The Xigmatek Balder SD1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
We get our first look at the new 51 fin design. Starting with what we are used to seeing, a copper base with three HDT pipes going in to a large stack of aluminium fins. Like a few predecessors, this cooler is also plated in Nickel.
The last image had hints of the shape change going on with the Balder. This image of the side continues this. A couple of standouts are the enclosed sides, where they fold over the fins to recapture airflow to put it to better use. The second thing to note is the ability of a 1283 cooler to easily strap on two 120mm fans.
You've all waited long enough; here we have the "shape shot". Looking at the Balder from the top shows the new "X" design of the fins. Also as you could see before, the bump in the center of the fins carries all the way to the top, where Xigmatek proudly stamps their logo.
Moving on to the business end of the Balder, I was pleased to see one of the smoothest bases on a Xigmatek cooler I have seen to date. This base is very level and flat, aside from the gaps between the HDT pipes and the base support. My sample did arrive with a slight "ding" in the one pipe, but I don't think it will do much to hinder any testing, as it is on the outermost corner of where the IHS will make contact.
The fan of choice from Xigmatek is an 89 CFM, white LED, blackish coloured fan. Since there is a bit less fin surface area over say the basic S-1283, a strong fan is a good choice for companionship.
In typical Xigmatek fashion, the 120mm fan covers almost all of the fins and is an attractive contrast against the "bright-Nickel" plating.
In this profile image, you can see the cooler is as wide as the rest of the S1283's and still may cause issues with taller spreaders on RAM modules if the slots nearest the CPU are used.
Something I personally would love to see on the 1283 series is grooves in the opposite direction on the top of the base. I realize this would take a new AMD latch bar, but I know a lot of AMD users put off this cooler due to the way it aligns in the case on the motherboard. Besides that, the two holes are there to accept the legs for Intel mounting.