Skip to main content

Overclocking On Air: 10 LGA 1156-Compatible Performance Coolers

Xigmatek Thor’s Hammer

Xigmatek coolers are popular for good reasons, which include quality appearance, good cooling capacity, and moderate price, but the company is taking its time updating the installation kit of several products to support Intel’s LGA 1156 interface. The firm had to add its Crossbow multi-platform LGA installation kit in order to qualify any of its super-sized coolers for today’s review.

Targeted at the enthusiast market, the Thor’s Hammer heat sink is intended to be used with the enthusiasts’ choice of favorite fans. Adding two of its Crystal-branded blue-LED clear fans to the package brings the total cost of this combination to $91, including the $65 sink and $8 Crossbow mounting kit. The Crossbow LGA 775, 1156, and 1366 bracket set is expected to replace the included LGA 775 and 1366 brackets in future packages. LGA 1156 users who want to save a little money will thus need to pay close attention to the product description listed by their favorite seller to determine when the package has been updated.

Direct-contact heat pipes highlight several elements of Thor’s Hammer production, including its black-nickel finish and relatively wide crevices between the pipes and base. Although the base and pipes are extremely flat, extra paste is required to fill the gaps for optimal contact area.

The Crossbow installation kit’s socket support plate attaches to the back of the motherboard via pre-applied self-adhesive film, while spring-loaded screws hold the cooler against the CPU via the support plate’s threaded holes. Because the cooler body prevents screwdriver access from above, Xigmatek includes a small wrench that can be used to tighten or loosen the screws from under the sink’s fins. Although removal and reinstallation are theoretically possible from inside some cases, this extremely tedious task is significantly eased by installing the cooler with both fans removed outside of any case.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.