Articles: Cooling

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Design and Functionality

On the exterior, GELID GX-7 doesn’t really stand out that much. It looks like a pretty common tower-cooler measuring 159x130x65 mm and weighing 720 grams with one 120 mm fan:



The heatsink consists of 45 aluminum fins, each 0.4 mm thick that are pressed against the heatpipes at 2.0 mm distance from one another. The calculated effective heatsink surface area is not that big and equals about 6400 cm2. There is a plastic panel with the company name and cooler model on it that covers the ends of the 6 mm heatpipes. The copper base surface is covered with a protective film warning the user that it needs to be removed before cooler installation.

The fins are bent downwards along the heatsink left and right sides, so that the air flow gets concentrated on the heatpipes and fins:


The heatsink is uni-directional, which means that the airflow needs to go in one direction for maximum cooling efficiency – namely towards the caved in side of the heatsink:


Everything seems to be pretty standard: only one tower, not gigantic size, one fan. So, what’s so special about GELID GX-7 to justify its 70-dollar price and high efficiency expectations?

Well, the secret is in the heatpipes. First of all, there are seven of them and they are arranged in two rows in the base: five heatpipes in the lower-level row and two heatpipes in the upper-level one:


This heatpipes layout, according to GELID, ensures faster and more efficient heat transfer from the CPU hear-spreader. This is what it looks like schematically:

As we see, the two upper-level heatpipes are designed to help the thermally overloaded low-level heatpipes and schematically everything looks perfect. But will it actually work? Do not forget that it will be a bit of a challenge to push the airflow through the heatsink body with this heatpipe paling…

The base surface in GELID GX-7 is not ideally finished – we don’t see any polishing on it:

At the same time the 35x34 mm plate is impeccably even, the thermal paste imprints turned out complete and the paste got almost evenly distributed over the surfaces:


GELID GX-7 is equipped with one nine-blade GELID WING 12 PL fan (FN-FW12BPL-18) measuring 120x120x25 mm:

Its rotation speed is automatically adjusted using pulse-width modulation method (PWM) in the interval from 600 to 1800 RPM at a maximum airflow of 75.6 CFM and between 10 and 26.8 dBA of noise. The fan specifications also mention its static pressure of 2.66 mm H2O.

If you remove the rotor sticker, you will find Nanoflux Bearing (NFB) with at least 100,000 hours or more than 10 years declared MTBF:

Although the maximum fan power consumption is claimed to be 5.4 W, in reality GELID WING 12 PL consumed no more than 3.1 W. Its startup voltage was 4 V. By the way, this fan model is also available separately, so you can get one for… $22!

The fans are attached to the heatsink with two wire clips:

Another pair of clips like that is included with the bundled accessories, in case you decede to install a second fan for air exhaust.

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