Articles: Cooling

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Design and Functionality

The GELID Black Edition is a tower-design cooler with a dual-array heatsink and two fans:


Its height is 160 mm. The width and depth are 126 and 109 mm, respectively. The weight of the cooler isn’t high at 967 grams.

The Black Edition name seems to refer to the two black fans and two metallic plates on the top fins of the heatsink. Yet the bulk of this cooler is silvery rather than black.


It represents a classic dual-array design where one fan is inserted in between the heatsink arrays and the other is fastened to the outer surface of one of them.


The heatsink sections being symmetrical, it is possible to install a third fan on them. You can find the required fasteners among the accessories.

If we take a look at the cooler from above, we can see that its heat pipes are not placed in a straight line. There’s a sticker on the cooler’s base which must be removed before its installation.


There’s nothing extraordinary about the Black Edition’s dual-array heatsink. Each array consists of 44 aluminum fins measuring 126x34.5 mm and 0.5 mm thick. The fins are press-fitted on the heat pipes with a spacing of 2.0 mm.

The heatsink has a total area of 7240 sq. cm, which is not too much for a super-cooler, especially for a dual-array cooler.

The heatsink fins have a wavy profile to optimize air flows.

The heat pipes are neatly soldered to the cooler’s base.

That’s where we can find the key feature of the Black Edition design. Let’s take a look at the thermal flow picture taken from the GELID website. It shows the distribution of heat among the pipes in the cooler’s base:

As you can see, the outermost pipes don’t do much work with the classic heat pipe arrangement. That’s why the heat pipes are arranged in the Black Edition’s base in an unconventional way. The three 8mm pipes in the middle do the bulk of work. They are aided by four ordinary 6mm pipes placed on their sides and above them. All of this should ensure more efficient heat transfer between the cooler’s base and the CPU’s heat-spreader. It must be noted that it’s not the first time we see this original solution. It was implemented in the GELID GX-7 we tested in 2011, for example.

The copper base is finished well enough. It is ideally smooth, although not polished to a mirror shine.

It is flat except for one corner but the thermal grease imprint on our LGA2011 processor was good:

The GELID Black Edition is equipped with two 120mm fans that differ in thickness. The exterior fan Slim 12 is about 16 mm thick and has an 11-blade impeller.

The Silent 12 fan, which is installed between the two heatsink arrays, has a standard thickness of 25 mm. Its impeller has 7 blades. Both fans are PWM-regulated using the same signal as both are powered via a single connector with a Y-shaped splitter. Their specs are very similar. The bottom speed is the same at 750 RPM whereas the top speed is 1500 for the classic fan and 1600 RPM for the slim external fan. The specified noise level is 25.4 and 25.5 dBA, respectively.

Both fans run on fluid dynamic bearings with a guaranteed service life of 50,000 hours (or about 5.7 years of continuous operation). Their model names and key electric specs can be read from the stickers on their motors:


The peak power consumption of the fans is barely above 2 watts. According to our measurements, the startup voltage is 4 volts.

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