While I may still think this is a rehash with a cool coasting applied and introduced under a name that is a bit misleading, in the end I really think the cooler has won me over.
I mean if I started reviewing coolers this year, hadn't already seen the Balder and wasn't into the large coolers that other manufacturers are offering, this sleek looking cooler does hang with the competition well for the size of it and with more money left in your pocket if you went with this latest submission from Xigmatek. From beginning to end, I was really left only grasping straws that I had already seen this design, from Xigmatek and under a different name. Essentially at this point if the word Balder had been used I would have nothing to complain about at all.
In more specific terms, the mounting was relatively easy to use and with the thin build of the Night Hawk Edition of the Dark Knight, using the supplied wrench to secure the cooler was easy to do. The rest of the install was basically thumbscrews and some rubber fan mounts that work as intended with no issues to speak of either.
As for the performance and sound levels, well it kept up with the much better appointed CM TPC812 with less surface area, due to the flat black ceramic coating. As for the noise levels, well they are better than any Xigmatek cooler I have tested in the past and the noise levels didn't get out of hand while accomplishing this. There is also the huge benefit that this Xigmatek cooler doesn't cause much of an issue with your memory and that is an issue with most others on these charts.
The one thing that will get most buyer attention is the relatively low cost of the Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition cooler. Most of the coolers tested along with this Xigmatek are in the $80-100 price range and on an even plain is the Cooler Master. Tying the results of the TPC 812 is something that sort of made me think something was wrong, but multiple runs, even a retest of the CM cooler showed me these results are spot on. Considering you can get this cooler delivered to your door for around $54 dollars, I can't see many buyers passing up this option in tower cooling.
It has the looks, the price and the performance to make it well worth your attention, even if it isn't exactly and entirely "new", Xigmatek is onto something with this design and ceramic coating combination.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Availability and Pricing]
- Page 3 [Packaging]
- Page 4 [Xigmatek Dark Knight SD1283 Night Hawk Edition CPU cooler]
- Page 5 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 6 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 7 [Test System and Thermal Results]
- Page 8 [Noise Level Results]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]