Direct heat pipe technology on CPU coolers is becoming more frequent than ever, at Tech-Reviews we reviewed a Nexus HOC-9000 a few days ago which made use of this new technology. The results from the heatsink bundle were good, but nothing to shout about. Today we’ve got another entry to the ‘direct heat pipe’ family, the Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283. Unlike the Nexus, the Red Scorpion hasn’t been designed for silence in mind; instead, it’s been designed for pure performance and efficiency. Well let’s just see shall we…
Xigmatek believes to be a much more “Essential” company. They know the importance of product essence, not only the excellent quality but also good performance, in-time service and better durance.
- H.D.T. (Heat-pipe direct touch) technology
- 4pcs white LED on Fan
- Transparent colourful housing and blade
- Anti-vibration rubber design
- 3x 8mm high performance U type heat-pipes
- 120mm highly efficient PWM fan
- Light weight
- High performance & easy installation
- 3 in 1 application: LGA775 push-pin / K8 & AM2 tool-less clip
The Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 arrives in a colourful yet well styled cardboard box – this will definitely draw attention to the product on shop shelves. The front of the box has a transparent section enabling you to catch a glimpse of the Red Scorpions uniquely coloured fan: Black and translucent orange. The acronym H.D.T (Heat-pipe direct touch) is emphasized, showing that this is a technology which Xigmatek are proud to use. Below the acronym some short brief features are listed about the S1283.
The back of the box is rather simplistic compared to the front. In the bottom-right corner a robotic Scorpion is shown. Above this, a table listing the Xigmatek’s specifications is shown (same specification table as above).
On the right side of the box there are graphic images of the Red Scorpion’s technologies: Direct Heat-pipe, Anti-vibration rubber, Airflow spoiler. The left hand side lists all the supported CPU’s.
The Xigmatek is packaged inside with the fan detached from the heat sink. Each of these parts is padded with thick foam. All the accessories are packed inside a plastic bag.
Included with the heat sink and fan combo is:
- AMD mounting clip
- Intel LGA775 Push Pins
- 3-Pin fan to Molex adapter
- Spoiler which can be inserted into fins to direct airflow
- Sachet of thermal grease
- Screws for Intel mounting pins
This is all the accessories you’d need with a heat sink and fan combo. It’s nice to see that Xigmatek have also included a 3-pin to Molex adapter, as most coolers do not come with this and you never know… it may just come in handy one day.
The Xigmatek S1283 Red Scorpion
The first most striking part of the CPU cooler is the fan. It’s a 120mm fan which produces a mere noise level of 20.6dBA (according to Xigmatek). This is by no means silent, but considerably quieter than most heat sink fans. Its colour scheme is somewhat impressive with translucent plastic being used on its dark grey frame and bright orange blades. This is very appealing and will certainly stand out in-use with the 4 white LED’s that are mounted at each of the corners of the fan.
The utter most important part of a CPU Cooler is the heatsink as this helps to dissipate hot air directly from the CPU’s core. Fortunately, the Red Scorpion uses the tried and tested tower format of heatsink where the heat is transferred from the core to the many aluminium fins. This is the preferred method as not only does it perform well; aesthetically it looks pretty cool also. At the sides of the fins are small ‘U-shape’ notches, this is where the fan’s anti-vibration plugs are inserted.
Altogether there are three 8mm copper nickel-plated heat-pipes. Judging by the photo, it looks like there are 6, but each heat pipe goes through to either ends of the cooler. This is a definite advantage with heat being lost quickly through solid pipes.
The base of the cooler is a 14mm thick piece of aluminium. This block has obviously been machined as it has very accurate straight cuts without any debris. Three channels are cut into the underside of the block – where all three heatpipes run through. The heat pipes seem to have been cut creating a flat contact for the CPU to dissipate heat effectively through. Stopping from fingerprints and debris making contact with the base is a plastic label. After peeling this away we can see the base more accurately. Unfortunately, the base and pipes aren’t polished like many coolers are on the underside, but it’s a very level and smooth surface which is much more beneficial than a polished lumpy surface.
