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Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition Review

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok, so this is my first review on OCN, so i'll try to make it a good one biggrin.gif.

I will be reviewing Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition (i'll call it the DKII), I'll compare the DKII to my Hyper 212+ and to a stock Intel fan, i will use 2 rigs to test it, mine (in sig) and my Moms (bought it for her on cybermonday, she was using a comp from 2006, yeah, i know, my fault, but she didn't want to change it)

Official Specs and product info from Xigmatek site:

Dark Knight SD1283 - Night Hawk Edition
Product Number CAC-SXHH3-U13
Dimension 120(W) x 50(D) x 159(H) mm
Heat Sink Base Material H.D.T. (Heat-pipes Direct Touch)
Fin Material Aluminum Alloy
Surface Material Ceramic Surface Coating
Heat-pipe SPEC Φ8mm
Q´ty 3pcs.
Fan Dimension 120(W) x 120(H) x 25(D) mm
Voltage Rating 12V
Starting Voltage ≥7V
Speed 1000~2200 R.P.M.
Bearing Type FCB Fluid Circulative Bearing
Air Flow 89.45 CFM (Max.)
Air Pressure 4.1 mmH2O (Max.)
Life Expectance 50,000 hrs
Noise Level 30.1dBA (Max.)
LED Color White
4 pin with PWM 1 pcs.
Weight 406g (Heat Sink Only)
Thermal Resistance 0.14°C/W

Some pictures, again from the official Xigmatek site, they pretty thumb.gif

Top of the cooler




Dark Knight Night Hawk with the smokey black fan:




The led in this picture look blueish/purpleish but they are white:



Exposed heatpipes:





Rubber screws (i hate this things rolleyes.gif)




Installation bracket/bolts/metal (so easy to install) thingies biggrin.gif:




Another sexy picture:




Packaging:







First of all, love the all black look and it's so light compared to my Hyper 212+.
It came with one fan, PWM, 120mm, all black, 4 white led's, the fan is kind of loud at full speed though.


Installation

I first installed the fan on the DKII... attaching the rubber screws to the HSF was pretty easy, the problem was installing it to
the fan, i thought i was gonna tear the rubber screw i was pulling on it so much.

Installing the DKII was pretty straight forward... plastic backplate goes in the back of the mobo and you attach thumb screws
from the cpu side, then attach the metal plates to the screws holding them with thumbnuts. We then put the DKII on the cpu and attach
a metal bar (it goes on top of the base where the heatpipes are) that will hold in place and we are done. For the tim i used Xigmatek Freezing Point G4718, i put 3 lines of Freezing Point on the DKII itself (on the expose heatpipes) i read from a couple of places that it was the best method of doing it. Hyper 212+ i just used the tim that came with it.



Temps

My sig rig (2500k+Hyper 212+ 2 1600 rpm fans push/pull)

So my 2500k (stock) temps with CM Hyper 212+ are 28c-36c idle and at full load (playing Skyrim for like 3 hours, ultra settings and a bunch of mods) is 55c-57c. I will use the fans (2 Aerocool sharks, 1600rpm, push/pull) i was using with my Hyper 212+ because i have 2 of them and i only got 1 Xigmatek fan. I've been using my pc with the DKII for 1 week (pc is on 24/7), just to let the tim set in, i must say i love this thing!!, idle temps with Hyper 212+ were 28c-36c, with DKII they dropped to 26c-32c.

Full load temps with Hyper 212+ 55c (Skyrim 3 hours), DKII 50c, that's a 5c drop, not bad at all. I did not change any fans in my case or raised/lowered the rpm on any of them, everything was exactly the same as it was when i had the Hyper 212+ installed.



My Mom's rig

Intel Core i3-3220
Kingston HyperX 8GB
Corsair Carbide Series 400R
ASUS P8H61-M LE CSM
SSD OCZ Agility 4 256GB + WD 7200 320GB
ATI 5670
Corsair CX430 v2
Windows 7 64


So straight to the point... My Mom uses her comp to play LOTS of hidden object games and them Facebook games (everything else is email, recipe searching and just general surfing),
so i'm thinking this games won't make the cpu go too hot or anything, temps should be fine... Hidden object game temps 66c-67c!!, them Facebook games 61c-63c, so it must be the sucky stock fan from Intel (hopefully). I go through the whole process of installing the DKII all over again, but this time i will use the fan that came with it. So i let my Mom use the pc for a week...


Temps

Idle temps with stock intel fan 40c-44c, DKII temps 31c-34c, on load 66c-67c Hidden object games stock Intel hsf, DKII 48c-51c. Facebook games 61c-63c stock hsf, DKII 45C-49C.
Not a big shock here, i mean stock Intel hsf sucks bad, we all knew that. Again the fan that came with the DKII is pretty loud at full blast, 2000rpm-2100rpm, looks nice with the 4 white led though, so i dropped the rpm to 1500-1600, temps went up like 3c and i can barely hear it at all. I'm guessing i gave a couple more years to the i3-3220 by lowering the temps so much thumb.gif.


