Xigmatek Loki II Review

Manufacturer: Xigmatek
UK price (as reviewed):
£16.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): N/A

While massively overclocked CPUs or those that occupy the top-end of the ethusiast market such as Intel's recent Haswell-E range need hefty cooling solutions, there's simply no need for masses of cooling headroom when it comes to AMD and Intel's low power parts. In fact, even Intel's mid-range LGA1150 CPUs have TDPs that are well within range of small coolers, such as Xigmatek's Loki II that we're looking at today.

It's rated at 130W in terms of cooling capaicity, and with Intel's Core i5-4690K, for example, having a TDP of 88W, there's clearly score here for saving a fair amount of cash by avoiding pricier all-in-one liquid coolers and hefty tower coolers. There are other reasons to consider the Loki II as well though.

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It's extremely compact, measuring only 92mm across and also just 134mm high although this still isn't low enough to sit some in cases that have restrictive CPU cooler height limitations that we've seen recently such as Lian Li's PC-V360 and In-Win's 901. However, there are plenty of good cases that sit between your average 160mm-tall cooler and low profile coolers, such as Fractal Design's Node 804 This also means it's highly unlikely to have any issues with RAM or compact mini-ITX motherboards, especially as the heatsink rises a good 36mm above the CPU.

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The thermal rating of 130W is ample for most tasks, but Xigmatek has rightly scrubbed LGA2011 from its compatibility list. Likewise, we'd advise against using it with AMD CPUs with TDPs above this too, such as its top end FX-9590. The Loki II is also compatible with AMD socket FM1/FM2 and all the standard desktop sockets back to AM2, as well as Intel's offerings from LGA775 upwards, including LGA1366.

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The heatsink is surprisingly well-made given the Loki II's extremely low asking price. The aluminium heatsink has a fairly dense array of fins and uses three 6mm heat pipes that make direct contact with the CPU heatspreader. The base isn't machined particularly well, though, and there are some sizeable gaps at the edges that probably can't be filled with thermal paste either, and the gaps between the heat pipes themselves is over 5mm so a fair amount of the CPU heatspreader is going to be dumping its heat into the mounting plate and not directly into the heat pipes.

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The compact size also means that a 120mm fan is out of the question and Xigmatek has opted for a 92mm model instead; one that spins up to 2,000-2,800rpm with a rated noise level of between 20-28dBA in PWM mode. If you're thinking of tuning down the fan with a fan controller, it's worth noting that the fan needs 7V to start up.

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Half the coolers at this price use push-pins for mounting but Xigmatek is in the other camp and uses a fully-fledged mounting mechanism. This consists of a backplate, four standoffs and thumbscrews. It sounds simple enough but it's a bit fiddly to fit, especially if the fan is installed and the motherboard is in the case already. The fan clips aren't the easiest things to deal with either and come pretty close to the fan blades once they're mounted. However, it's far from the worst cooler to mount we've seen and shouldn't occupy more than 15 minutes of your time.

Specifications

  • Compatibility Intel: LGA775, LGA1366, LGA115x, AMD: AM3(+), AM2(+), FM2(+), FM1
  • Size (with fans)(mm) 92 x 50 x 134
  • Fan size (mm) 1 x 92 x 92 x 25 (W x D x H)
  • Fan(s) 1 x 92mm (included), 1,200/2,800rpm
  • Stated Noise20-28dBA
  • Extras None

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