Review: Seven heatpipes did the trick
Gelid Solutions recently launched its new gaming CPU cooler dubbed the GX-7, where 7 stands for the number of heatpipes. It’s usual for coolers to have only six heatpipes, but Gelid Solutions’s engineers found a way to put in seven in limited space. The heatsink and cooler base had to be redesigned for this purpose, and today we’ll see how Gelid Solutions did that.
The GX-7 looks interesting and while it may look good in gaming rigs, we know that performance is much more important. The specs claim the cooler supports all current CPUs and sockets. For a more detailed description, refer to the next page.
For starters, Gelid Solutions strapped its cooler with the very efficient Wing 12 PL fan. The fan comes with blue LEDs that change the intensity of lighting to reflect the rpm. The propeller can be taken out of the case, so cleaning it is easy.
Gelid Solutions backs the GX-7 with a three year warranty. Judging by the promised performance alone, the price of €45 sounds quite tasty, but we’ll know more soon.
We received Gelid Solutions’s GX-7 came in a nicely designed packaging that highlights its flagship features. Inside we found brackets for mounting two fans but the package holds only one fan. Note that the Wing 12 PL Blue Fan can be purchased separately as well.
The upcoming Intel Socket 2011 support is not included, but we’re sure Gelid Solutions will come up with a solution in the meantime.
Air Flow (CFM/CMH): 75.6 / 128.6
Bearing: Nanoflux Bearing
Cable Length (mm): 500
Current (A): 0.45
DC Voltage (V): 12
Fan Dimensions (mm) 120 (l) x 120 (w) x 25 (h)
Fan Speed (RPM): 600 - 1800
Heat Sink Dimensions (mm): 130(l) x 65 (w) x 159 (h)
LED Color: Blue
Life time MTTF at 40C (h): 100'000
Noise Level (dBA): 10 - 26.8
Number of LED: 4
Static Pressure (mmAq): 2.66
Warranty (years): 3
Weight (g): 720 (heatsink and fan)
Gelid Solutions’s GX-7 weighs in at 720 grams with the fan, and you can see that the heatsink is not very large. This means that the GX-7 will not fight other high-end CPU coolers with mass, but rather clever design and optimization. You’ll soon see that the new design is quite successful and that the GX-7 can take on some much bigger CPU coolers.
The heatsink is 159mm tall so you should check whether it will fit in your case. It is 130mm wide (without the fan) and 65mm deep. The design helps the heatpipes in the center of the heatsink cool better.
Gelid Solutions chose not to focus on every inch of free space in order to increase dissipation surface, but rather employed clever design to direct the airflow towards the heatpipes, which in turn transfer and dissipate heat coming from the CPU. Thanks to the design, Gelid Solutions also managed to decrease the GX-7’s weight and save on materials as well, which reflected on pricing.
The GX-7’s base is split in two levels, which helped the company pull off the seven heatpipe trick. If all seven heatpipes were level, their width would exceed the cooler base width, i.e. the width of the cooled CPU. That is why Gelid Solutions moved two heatpipes onto the second level of the cooler base, as you can see from the picture below.
Gelid Solutions left air circulation holes in an attempt to prevent heat from building up in the center of the heatsink.
The fan (Wing 12 PL Blue Fan, PWM, 10 – 26.8 dBA, 0.45A, gewicht 120g) does not come pre-mounted, but it’s not hard to do with the provided brackets. Note that you’ll get four brackets, which means that the GX-7 will take two fans. The Wing 12 PL spins from 600-1800 rpm. It’s clear that the fan is capable of silent operation but maximum rpm will quickly “remedy” that.
Gelid Solutions extended the heatsink edges by about 1mm and effectively made fan holders. This is a great method to prevent the fans from moving and it helped us during mounting as well.
The only thing that seems of lesser quality is the blue sticker on the plastic part of the heatsink, which started peeling off.
Mounting the GX-7 on Intel and AMD CPU will first require you to screw in mounting clips on the cooler base. The clips have several holes that you’ll use depending on your socket of choice. The mounting procedure is shot and nicely covered in the user manual.
Quite unexpectedly, setting up the four insulating spacers on the mounting holes around the socket took us longer than anything else. According to Gelid Solutions’s manual, the spacers should be put first. The next step is to set up the backplate on the back of the motherboard and put in screws. However, unless the spacers are 100% centered on the holes, you may run into minor trouble. Namely, we managed to send the spacer flying under the heatsink, and we could not take it out until we removed the entire motherboard. Long story short, you can put the spacers in afterwards.
There are three holes on each corner of the backplate, the use of which depends on your socket of choice.
Unfortunately, the holes in one of the corners were not cut out properly so our screw moved. This is not that important as the screw head cannot fall through the hole, but we’d still rather have it work as specified. We think that Gelid Solutions should perfect its mounting methods for Intel sockets in the future.
We used Gelid Solutions’s GX-7 mounted on EVGA’s FTW3 motherboard in Corsair Obsidian 800D case (with three 900rpm fans) at 22°C room temperature. We measured temperatures at Core i7 930’s reference clock (2.9GHz) and after overclocking it to 3.6GHz. In our tables, we used average temperatures of all four cores. We used GC-Extreme thermal paste for all our testing.
We first tested with the one provided Wing 12 PL Blue Fan (PWM, 10 – 26.8 dBA, 0.45A, 600 - 1800 rpm), and then repeated the test with two Wing 12 PL Blue Fans.
The results show that Gelid Solutions did a great job and its GX-7 can easily be classified as a high end cooler.
Gelid Solutions was founded in 2008 and this relatively new company still focuses on cooling solutions. So far, we had a chance to test several Gelid Solutions’s CPU coolers but the GX-7 exceeded all our expectations. The GX-7 climbed to the top of the table, proving that the innovative seven heatpipe design was right on the money.
The GX-7’s heatsink seems a bit futuristic but it’s designed in a way to allow for unobstructed airflow around the heatpipes. Good news is that the GX-7 comes with the very efficient Wing 12 PL fan with four blue LEDs that glow more at higher rpm. The Wing 12 PL spins between 600 and 1800rpm, meaning that it can be very quiet as well as loud depending on the aforementioned rpm.
The results clearly show that Gelid Solutions did a great job and the GX-7 can proudly sit among its high-end competitors. The GX-7 is available at €45 here.