A little over two months ago, we were very excited about an upcoming company called Gelid Solutions. At the time, we had already seen great performance from their thermal paste. We also gave their WING series fan a 5 out of 5. Because of this, I was very excited to hear that they are moving into the heatsink market. They sent out their Silent Spirit CPU cooler for us to check out. To be clear, this cooler was designed to perform well but focuses on keeping the noise to a minimum. Perfect for HTPC's and people who aren't looking for extreme cooling solutions. We are going to take a closer look to find out if Gelid Solutions can keep up the streak.
Review Sample Provided by: Gelid Solutions
Review by: Garfi3ld
Pictures by: Garfi3ld
|Air Flow (CFM):||45.8 max|
|Bearing:||Hydro Dynamic Bearing|
|Cable Length (mm):||250|
|Cooling Performance (C/W):||0.17|
|Dimensions of Cooler (mm):||108 (l) x 100.5 (w) x 125 (h)|
|Dimensions of Fan (mm):||100.5 (l) x 100.5 (w) x 45 (h)|
|Dimensions of Heatsink (mm):||108 (l) x 97 (w) x 88.5 (h)|
|Fan Speed (RPM):||900 - 2400|
|Life time MTTF at 40C (h):||50'000|
|Noise Level (dBA):||10 - 25.8|
|Xtra:||INCLUDED pre-applied GC-1 high performance thermal compound|
Considering Gelid Solutions use of green in their packaging in the past, I was surprised to see so little on this box. Using light grays and white to match their silent line of fans instead. The front of the packaging has a small window in it; by now, I am sure everyone knows how much I love windows in the packaging. I wish the window were bigger though, you can hardly see the heatsink. Keeping it simple the rest of the front has a Gelid Solutions logo and website address, and the name of the heatsink on it. Moving on to the side of the box you will find a graph showing how the Silent Coolers fan reacts to low and high cpu usage different than standard fans. Above that, they have a picture list of all of the features of the heatsink. Here is a breakdown of that list and a picture of the graph.-Silent Operation -Extra Long Lifetime -Rubber Fan Mounts -High Airflow -Intelligent PWM Curve -Unique Heatsink Angle -Optimized Fan Blade -Unique Fin Architecture -Quad Sintered Heatpipes
Moving on to the back you will find more in-depth explanations of some of the main features listed above. Below that, they have listed all of the specifications. Missing no detail on the last side, they have a list of all of the applications. Although not listed the new 1366 socket for the Core i7 cpu's will be supported soon with the addition of a new clip.
INTEL Socket 775: All Pentium D / Pentium 4, All Celeron D All Pentium Dual-Core / Extreme All Core 2 Extreme / Core 2 Quad / Core 2 DuoINTEL Socket 1366:All upcoming i7 CPU's AMD Socket 754 / 939 / 940 / AM2 / AM2+ All Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 All Athlon 64 FX, Opteron, Sempron Phenom up to 9850BE
Lastly, looking inside the box I found a Gelid Solutions case badge, installation instructions, and clips to use on AMD CPU's. They packaged the heatsink itself in formed plastic. We did run into a small issue where the heatsink was bent on arrival. After talking to Gelid Solutions, they are already in the middle of fixing this problem. Apparently, delivery people are more abusive than they expected. It's a relief to know that they are already on top of the problem and should have it fixed in no time.
Our Test PCAbit IN9 32X-MAX 680i Intel Q6600 Quad core CPU B3 stepping Antec Skeleton Open Air Case & Antec Twelve Hundred Four gigs of A-Data G Series Ram EVGA 7800GT Video Card Antec Quadro 850 Watt Power Supply Lite-On DVD Burner Running Vista Ultimate and XP
Due to the use of Intel clips, the Installation of this heatsink is extremely simple. To ad in this, they also have preapplyed their GC-1 thermal compound that performed amazingly for us in past testing. This is a major improvement over the cheap thermal pastes that you see come with some heatsinks. Once we made sure that our CPU was clear of any old thermal Paste installation was as simple as sitting the heatsink on the CPU and lining up the four clips into the holes. After that, I pressed down on each clip until it locked. Now that the heatsink is secure, I just had to install the fan power lead to the motherboard. TADA, I wish all heatsinks went on this easy!
Please keep in mind that this and most of the other pictures were taken before we realized the heatsink was bent.
I went into this test not expecting too much in the cooling department because the heatsink is made to be quite first and perform a close second. Boy do I have egg on my face, it outperformed some of the larger more well known heatsinks that we have tested in the past. As for noise, the heatsink was not extremely loud but it wasn't dead silent. Considering the performance that we saw in the Silent CPU cooler, I am not going to be too upset about a small amount of noise. We tested the Silent CPU cooler in the Antec Skeleton case at first and this was when the noise was most noticeable. When moved to the Antec Twelve hundred case the noise wasn't an issue anymore. Speaking of performance, we put the Silent CPU Cooler through our standard heatsink test. With the ambient temperature set to 70 degrees we let the pc idle for an hour. The lowest temperature reading using realtemp gives us our idle temp. To heat things up we run Prime95 on all four cores for an hour, the highest temperature reached in that hour is our load score.
Gelid Solutions has once again produced a product that surprised us. In testing the Silent CPU cooler performed amazingly, even more so when you consider the $35 MSRP. With a low price tag, great performance, and livable noise you have the makings of a great heatsink. If this is what they make when they are trying to be quite, I can't wait to see what they do with a performance based heatsink!