Articles: Cooling

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Worldwide economic crisis didn’t affect each and every branch of the economy. At least, the development and manufacturing of air-coolers for system CPUs and graphics cards doesn’t seem to have been affected: there is no stagnation, no slowing down of the production or bankruptcy announcements. Moreover, new cooling solutions keep coming out just the way they used to: one after another. The remarkable thing about it is that the new coolers more often turn out inferior to the already existing models in cooling efficiency, noise and price, than the other way around. However, all that doesn’t stop the developers from designing and launching completely new or even slightly modified and refreshed old models. One these companies is XIGMATEK Co., Ltd. And our today’s review will be devoted to three of their cooling solutions. They are Cobra, Nepartak and Dark Knight coolers.

Testing Participants

Cobra (D984)

The first new cooling solution we are going to discuss today ships in a compact square box with small cut-out windows on two adjacent sides that reveal part of the cooler:

Cobra cooler sits in clear plastic casing inside the cardboard box that was partially cracked on the way to us. The cooler is bundled with an LGA775 retention kit, a swing-clip for AMD processors, five silicon spindles for the fan, a pack of Stars thermal paste and installation manual:

XIGMATEK Cobra is very compact, it measures only 132 x 92 x 102 mm and weighs 452g. in my opinion, the design of the cooler is fairly simple and consists of an aluminum heatsink that touches the base and is pierced with four heatpipes. Each heatpipe is 8mm in diameter and forms part of the cooelr base plate (HDT technology):


The shape of XIGMATEK Cobra does in fact remind of a poisonous viper ready to strike. This is where the name of this cooler is probably coming from.

The cooler heatsink is topped with a 92 x 92 x 25 mm fan that is very easy to take down:


The heatsink array consists of 46 flexible aluminum plates of two types. 30 smaller plates sit just on the heatpipes, while the remaining 16 hold on to heatpipes and an aluminum block above the heatpipes in the cooler base.


The heatsink plates are spaced out at a 2mm distance from one another and are 0.45mm thick. Despite complex heatsink shape and profile, we managed to calculate its effective cooling surface area - 3,, which is one of the largest among mainstream air-coolers.

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