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WE HADN'T HEARD much from Xigmatek in a while until last month’s LGA2011 cooler roundup. In that review roundup, we tested the company’s budget Gaia cooler and found it roughly equivalent to the Hyper 212 Evo—which is a good thing. Now we’ve got our hands on the Aegir, a direct-contact heatsink with more fins, more fans, and more oomph.
The Aegir has a strange heat pipe configuration: Six copper heat pipes rise through its 4.6-inch stack of cooling fins, but only four have direct contact with the CPU heat exchanger. The other two heat pipes are set into channels at the top of the heat exchanger, above the two center direct-contact heat pipes. They don’t contact the CPU directly. They don’t even touch the heat pipes that touch the CPU. Xigmatek calls this "Double Layer with Heat-pipe Direct Touch," or DLHDT. Catchy!
Many coolers designed before the launch of Sandy Bridge-E have LGA2011 support added after the fact, and not always well. With some coolers, we had trouble putting sufficient mounting pressure on the heatsink, leaving the cooler’s LGA2011 performance lagging compared to other platforms. That isn’t a problem with the Aegir: Even on LGA2011, the mounting crossbar clamps down so far we worried we’d break our motherboard. But we didn’t, and thanks to the pressure, the Aegir’s four lower direct-contact heat pipes got plenty of, well, direct contact with the CPU’s heat spreader.
The Xigmatek Aegir doesn’t look innovative, but it doesn’t have to.
The Aegir ships with one 12cm brushless PWM fan, held on by the same dinky rubber pegs we complained about in last month's review of the Xigmatek Gaia. The pegs clip into the cooler’s fins and pull through the mounting holes on the fan, and the Aegir ships with eight pegs—enough to attach an additional fan.
Not that you’ll need it. On our LGA2011 test system (a Core i7-3960X overclocked to 4.2GHz on an Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard in a Thermaltake Level 10 GT chassis with its stock fans on high), the Aegir pulled down one of the lowest stress-test temperatures we’ve seen—a mere 71 C after an hour of thermal stress. That’s lower than any air cooler we’ve tested on this system.
You need only look at the success of Cooler Master’s Hyper 212 coolers to see that direct-contact heat pipes can lead to very good coolers. The Aegir’s larger fin stack, two additional heat pipes, and greater mounting pressure combine to give it excellent performance.
The Aegir’s mounting system isn’t our favorite, though we can’t argue with its effectiveness, and its fan mounting system is downright annoying. It also lacks the eye-catching appeal of more exotic coolers. But for sheer performance at a reasonable price, the Aegir is a winner.
Solid mounting bracket; great performance.
Annoying rubber fan mounts; not much to look at.
(inches, with fan)
|Weight (with fan) ||1 lb, 12 oz|
|Heat Pipes ||Six copper (four direct-contact)|
|Stock Fans ||1x 12cm PWM|
|Add’l Fan Support||1 (rubber mounts included)|
|Xigmatek Aegir||CM Hyper 212 Evo||Noctua DH-14|
|Idle Temperature ||33.8||36.2||34.1|
|Burn Temperature ||71||74||72.3|
All temperatures in degrees Celsius. Best scores bolded. All tests performed using an Intel Core i7-3960 at 4.2GHz, on an Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard with 16GB DDR3/1600, in a Thermaltake Level 10 GT with stock fans set to High.