|Xigmatek Achilles Plus SD1484 Heatsink|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 14 February 2011|
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So let's get on with the testing...