The Xigmatek HDT-S1283 CPU Cooler

Xigmatek HDT-S1283

Today we look at the HDT-S1283 cooler from Xigmatek. The HDT-S1283 is a direct touch cooler, meaning the heatpipes are in direct contact with the CPU. The HDT-S1283 was brought to our attention when our forum members compared it to the OCZ Vendetta HDT cooler we reviewed a while back. Well, thanks to the folks at Crazy PC for providing us with one, we can get a look at the HDT-S1283. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves let's take a look at the features and specifications.



  • Thermal Resistance: 0.16*C/W
  • Application
  • Packaging

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Box

    The HDT-S1283 comes in a simple box with a window showing the fan. The box art shows images of the cooler base and cooler fins. The back has the cooler specifications and features.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Packing

    With everything out of the box we can see the cooler is well protected in high density foam. The cooler includes 120mm fan, rubber fan mounts, small packet of TIM, and all mounting hardware required for AMD and Intel sockets.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Mounting Hardware

    In the hardware bag we have AMD and stock Intel style retention clips. This will be nice for those that want to change their cooler but do not want to take the system apart to do it. Xigmatek also includes a molex to 3 pin adaptor for those that don’t want the PWM control and want the cooler running 100% of the time. The interesting thing that comes with the cooler is the spoiler. The spoiler, as we will see later, will help to direct air towards the motherboard components around the socket.

    A Closer Look

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Front Profile

    Looking at the front profile of the HDT-S1283, it looks like any other tower cooler with U-shaped heatpipes.

    Looking a the top of the Xigmatek HDT-S1283

    Look at it from the top and that is where the differences start popping up. The front of the cooler has a large concave profile to it, and the back of the cooler has a smaller curve to the center as well as a groove cut into it running from top to bottom.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Spoiler mount point

    These grooves create a finger, and each one of these fingers has a dimple on it. This is for mounting the cooler's spoiler.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Side profile

    Looking from the side we can see the fins of the HDT-S1283; there's nothing earth-shattering here so on we go...

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283 top of the cooler base

    Here we have the top of the base. The groves in the base are for the AMD retention latch. This is something that the AMD guys will want to take note of and look at their motherboards. If the latch runs top to bottom on your board so will this cooler. In the process it will put the cooling fins very close if not over the first RAM slot. With the first fin on the cooler being very low you may have a clearance issue if your RAM is over 1-3/16 inches (30mm) tall.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Bottom of the HDT Base

    Looking at the bottom of the cooler we can see the heatpipes are shipped with a protective film. The finish on the base is far from spectacular, but that is the beauty of the HDT technology: it doesn’t need to be. The HDT base allows for the coolant in the pipes to reach its boiling point faster, thus wicking the heat away faster. This results in a lighter cooler because less mass is required for the base. The downside is the cooler is limited to this number of pipes due to the size needed to get the flat spot and the physical size of a CPU, anything over 3 pipes is not touching the CPU.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Fan mount slots

    You most likely noticed the rounded slot down the sides of the cooler. These are for the fan mounting. The fan mounts with rubber isolators that pop into the slot and slide over one of the fins.

    Installing the HDT-S1283

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283

    I will be testing the HDT-S1283 on our Intel Core2 Quad system. Setting up the cooler for the Intel Socket was easy and very straight forward. Coolers using an HDT base will require you to unlearn some ingrained steps of applying thermal paste. With HDT coolers you have to put small lines of TIM on each of the pipes, if you just apply it to the center (cooler or CPU) the TIM will not spread; it will get sucked into the groves between the pipe and aluminum base. So treat it like 3 separate bases and put small amounts on each pipe.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283

    Now for the spoiler (this is a first for me): the instruction sheet illustration shows the fin being installed around the 5th or 6th fin from the bottom. All you have to do is insert the spoiler so the grooves and fingers all interlock. If you install this and decide you don’t like it or want to move it, the spoiler is easily removed with some light pressure.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283

