The Xigmatek HDT-SD964 is a potent CPU cooler because it puts four copper heatpipes in direct contact with the processor. The technique is called 'Heatpipe Direct Touch,' and for today's class of heatspreader capped processors it's one of the best means of keeping the CPU running cool.
If you flip the Xigmatek HDT-SD964 over you'll see an aluminum base with four wide grooves cut deep into it. Set snugly within these grooves are flattened copper heat pipes. Instead of being soldered to a thick copper base, the heatpipes are right up front where they conduct heat directly from the core of any K8 AMD or LGA775 Intel processor to the cooling fins above. It's a very simple heatsink design, and it's a style which is increasingly being duplicated by savvy heatsink makers.
In this review Frostytech will be testing the thermal and acoustic performance of the Xigmatek Co., Ltd. HDT-SD964 heatsink for you. By the time we're done you'll know how well it works on AMD & Intel processors, and how loud or quiet it operates. The Xigmatek HDT-SD964 retails for about $34CDN ($30USD), so let's begin.
Xigmatek have equipped the heatsink with vibration absorbing rubber fan posts, a 92mm PWM fan that scales in speed from 1200-2800RPM, and clips that allow it to install on socket 775 Intel Core 2 Duo/Quad CPUs and socket 754/939/940/AM2 AMD Athlon64/Phenom processors. The 466 gram HDT-SD964 heatsink stands 134mm tall, and comes with an extra four rubber posts for another 92mm fan to be installed if desired.
First off let's look at Xigmatek's "Heat-pipe Direct Touch" approach. This is the main reason the HDT-SD964 heatsink handles heat the way it does. The arrangement of copper heatpipes minimizes thermal resistance as heat energy is conducted directly to the heatpipes, rather than through some intermediary heatspreader. The four 6mm diameter heatpipes thread up through aluminum cooling fins of the HDT-SD964 heatsink where heat is quickly and efficiently dissipated into the surrounding air mass.
Xigmatek constructed the HDT-SD964 heatsink with relatively widely spaced aluminum fins so that lower velocity air can pass through with less resistance. A removable aluminum spoiler is not included with this model, even though the notches for it are still visible.
The 92mm PWM fan is held in place on the aluminum fins of the Xigmatek HDT-SD964 heatsink with four rubber vibration absorbing mounting posts. These fit through the standard screw holes in a vaneaxial fan frame, and keep the fan elevated 2.0mm away from the metal fins. If the fan motor happens to develop vibrations down the road, the rubber 'shock absorbers' can reduce that from becoming noise. Four extra posts are provided, so conceivably you could install a second fan at the back.
The Xigmatek HDT-SD964 heatsink ships with brackets for LGA775 and AMD K8 processors (754/939/940/AM2 respectively). The Intel socket 775 clips use the standard push-to-lock plastic clips that insert into the four motherboard holes around the processor socket. AMD Athlon64 processors on 754/939/940/AM2/AM2+ work with a modified spring clip that attaches to the lugs on the AMD heatsink retention frame. A cam lever at one end of the clip applies pressure to the heatsink base directly. The AMD clip is tool free, but the metal is thin and can bend towards one side or another after clamping pressure is applied.
FrostyTech's Test Methodologies are outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course its performance in the thermal tests!
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