Update - Retail Cooler Test Results
GELID had taken note of our review of their Silent Spirit CPU cooler and were disappointed with our audio testing results. As such, they had gotten in contact with us to have us retest using a new retail sample. With the previous sample being a pre-release version, certain things might be overlooked and improved upon before the product makes it to retail shelves. It's time now to test the replacement in the box and get some pictures and new sound results.
GELID assumed the cooler must have been damaged in shipping. I feel it was honestly more so an issue with the fan. This does happen and it's nobody's fault. With the amount of hardware I go through, I sort of expect a failure at some point, simply due to playing the averages. But there's no point in making a fuss over what the problem actually is; the main point here is that GELID saw something they didn't like and stepped up and replaced the cooler on the spot. I can only hope that this type of treatment goes on down the line to their everyday customer.
My first action was to mount the cooler to our rig and get the audio testing out of the way with the cooler in its "out of the box" condition. I will address this further into the review. I then took the fan off of the fins and took a few images of my findings.
Here we have a side by side comparison of the fans in question. To the left is the new replacement; to the right is the pre-released version. Other than a sticker switch, there was a tiny bit of plastic added to the retail version of the fan.
Here is the pre-release cooler with the bit of plastic I was speaking about earlier; the first "rib" of plastic on this fan doesn't quite make it all the way to the inner edge of the fan housing.
As you can see here on the retail sample, the same bit of plastic has been extended and also visible is a light indent of where the old piece stopped.
Now let's put it to the test and see if there's an improvement to be seen, or heard I should say.
Mounting the cooler and getting the testing done left me surprised to say the least. Our idle testing revealed that the fan was spinning, but slowly enough to be almost completely inaudible, as the chart shows.
Switching over to the load voltages is where I was stunned. This cooler revealed to me in no uncertain terms why it is called the Silent Spirit. With a loaded reading of 35dB, the Silent Spirit soars to the top of our list for quiet cooling solutions. GELID set the bar high on this one to beat out most of the competition by being almost 50% quieter. That's an impressive feat to achieve!