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Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler

Xigmatek is back with a full 120mm cooler; we can now test H.D.T. against the norm.
@ChrisRamseyer
Chris Ramseyer
Published Mon, Sep 15 2008 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:27 PM CDT
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Xigmatek

Introduction

Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
IntroductionNow that we have gotten to the source and started working with the masterminds behind Heat-Pipe Direct Touch coolers, it is time to get serious. Our first review from Xigmatek was a low cost 92mm cooler that performed better than all of our low to mid-cost coolers, but left us a little underwhelmed when compared to 120mm coolers. As you can imagine, we have been looking forward to taking a crack at Xigmatek's 120mm coolers to see how they compare against 120mm offerings from Noctua, Thermalright and the other CPU coolers tested this past year. Today is the day and I have a pair of coolers from Xigmatek that feature a 120mm fan. Like the Noctua, Nexus and SilenX, Xigmatek is dedicated to providing silent cooling solutions and the Red Scorpion S1283 is no exception. Later this week we will turn our attention to the Xigmatek HDT-S1283, a similar product to what we are looking at today, but without the red fan blades and LED lighting. I am very excited to put the Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 against our collection of 120mm coolers; let's see how it stacks up.

Specifications, Availability and Pricing

Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
Right off the bat, the biggest specification that stands out to me is the fans' RPM rating. With a max of 1500 RPM, the Xigmatek RS S1283 reaches full speed where many fans park their low setting. On paper this will lead a few enthusiasts to believe the cooler is destined for the low power mainstream processors, but that is where Heat-Pipe Direct Touch comes in to spice things up.HDT is the new buzzword going around thermal engineers and enthusiasts right now. The Red Scorpion S1283 has three heat pipes that follow the traditional path, U shaped, from fin to base and back to fin, but with a twist. Instead of putting a plate between the pipes and the CPU, the bottom plate has been removed. This eliminates a barrier for heat to pass through before being released by the passing air from the fan. Newegg lists the Red Scorpion S1283 as the HDT-RS1283 and lists the cost as 39.99. We are starting to get a good run going in this price range. ZEROtherm, Nexus, SilenX and several others have released products in this price range in the last couple of months, so the market is getting a little saturated. That said, many companies are looking to get a leg up on the competition and the products being offered are actually now competing with the performance of coolers costing twice the price. Aside from Newegg, I was able to find Xigmatek products available at many e-tail locations, but the retail side is still pretty slim. As the Xigmatek name grows, more retail outfits are sure to pick up the brand. But like everything else, time will tell the full story.

Packaging

The Package
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
Xigmatek chose to use a high color approach with the Red Scorpion package that stands out from their regular black box. On the front we see a reference to the HDT tech, but an explanation is absent. Other product features are also on the front of the package.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
JPEGS speak louder than words, or something like that. On the side we see a good example of HDT tech and a couple of other examples of the features.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
Full specifications are listed on the back.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
The all important compatibility list is located on the other side.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
With the inner package removed we see that Xigmatek has a good system for packaging their coolers. The fan is separated from the heatsink with hard closed cell foam between the two. Other accessories are stored in another separate area, making fin damage near impossible during shipping.

The Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283

The Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
Since I have both versions of the S1283 here, I can tell you that the Red Scorpion version is a little different than the standard black fan variant aside from the LED fan. The RS uses nickel covered heat pipes while the standard are just copper. The coating will keep the pipes free of oxidation and looking fresh for years to come.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
Here we get a little better look at the three heat pipes and the 25mm width of the cooler. Better cooling could be achieved with a thicker fin area but would require more pressure for the fan.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
Here we see the cooler with the fan installed.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
I really like the way Xigmatek mounts their fans to the heat sinks. The rubber attachment keeps the fan isolated from the fins and eliminates any vibration and extra noise.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
From the front with the fan installed we see that the cable Xigmatek uses is long enough to connect to any of the motherboards onboard fan headers and is the 4-pin PWM design.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
The money shot for the Red Scorpion; here we see the Heat Pipe Direct Touch surface. The surface is ground smooth to the touch, but as you can see, there are some machine marks visible.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
From the top we see that the heat pipes favour the fan side of the fins for a little extra cooling efficiency.

Accessories and Documentation

Accessories and Documentation
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
Xigmatek has done a good job with their accessories and you will not have to remove your motherboard from the case to install the cooler on both AMD and Intel systems. The funny looking spoon device is not for your ice cream but fits between the fins of the heat sink and directs air to the VRM area of the motherboard.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
The manual does a good job walking users through installation of the cooler with both text and images.

Testing Results

Test ResultsTweakTown uses a different method for testing CPU heatsinks which allows for an even playing field across all product tests. We feel that by using the same ambient temperature and strict lab-like testing procedures we are able to accurately compare one product to another. More information on our testing procedure can be found in the T.E.C.C. article here.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
This is the point where all of the talk is considered cheap and a products performance speaks for itself. This is the fight we wanted to see, a Xigmatek CPU cooler with a 120mm fan up against the best on the market. As you can see, the Red Scorpion is able to play in the big leagues, putting up better numbers than the Noctua NH-U12P.
Xigmatek Red Scorpion S1283 H.D.T. CPU Cooler
Cooling performance is one thing, but if your system puts out too much noise it can be difficult to enjoy spending time with your machine. Here the Red Scorpion performed very well; there are a couple of coolers that are a little quieter, but going down the list you will not see many.

Final Thoughts

Final ThoughtsAfter a short wait I finally got the fight I wanted; true apples to apples with Xigmatek's HDT technology in 120mm form up against the best the computer industry has to offer. The first question I had was if the thin, light weight cooler could really perform with the likes of Noctua and Arctic Cooling and that was easily proven true. The same goes for acoustics; H.D.T is able to perform well with low speed fans that produce little to no noise, even on full speed. Xigmatek has crossed a line that so many are starting to move their coolers into, the price line. At less than 40 Dollars the Red Scorpion is able to deliver high performance with high style at a price many can afford. For many years industry leading performance came with a price tag of 60, 70, 80 Dollars and sometimes without a fan. So kudos goes to Xigmatek for bringing performance products to the masses. If you are looking for even better cooling, Xigmatek just announced a new line of CPU coolers called Achillies and it features four heat pipes. I only mention it because when shopping around I ran into the product for sale already and I know how our enthusiast base likes to be kept up on the latest and greatest. Look for a review in the coming months here on TweakTown.
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Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.

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