Pros:

Looks cool
"Ceramic Coating" really works
Quite easy to install
5c difference from Hyper 212+
Love them white led in the fan

Cons:

Hate them rubber screws
Took me more time to install the fan with the rubber screws than the DKII rolleyes.gif
Fan is loud at full speed (easily fix with a fan controller)



Final thoughts

So what can i say about the Dark Kinght II, is an excellent HSF, it dropped my cpu temps by 5c which is pretty substantial in my book, against the Intel stock fan it wasn't a fair fight biggrin.gif. The whole "ceramic coating" thing really works and i'm guessing with better fans it will be even better, of course i did use a different tim than the one that i had on my Hyper 212+, so that probably did the trick too. So if i had to give it a score from 1 to 10, i would give the Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition II a solid 9 (fan is not so bad if you just lower the rpm a bit). Right now is going for $51.99 on Newegg.

I will leave the DKII on my Mom's pc and i will go back to my Hyper 212+, why you may ask?, is quite simple, her system needs it more than mine and i love that woman wubsmiley.gifbiggrin.gifthumb.gifwheee.gif.

So i hope you all enjoyed my little review, sorry for the no pictures, but i lost my camera and i refuse to take pictures with my cellphone. Any suggestions/questions/opinions are welcome yessir.gif.

(Some photos up from Xigmatek site, Pros and Cons)
Edited by mikeyzelda - 1/25/13 at 2:25pm
post #2 of 9
Sorry dude but I don't think your going to get any response without posting photos, even a few photo grabs off the net, you don't need a camera for that.
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CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Bitspower Dual pump Top  2 X Alphacool UT60 480 Radiators  1 X Alphacool XT45 240 Radiator  Phobya Balancer 250 Black Nickel  
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post #3 of 9
Thanks for the review, I won one of these here on OCN and I hope I can get around the same improvement going from 212+ -> DKII.

+rep smile.gif
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheezo View Post

Thanks for the review, I won one of these here on OCN and I hope I can get around the same improvement going from 212+ -> DKII.

+rep smile.gif

You will love it, is quite an amazing HSF.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyzelda View Post

Pros:

Looks cool
"Ceramic Coating" really works
Quite easy to install
5c difference from Hyper 212+
Love them white led in the fan

Cons:

Hate them rubber screws
Took me more time to install the fan with the rubber screws than the DKII rolleyes.gif
Fan is loud at full speed (easily fix with a fan controller)



Final thoughts

So what can i say about the Dark Kinght II, is an excellent HSF, it dropped my cpu temps by 5c which is pretty substantial in my book, against the Intel stock fan it wasn't a fair fight biggrin.gif. The whole "ceramic coating" thing really works and i'm guessing with better fans it will be even better, of course i did use a different tim than the one that i had on my Hyper 212+, so that probably did the trick too. So if i had to give it a score from 1 to 10, i would give the Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition II a solid 9 (fan is not so bad if you just lower the rpm a bit). Right now is going for $51.99 on Newegg.

I will leave the DKII on my Mom's pc and i will go back to my Hyper 212+, why you may ask?, is quite simple, her system needs it more than mine and i love that woman

How did you determine the ceramic coating really works?

Only ask as I see you tested the Night Hawk Edition but nothing in your review about actually testing the standard Dark Knight S1283.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyll View Post

How did you determine the ceramic coating really works?

Only ask as I see you tested the Night Hawk Edition but nothing in your review about actually testing the standard Dark Knight S1283.

I didn't test the original Dark Knight, i compared the Hawk Edition which only has 3 heat pipes, to the 4 pipes that my Hyper 212+ has, so 1 less heat pipe and it actually dropped my temps 5c, so IMO yeah, the ceramic coating works. Wish i could have tested the original Dark Knight against the Hawk Edition and make it a fair comparison and such but that is not gonna happen, i'm not a professional reviewer here, i'm just a guy who wanted to let others know how good this HSF is compared to the Hyper 212+.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyzelda View Post

I didn't test the original Dark Knight, i compared the Hawk Edition which only has 3 heat pipes, to the 4 pipes that my Hyper 212+ has, so 1 less heat pipe and it actually dropped my temps 5c, so IMO yeah, the ceramic coating works. Wish i could have tested the original Dark Knight against the Hawk Edition and make it a fair comparison and such but that is not gonna happen, i'm not a professional reviewer here, i'm just a guy who wanted to let others know how good this HSF is compared to the Hyper 212+.
The Dark Knight is a much better cooler than the Hyper 212+. That's why it cools so much better. The ceramic coating on the Dark Knight Knight Hawk Edition looks very nice but honestly does not make it cool better.. or if it does cooler better it's not enough for you to be able to tell even running both on the same system.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by doyll View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyzelda View Post

I didn't test the original Dark Knight, i compared the Hawk Edition which only has 3 heat pipes, to the 4 pipes that my Hyper 212+ has, so 1 less heat pipe and it actually dropped my temps 5c, so IMO yeah, the ceramic coating works. Wish i could have tested the original Dark Knight against the Hawk Edition and make it a fair comparison and such but that is not gonna happen, i'm not a professional reviewer here, i'm just a guy who wanted to let others know how good this HSF is compared to the Hyper 212+.
The Dark Knight is a much better cooler than the Hyper 212+. That's why it cools so much better. The ceramic coating on the Dark Knight Knight Hawk Edition looks very nice but honestly does not make it cool better.. or if it does cooler better it's not enough for you to be able to tell even running both on the same system.
the original hdt s1283 smokes the hyper 212.
post #9 of 9
Both the old Dark Knight and new Dark Knight Night Hawk perform pretty much the same.. both smoke the 212. thumb.gif
Edited by doyll - 3/28/13 at 11:32am
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