Attaching the fan to the cooler is very simple with four – rather thick – anti-vibration pegs being used. These pegs slot into the notches on the heatsink fins. Once installed, the Xigmatek looks pretty darn cool.
For installation on a Socket 775 motherboard it’s rather simple, you just need screw two of the provided mounting clips to the base of the processor with two screws. Once installed, the clips are very rigid and sturdy.
The next step is to apply thermal paste to the processor – as the Red Scorpion doesn’t come with a thermal pad applied. We’ll be repeating this process twice with both Arctic Silver 5 and the paste that comes with the cooler.
Just like the default Intel cooler, installing the heatsink and fan is simply a case of pushing the four pins into the CPU mounting holes by opposite corners. Unfortunately two of the pins were blocked by the fan which made it a little awkward, so I took the easy option: removed the fan and then reinstalled it after the cooler was installed.
This installation is completely tool less – bar installing the mounting clips – and doesn’t need for the removal of your motherboard.
When installing the Xigmatek in AMD systems, the installation is a fairly similar process but instead of using the Intel clips, you need to use the included AMD hook mechanism.
|Case||Antec Twelve Hundred|
|Processor||Intel C2D E8400|
|Memory||4GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer|
|Motherboard||Asus P5K Premium|
|Graphics Card||Vivikoo 9600GT|
|Power Supply||Kingwin Mach 1|
|Hard Drive||SATA Western Digital SE16 500GB|
|Optical Drive||SATA Samsung DVD-RW|
To test CPU Coolers we simply boot the PC up into Windows Vista and measure temperatures under idle and load states. The temperature is recorded from the CPU’s own diode using SpeedFan.
For idle testing, we leave the PC doing nothing for half an hour and take 3 temperature readings at 10 second intervals after that 30mins. We then use the average score from these as the result. When testing at load temperatures, we use a similar method but load both cores of our CPU right to 100% by loading two processes of ‘CPU Burn-In’.
Ambient (testing environment) temperature was 21 degrees Celsius.
We’ll be comparing the Red Scorpion to the stock Intel cooler and an ‘Asus Triton 79 Amazing’ Cooler. The Intel cooler and Red Scorpion will be tested with two pastes: the paste which came with the cooler and Arctic Silver 5. Unfortunately we can only test the Asus Triton 79 Amazing with AS5 since we don’t have its stock paste available.
Firstly, when powered on the Xigmatek Red Scorpion looks very cool with the 4 white LED’s.
The results below with the Intel and Xigmatek cooler using their stock pastes are a bit surprising. The Intel cooler actually beats the Red Scorpion on idle temperatures. However, when at load state, the Xigmatek manages much better than the Intel at cooling the CPU suggesting that it can cope with much higher temperatures – ideal for overclocking or gaming heavily.
Suddenly when Arctic Silver 5 is applied on all the coolers, the results are much clearer. The Red Scorpion manages to beat the other coolers on both Stock and Overclocked temperatures.
This concludes to show that the Xigmatek is the better of both the coolers and when used with Arctic Silver 5, its temperatures drop an extra 2 or 3 degrees.
In the sound department, this cooler isn’t bad. It’s a little quieter than the stock Intel cooler at high speeds, but when lowering the RPM to 800 using the Scythe Kaze Master, this cooler is pretty much inaudible.
The Xigmatek Red Scorpion retails at ~ £30, but I couldn’t find any online shops selling the CPU Cooler. This isn’t a bad price for a CPU Cooler and since it performs better that the Asus, which retails more at the £50 mark, it’s a good buy.
Throughout this review I’ve been quite impressed with this cooler. It looks great and performs distinctively well whilst the CPU is under great pressure. This makes the cooler a good purchase for any Overclocker or gaming addict.
To be honest, there’s not a lot wrong with the Xigmatek and the bits that are wrong with it are fairly minor and can certainly be improved.
This leads me to award the Xigmatek 4/5. If you want some cooling bite, take on the Red Scorpion.
- Good Performance
- Quiet Fan
- Looks Awesome
- Supports Intel and AMD
- Direct Heat-Pipe solution
- Unpolished base
- Mounting pins are a little awkward – needs ‘old style’ backplate.