With this review, we are left torn as to what to think about the Xtreme Gaming XTC700 from GIGABYTE. Initially, everything seemed promising. A cooler that is built like a tank, it comes with two fans, it has a fancy RGB LED backlit logo on the top, and the cover used is intriguing to look at too. The sides of the fins are closed off, GIGABYTE used huge heat pipes that are 10mm in diameter and delivering it with a USB 2.0 cable attached to it, and we knew we would have full access to customize the cooler to anything we wanted it to do within reason. With a 200W TDP, and everything we saw in this design with our own eyes and on paper, we thought it would stand a serious chance of being the best RGB CPU air cooler to get, and while the thermal performance was sufficient, that 's not really how things played out.
The problem, in our opinion, is an overcomplicated design. As it ships out of the box, we had no issues with the design or how tall the cooler was, but once it came time to mount the cooler, we found many things that are overly complicated when they do not need to be. All of the hardware is strong, and mounting the bracket to the base is not even much of an issue, however, when it came to seating the nuts and springs, we did run into complications. First is the fact that on many motherboards, using the supplied wrench will be a long and tedious procedure. Should you choose to use a screwdriver instead, you are left having to remove the fans, the shroud, and making sure to not pull on wiring too hard when trying to disconnect it from the cooler. Then, due to a lack of an offset design, even though this cooler is taller than most cases will allow anyways, we were not able to clear the RAM, and we do not consider the RAM we use to be tall in any way.
While thermal performance was decent, falling behind the LEPA NEOllusin and the MSI Core Frozr L leaves the XTC700 the least favorable option of the bunch if LED lighting on your CPU cooler is a selling point. Of course, for those that love a themed build, there is not a better GIGABYTE cooler to use with your GIGABYTE motherboard. The thing is, though, even if not the best performer on our charts, and with all the potential for high noise levels, the XTC700 is an attractive solution to opt for.
Since our list of issues outweighs the list of things we did like about the XTC700, this does not bode well at all for GIGABYTE and all the effort put into a cooler such as this. With price being another major factor that we are not allowed to know yet, this aspect could make or break the product right out of the gate too. Our initial guess was that this cooler would be found in the $80 to $100 range, and we are not backing down from that statement. Against other RGB LED air coolers, this level of cost just will not do.
While we do realize that the XTC700 does have a stranglehold on the market if you want the cooler to match the motherboard, competing with everything else on the list, we feel a $40 to $45 price is what it will take to compete. This is one time, in which branding and aesthetics superseded form and function. While we do like the look and build quality, when it comes to anyone not using a GIGABYTE motherboard, there are just too many better solutions out there to cool your CPU.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Overall TweakTown Rating||79%|
The Bottom Line: For our money, we would like more performance, less noise, an easier method of installation, and a cooler that does not put looks ahead of everything else. If we owned an orange and black GIGABYTE motherboard we may consider the XTC700, but otherwise we would likely pass.
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