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Big Air: 14 LGA 2011-Compatible Coolers For Core i7-3000, Reviewed

Installing Xigmatek's Venus XP-SD1266

Xigmatek uses the same bracket set as Enermax, though these are packed a little differently. Bushings for the aluminum pressure plate, for example, were found beside the plate rather than inside of it, and there’s no included wrench for the tension nuts.

Xigmatek labels its Intel and AMD brackets, though the AMD brackets are also drilled to fit Intel socket hole spacing.

This is how Enermax's installation would have appeared at the half-way point, had we used the other bracket set (minus the Xigmatek and Intel labels, of course). Cross brackets are mounted to LGA 2011-specific standoffs using thumb nuts.

With no wrench to play with, we tightened Xigmatek’s tension nuts using an electric screwdriver. The results are the same, with a slight space found between the cross brackets and the pressure plate when both nuts are fully tightened.

Like SilenX, Xigmatek uses rubber tacks to hold its Venus XP-SD1266 fan and heat sink together. Xigmatek’s design is better in a couple ways, including the fact that the sink is actually tall enough to hold the fan. The tacks are also slotted and hooked on from the sides, rather than forced in from above and below.

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