GELID Silent Spirit CPU Cooler Review

Introduction

From the first reviews we conducted on GELID Solution’s products, we discovered that they use very innovative, cutting-edge technology in order to create top quality products. Their pursuit in creating such great technology is very inspiring and today we have, to date, their only CPU Cooler on the market. That said it has already received high accolades due to the impressive nature of the product and its design. Let’s have a look…

Company Information – GELID Solutions

GELID Solutions Ltd. is a Hong Kong based company with Swiss Management and founded in 2008 by Gebhard SCHERRER and VC TRAN. Both have worked in the PC Cooling industry for a number of years and successfully built up an IT company with their expertise.

GELID designs and manufactures thermal solutions, CPU coolers, fans, and other computer hardware for both gamers and silent enthusiasts. We provide computer hardware distributors, retailers and system integrators with innovative, virtually silent, high- performance and top quality thermal solutions.

Features

  • Quad Sintered Heatpipes
  • Unique Fin Architecture
  • Special Heatsink Angle Design
  • Optimized Air Flow Concept
  • Intelligent PWM Fan Control Curve
  • Anti-Vibration Fan Mounts

Specifications

Included:Pre-applied GC-1 high performance thermal compound
Air Flow (CFM):45.8 max
Bearing:Hydro Dynamic Bearing
Cable Length (mm):250
Cooling Performance (C/W):0.17
Current (A):0.23
Dimensions of Cooler (mm):108 (l) x 100.5 (w) x 125 (h)
Dimensions of Fan (mm):100.5 (l) x 100.5 (w) x 45 (h)
Dimensions of Heatsink (mm):108 (l) x 97 (w) x 88.5 (h)
Fan Speed (RPM):900 – 2400
Life time MTTF at 40C (h):50′000
Noise Level (dBA):10 – 25.8
Voltage (V):12
Warranty (years):5
Weight (g):370

Contents & Packaging

The packaging for the Silent Spirit consists of a sleek white box with a triangular cut out on the front. Through this the heatsink can be viewed with a few greys wisps around the outside. Asides from the GELID Solutions logo and the product name, the front is quite simple.

The reverse sees the full lists of features and specifications along with a 5 year warranty badge.

One side displays the unique air flow concept of the cooler with all the compatibility sockets listed above. The other has little images displaying the main features with GELID’s “Intelligent PWM Fan Curve” below.

In terms of accessories there aren’t really many due to the push-pin installation method but there are a couple:

  • AMD Clips
  • GELID Sticker
  • Manual

The Product – GELID Silent Spirit

The Silent Spirit is by no means a normal tower-format or top-down cooler; instead the heatsink is angled with the heatpipes bending around the front. Atop this angled heatsink sits a 92mm silent fan. This makes the cooler very compact so that clearance issues shouldn’t prove a problem.

The concept of having an angled heatsink and fan combination, according to GELID, has many advantages. Firstly, it is supposed to maximise the utilization of air which in turn cools the heatsink.

The shape also has a use for the airflow concept whereby cool air is sucked in from the top by the 92mm fan, drawn down through the heatsink to cool it and then feed out of the bottom where, if you have a back-mounted extraction fan, the hot air is sucked from the case. This then ensures that hot air is not drawn back in by the fan which doesn’t aid heat dissipation.

The four heat pipes are bend around back into the heatsink and spread out well so as to evenly distribute the heat throughout the whole heatsink in order to maximise heat loss. The pipes themselves are very shiny and look quite attractive especially with the rounded ends.

From the back, it is evident that the numerous aluminium fins are dimpled. The purpose of this is to break up laminar airflow so that the air cools the heatsink much more effectively. However, I can’t really see that this will have much on an impact with the air speeds not being particularly high. That said, it does show innovative and willingness to try new things which is a good thing indeed.

Above the base, there is another much smaller heatsink that offers cooling potential directly above the contact area with the CPU which with this design would otherwise not be cooled.

A layer of pre-applied GELID GC1 thermal compound lines the bottom of the base which is nice to see as it means that at least for the first installation, paste doesn’t have to be applied. However, there isn’t any other paste included with the Silent Spirit and therefore if you remove the cooler at any point, you will have to purchase some separately in order to re-install it.

The base without the pre-applied layer of thermal grease is very smooth and shiny copper in order to transfer maximum heat to the heatsink. The finish on the base is often a good indicator to the quality of a product and for the Silent Spirit it’s certainly impressive.

The white top-mounted 92mm fan is a seven blade design that according to GELID, the blades have been constructed to exactly the right size so as to leave the correct distance to the edges in order to reduce turbulence which causes noise output whilst still maintaining a large blade in order to achieve high airflows.

The fan is attached to the heatsink by four rubber anti-vibration mounts which stop any vibrations being transferred to the heatsink which in turn can cause them to be amplified – clearly a lot of effort has been put into making this cooler live up to its name of ‘silent’.

The whole fan unit can be removed by unclipping the sides which hook onto the heatsink. This reveals another feature of the Silent Spirit – unique fan architecture. Effectively, the fins are different lengths in the repeated formation of two higher following by three lower fins. This is done to ensure that the air is evenly distributed to all the fins.

