Being a sucker for unique shapes and appealing looks, the Balder struck a chord right off the bat with me. Looking past the sexiness of the cooler is the intention. The testing showed the Balder is what we should expect from the 1283 coolers, just this time a little differently. The new fin design for Xigmatek is an attractive start. Adding the black fan with white LED's is a plus, but plating the entire cooler in "Bright-Nickel" takes it over the top for me, then to see it is dual fan compatible just takes it over the edge of what I want to see in a Xigmatek cooler; they hit the nail on the head with the Balder.
A couple of issues I need to sort through. The ding in the heat pipe is unacceptable. Looking at the packaging, the damage had to be done before the box was sealed. I understand people have bad days at work, but that should have been easily spotted and pulled from the line. The second complaint isn't even for me, as I am an avid Intel user. I would like to see an additional set of grooves in the base for AMD users. With this small setback overcome, I think there would be no reason not to suggest the Balder to any user with accommodating chassis conditions.
In my opinion, the little bit of a premium price is worth it to me. Not only do I get my flashiness that I love, but I get performance levels that I have come to expect from Xigmatek. The $46.99 is only the MSRP, which means once it hits shelves it can be had possibly even cheaper. I for one am glad Xigmatek has changed the square fins, moving to the "x" configuration. This makes the Balder not only a rebirth for Xigmatek's 1283 lineup, but a nice choice for cooling in any rig.