Xigmatek Dark Knight

As with Silverstone, we have limited hands-on experience with Xigmatek coolers -- or any other products from the company for that matter -- but we didn't hesitate to include what is one of the more unique looking solutions we received.

Called the "Dark Knight," Xigmatek's entry has a typical heatpipe/tower design, but it strays from the norm by covering its copper and aluminum parts with a black nickel coating. The only exposed area is the base, which features heat-pipe direct contact (HDC) technology (you'll get it when you see the pictures).

The three 8mm heatpipes are exposed at the base to provide maximum thermal condition from top to bottom. The cooler measures 159H x 120W x 50D mm and weighs 483g without a fan.

The 120mm fan features what Xigmatek calls "long life bearings" and is designed to operate between 1000 and 2200 RPM. At full speed, the fan can move 89.45 CFM of air and generates 30.1dBA of noise. The fan itself is transparent, though a very dark tint creates a neat effect when the four white LED lights are on.

Xigmatek used anti-vibration rubber pieces between the 120mm fan and heatsink to reduce noise -- the same method you'll find on Silverstone's Argon coolers, except that implementation was considerably better than Xigmatek's as it allowed for quick and easy fan installation/removal with the heatsink inside the case.

Installing or removing the 120mm fan was difficult if the Dark Knight was already installed inside the case. The rubber connectors needed to be stretched quite far and the ones on the bottom were particularly challenging.

That shouldn't be a major issue if you don't plan to remove/reinstall it much and it's somewhat easy to forgive with the Dark Knight's unique aesthetics and reasonable price ($50).