Finally, the Silent Spirit uses a PWM connector which follows GELID’s intelligent PWM curve as opposed to a linear fan speed. At low temperatures, the fan speeds will be much lower so as to reduce noise outputs when not as much cooling is needed. However, as temperature increases, the fan speed too is accelerated much more quickly in order to pump out a higher airflow. This is much better as you get more appropriate cooling depending on the temperature.

Installation

The Test Setup:

ProcessorIntel C2Q Q9450 Quad Core @ 2.80GHz
MotherboardGigabyte S-Series GA-73PVM-S2H
Graphics CardXFX 8600GT
MemoryCorsair XMS2 PC6400 (2x 1GB)
Hard DriveHitachi HDT7250 (250GB)
Power SupplyNOX Apex 700W
OSWindows XP Pro 32bit

Due to the push pin clips, for my LGA775 Socket, the installation process takes very little time. All that needs to be done is push the pins into the holes ensuring the cooler has the correct orientation and then plug in the PWM connector – very simple.

The push pin clips are attached by a couple of screws but need to be taken off if you are using an AMD motherboard and replaced with the other set of clips.

In terms of compatibility, additional LGA1366 mounting clips can be purchased to make this cooler compatible with i7 technology.

Testing

Methodology

At Verdis Reviews, we test CPU coolers by booting the PC up into Windows XP and then taking temperatures in both idle and load states.

The temperatures are taking using Speedfan using the PC’s own diode. For idle testing, we simply leave the PC for 30 minutes and then come back and take the temperature readings. For load, we both two processes of CPU Burn-in and then again leave the computer for 30 minutes before taking a representative reading.

All temperatures are the average of three readings all take 10 seconds apart so as to give the most reliable results.

A range of different thermal compounds along with different fan speeds and cooler orientations are also tested to see what gives the greatest performance.

Finally, noise is that final factor that is tested; however, at Verdis Reviews, we are not yet at the stage where we can use high tech sound equipment and therefore, noise testing is left to the human ear – not the most scientific but it gives a good impression of how noisy the cooler is.

All testing was done with the CPU overclocked slightly to 2.8GHz and the Stock Intel cooler and Scythe Kama Angle were used for comparison purposes.

Ambient temperature was 20 degrees.

Results

Cooling

Evidently, the GELID Silent Spirit easily outperforms the stock Intel cooler by as much as 9 degrees at load state. However, despite being beaten by the Scythe Kama Angle, the margins aren’t too great – approximately 2-3 degrees which when you consider that the Silent Spirit is a mid-range cooler and the Kama Angle a high end cooler, this isn’t bad at all.

The thermal paste testing results didn’t vary greatly as you would expect. However, both the pre-applied GC1 and normal GC1 compounds both achieved exactly the same result which is impressive as it means that the pre-applied layer is not going to lose any performance.

The Noctua NT-H1 again marginally beat the GELID GC1 but only by 1 degree at load which isn’t a great difference at all.

Finally, we tested three different fan speeds using a fan controller. We set the speeds to maximum (2400RPM), minimum (900RPM) and one in the middle at approximately 1600RPM. Each drop down in fan speed and thus airflow correlates to a step up effect in the temperatures. Therefore, you can choose an appropriate fan speed depending on how much noise and cooling you require. I would not suggest using the minimum fan speed though as at load it’s a lot higher reaching 52°C.

In fact, I would recommend just sticking to the PWM connector as this seemed to use an appropriate fan speed for the temperature. At idle, the fan was running at about 1400RPM which then rose to nearly 2000RPM at load.

Noise
The Silent Spirit really is very quiet and almost inaudible over the other coolers in my case; only up close can you really hear much. At full RPM, it was a little nosier but still not bad at all. So, if you’re looking for a very quiet cooler, this is a good bet.

Cost
The GELID Silent Spirit is in the region of £20 which is really not a bad price at all for a cooler of this quality. High end coolers can stretch to anything up to £50 and the cooling results showed that the Spirit wasn’t too far of the high end pace – a fair price it would seem then.

Conclusion

The design features incorporated in the design of this CPU cooler are very impressive with its angled body, dimpled fins and fan architecture. The combination of all these things results in some very good cooling potential with the results not far behind some of the best coolers around.

Noise too is excellent and if you are looking for a ‘silent’ product, then this would not be a bad choice by any means with the noise outputs being very minimal. At £20 this cooler is not going to blow your mind away with amazing temperatures but it does offer some very solid results that are perfect for the majority of computer users.

On the down side, I was hoping for slightly better temperatures due to all the thought and innovation going into the design but still, the results are pretty good. The only other thing I can think of is that the installation clips might cause the PCB to bend a little but as the Silent Spirit is very light weight I can’t imagine it to be a big problem.

To summarise, it’s a fine product that easily earns its 90% award.

Pros

  • Solid performance
  • Almost silent
  • Compact
  • Great design features
  • Price

Cons

  • Not the best Mounting Mechanism

Leave a Reply