tests. While the high speed fan results are directly comparable, the stock results will probably be different from those of the retail version.

xigmatek_achilles_plus_sd1484_proto_installed3.jpg

So let's get on with the testing...



 

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