    Installing the cooler assembly in the Intel configuration could be annoying for those with small cases. With the cooler using the stock push pin configuration the fan blocks two of the pins when installed. So you have to install the cooler, then install the fan, and reverse when removing it. This wasn’t a major issue with me as I have a removable tray, and on a tight case I’d recommend removing the motherboard from the case and save yourself from a headache.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283

    Here we have the cooler installed on our test system. Overall the fit looks good, except in one small area.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283

    On our Intel 975XBX2 motherboard the cooler just barely cleared the chipset cooler. So if you have a large chipset cooler you’re going to want to do a little measuring. If you have anything higher then 1.18” (30mm) tall or roughly the height of a standard stick of ram, you’re going to want to check the distance from the socket.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283

    The HDT-S1283 cleared all the other board components. Here is an image showing the backside of the cooler with the spoiler installed. We can see how the spoiler will direct air flow down to the motherboard. Now as how to tell if it's doing any good? I'm not sure, but it looks cool... well, different.

    The Test System

    LR Test Sytem

    To test the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 cooler we ran it on our Intel Core 2 Quad test platform, which was then run at default and overclocked settings. As a baseline all coolers will be compared to the stock Intel cooler; we will also compare it to the other recently tested air coolers. All the temperatures were obtained by using Core Temp 0.95 after sitting at idle for 30 minutes and then again under 100% load for 30 minutes. To obtain 100% load, I ran four instances of Super Pi 32m calculation with the affinity of each set to a different core. I used two profiles to test all of the coolers and they are listed below. The room temperature was kept a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22c) for all benchmarking. All of the coolers were tested with Arctic Silver Lumiere as the thermal interface material.

    The rest of the system is as follows:

    Profile 1: The Normal User (No Overclocking)

    Profile 2: The Average Enthusiast (Mild Overclocking)

    Results and Conclusion

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Stock Intel Q6600 Temp Chart

    With the test system running at stock settings the HDT-S1283 idled at 33C, 1.75C warmer than our performance leader the Noctua NH-U12P and full 12C cooler than the stock Intel HSF. Under full load the HDT-S1283 ran at 47.5C average, 2.5C warmer than the NH-U12P and 19C cooler than stock. For a cooler and fan that weighs as much as the NH-U12P does without its fan, the HDT-S1283 did rather well against the performance leader.

    Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Overclocked Intel Q6600 Temp Chart

    Cranking up the heat with the system overclocked to 3.0Ghz we see the HDT-S1283 move up in the ranks. Running at 48.5C it is only 0.75C warmer than our current price/performance leader the ZEROtherm Zen, and the HDT-S1283 is on average $10 cheaper than the Zen. The HDT-S1283 is 3.75C warmer than the current performance king the NH-U12P, but in thinking of our wallet, the HDT-S1283 is almost half the price.


    The HDT-S1283 from Ximatek may not have a name that rolls off the tongue with ease, but it is light, easy to install, easy on the wallet, and it has a spoiler; that has to at least add 1 or 2 horsepower. Aside from the possible clearance issue with some large chipset coolers I didn’t find anything that I didn’t really like about the HDT-S1283; well, ok, one: the name.

    With an average street price of $36+shipping the HDT-S1283 is $10 cheaper than our current value award winner the Zen, and a whopping $30 cheaper than our performance leader the NH-U12P. With gas the way it is that’s almost a half tank for me, bang for buck, that’s what it comes to when you’re squeezing a dime so hard its screaming.

    I want to thank for the review sample of the Xigmatek HDT-S1283. We have had several forum members mention the cooler and temps on their systems in comparison to other coolers we have reviewed here at LR. Now with CrazyPC's help we have one and the temps for all to compare.

    Legit Bottom Line: If you’re in the market for a cooler to replace the stock HSF, then the HDT-S1283 is right for you. It is easy to install and most importantly easy on the wallet!