Coolers Guide

Xigmatek BattleAxe VGA Cooler VD964 review

Xigmatek BattleAxe VGA Cooler VD964

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Double Axes

Double Axes

With twin-bladed action, the BattleAxe chops both ways and supports both ATI and NVIDIA cards, though you'll benefit more from the newer ATI cards than the NVIDIA ones. This is because the BattleAxe supports ATI's newer HD4850 and HD4870 cards while NVIDIA support only goes up to the GeForce 9800GTX and Quadro cards (but not those based on the GTX 200 core).

Moving on, the first thing you'll notice about the BattleAxe is its size. Like the weapon it's named after, the unit is massive - covering almost the entire length of our test MSI NX8800GTS graphics card and taking up another two adjacent expansion slots for a grand total of three (when you factor in the video card). The large footprint isn't that much of a drawback if you have ample chassis and expansion space. Besides, the BattleAxe's heatsink exudes a solid and rugged feel and the dual-fans taking yet another slot do help with cooling the unit.

So what is Xigmatek's claim to fame, you ask. What's the radical design change and feature that makes their cooler stand out when compared to other third-party solutions? The reason's pretty simple - it's their Heatpipe Direct Touch (HDT) technology.

Normally, coolers tend to work with the heatpipes connected to the heatsink plate and relying on the heatsink plate to transfer the heat to the heatpipes which would then transfer the heat to the radiator fins to be dissipated by the fan. Probably figuring that they could have done things better instead, Xigmatek took a slightly different approach and made the heatpipes part of the heatsink plate instead. It's certainly an interesting take, as Xigmatek has to get certain things correct, such as making doubly sure the heatpipes are flushed with the plate.