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Xigmatek s1283 Lapped

Last response: in Overclocking
August 30, 2008 5:44:53 AM

I searched the web pretty extensively and didn't find much on this cooler and lapping it, except for 1 post with a pic, and another here about the Heatpipes being thin.

Well i took the plunge and lapped my cooler. Thought I would share some results.

After lapping the cooler, my idle temps dropped another 2c, and load temps (Orthos for 3 hrs) dropped another 4c. This is with AS5 applied.
This is on an e8400 at 3.8Ghz

Idle is 37c
Load is 48c

I went in steps with these polising and wet/dry sandpapers:

The 3600 and above are from a plastic modeling kit, used to buff the paint job.

Here's some pics:



So there ya go. Not sure if anyone's really interested in the fact that these can be lapped pretty well, but if you were, now you know what type of results you can have.


More about : xigmatek s1283 lapped

August 30, 2008 5:55:32 AM

Nice temps, I just got that cooler a couple of days ago, thought lapping it would be insane because of the exposed pipes but it looks good :D 
my temps droped from 67C to 49C on full load (occt for 1 hour 25C room temp) with an am2 6400+, use to have mini typhoon with high cfm 92mm fan
I replaced the stock fan with a crappier one though, cause i like red
August 30, 2008 12:35:57 PM

looks very very nice!!!great job!
Related resources
August 30, 2008 12:49:32 PM

didn't know 12000 grit paper existed!!
August 30, 2008 1:07:23 PM

hold it up against a razor blade please :) 

Nice work!
August 30, 2008 3:07:28 PM

OP are you sure those numbers are right for the sandpaper?did u added extra "0" to each of them.

so they should be?
August 30, 2008 3:39:01 PM

Wow! Im amazed!
Did you use polisher after lapping?
August 31, 2008 4:04:29 AM

the associate - Glad to hear your happy with the cooler. I was considering the True Black cooler (had great success with their products before) but I'm glad I got the Xigmatek. Even after deciding to lap it, I figured it out that if i were to sand through the heatpipes, i could order another one and still be less out of pocket.

Nils and iluvgillgill - Yes they do make 12,000 grit, and even higher, up to 20,000 in some polishing kits, and down to 4micron if your really a freak. I have a kit here that I use for plastic models (I like the paint job to look like glass :wahoo:  ) I'll link the kit at the end of this post, and explain what I do.

skittle - Sorry but the cooler is installed in it's final position now. I've done all my temp testing as well as orientation testing for temps. Rest assured though, it's flat and shiny :D 

Just as a note for anyone who's interested, I found that the cooler works best for me with my setup in a horizontal position. The layout of my MB and the way that the cpu sits in it's socket puts the cores in a horizontal position. I was curious if mounting the cooler with the center heatpipe directly accross the cores (E8400) would make a difference... It did, although it was only 1c at idle and 1-2c at load. I did this before I lapped the cooler, and did not check to see if the difference was still there after lapping, but I would assume that my first test would hold true.

From most posts that I have read about Quad Cores though, the orientation doesn't seem to make a difference, since you are now cooling 4 cores that are oriented in a different fashion.

slim - I did not use any type of polishing liquid. Plain old tap water has always worked best. Another thing to think about with polishing liquid is that we don't exactly know what each type of chemical is that is used in the polish itself.. Will it be absorbed into the metals (copper and/or aluminum) ???

So to stay on the safe side, I recommend nothing but water. I'm not sure what others use, but water is a good lubricant, and we know that it won't cause any adverse affects.

The Kit - Hobbico makes it, it's called "Hobbico Micro-Mesh Model Polishing Kit".

The grits are one of each micro-mesh sheets, 3200, 3600, 4000, 6000, 8000, and 12000 grit
Each sheet measures 3" x 4"

These sheets are extremely soft, pliable, and hold water very well. (You won't need to tape them down when you get to the stage where you will use them).

Better yet, I have my same set for 12+ years now. The new kits come with a Sanding block (no no), a flanel cloth (are we cold) and a liquid abrasive...ABRASIVE... As the word implies, it's an abrasive. We're not looking to scuff the surface, we're looking to create a mirror finish.

All this for less than $20US! you'll enjoy years of fun with your new polishing kit...Take it on vacation, out to dinner, over to your friends house, you'll be the envy of everyone on the blue bus!

ok, back on topic...

REMEMBER - Your doing this at your own risk and expense, so be careful not to over do it with the 1500 and 2000 grit wet/dry papers. Take your time

If you've never lapped a cooler before, I suggest a search on the web for a lapping guide that you understand best

This is the part of the process that removes the most material, so work smart!!

I start off as usual with 1500 grit and then 2000 grit until I have a cloudy mirror finish. I move the cooler back and forth in a striaght line for a few minutes at a time, and then turn the cooler approx 30 degrees, so that I'm not sanding the same exact grooves and possibly creating a valley in the surface.

This will be also be the longest part of the process. Once you move to the 3600 and above grit, it will only take a few minutes with each

I then move to the 3600, 6000, 8000 and finally 12,000 grit sheets. This is where I change my method a little. I no longer go back and forth with the cooler, I instead using a clockwise/counter-clockwise pattern. It won't take much time at all with each one, and you'll also notice that as you move up in grit, the time will become shorter.

I skip over the 3200 and 4000 grit. why? I'm not really sure, just didn't see the need to only jump up 400grit inbetween.

Once I have the surface a mirror finish, I clean it well with Isopropyl Alcohol and let it dry overnight (again, I'm just a freak like that, the alcohol will dry pretty fast).

For applying the AS5, I found that this was the best method -

Read down to his last method, thats the one I found to work the best, although i needed nowhere near the amount of TIM that he used.

August 31, 2008 4:16:48 AM

That finish is uncanny, the mirror image is just a really great job.
September 2, 2008 5:38:31 AM

Nice job! A couple weeks ago, I lapped my Q6600 until it was down to copper (not shiny) and while I was at it, I tried lapping the S1283 a little with 800 and 1000 grits. I was afraid to lap the Xiggy too much because of the heatpipes being thin. I may try again sometime after seeing your results.

With the lower grits, it was kinda tough to move the heatsink on the sandpaper. I found I had to slightly lift weight off the side of the heatsink in the direction it was moving. In other words, I was holding it by the aluminum base and when pulling it towards me, I had to slightly lift the aluminum base that was closest to me and when pushing it I did the opposite.

P.S. Thanks for the 30 degrees rotation tip. I only tried one direction on the heatsink.
September 2, 2008 7:46:50 AM

I worked with metals for years in my youth and never saw aluminum with that kind of reflection. Maybe it is just because it oxidizes quickly... but it's a pretty soft metal.

I'm having a hard time believing this... not your fault, just my experience has taught me that should be impossible unless it's really a copper/aluminum alloy.
September 2, 2008 10:23:42 PM

Thanks for the replies. I can't say for sure that getting a heatsink to a finish like this with the 3200+ grits makes a huge difference... I've just always done mine like this.

spathotan - definatley uncanny :) 

ballonshark - I would like to know how thick the pipes are... in a sick kinda way, I wanted to purchase another and cut it open, and take measurements. This way i would be able to tell how much I actually took off. I would have to think that the walls of the pipes are atleast 1/32 of an inch thick. Much less than that and they probably would have ran into problems in the bending process, as well as their machining. Another possibilty is that when they fabricated the pipes they thickened that area so that after bending and machining they had the minimal amount of material in that area.

Proximon - I got the idea to use the higher grits from when I was younger also. I used to be big into building custom cars and so on. We would almost always polish the aluminum intake manifolds to a chrome look. The process was much different and the end product wasn't as nice as a chrome finish, but it was definately worth the work.

I'm not sure what type of aluminum base they are using, but I've had the same turn out on a couple coolers. I'll see if I can dig up some pics and post them.
March 9, 2009 2:15:07 AM

Daimyo68-- Hat's off to you! I've been absolutely edified with the pics you posted.... I had no idea what was possible with the Xiggy, and as a matter of fact this post introduced me to what exactly "lapping" a HSF actually meant! Terrifically educational for a newb like myself, who is mostly afraid of posting any kind of response with my lack of technical knowledge. Bravo!
a c 86 K Overclocking
March 9, 2009 4:21:58 AM

Tests have shown that 600 grit is enough. Any more won't decrease temps, but if you need the shiny I don't see why not, unless the extra hours mindlessly sanding is fun to you.

Shiny is neat, but shiny don't make it cooler.
March 10, 2009 2:16:13 AM

Concundrum, Yeah I like the shiny. Not sure that it does make a difference, just been doing it the same way since my first cooler.

It only took a little over an hour to do this total, with sanding and cleaning.

I actually forgot about this thread. o0
a b K Overclocking
March 10, 2009 8:22:20 PM

Reposting of the images:


@OP: Please click on the BBCode for this post and copy past it in to your original post. Most find it annoying to click on links.

March 10, 2009 11:01:32 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Reposting of the images:

@OP: Please click on the BBCode for this post and copy past it in to your original post. Most find it annoying to click on links.

Thx for the help. I couldn't get them to post no matter what I tried back when I first made this post

April 17, 2009 9:15:09 AM

Awesome job Daimyo68..!! That finish is definitely uncanny.. I'll be getting the xigmatek soon hope i could lap it as good as you did with yours..! :)