Gelid GX-7 CPU Cooler Review
Gelid Solutions is a company you might have heard faintly of before and it’s probably due to their highly praised Tranquillo silent CPU cooler. Gelid (“derived from the Latin word “gelidus” meaning extremely cold or icy) is the spawn of owners VC Tran and Gebhard Scherrer, both individuals have spent numerous years in the PC industry, including Gebhard’s experience and part ownership at popular Arctic Cooling. In a race to the top, Gelid focuses on design innovations rather than familiar blueprints, which not only brings fresh ideas to the consumer space but also brings better performance… in theory. Before we continue on with the review, we would like to thank Gelid Solutions for providing the review sample.
Packaging and Design
The first in its lineup, the Gelid GX-7 Rev.2 at the time of this review is Gelid’s one and only “Gamer” series CPU cooler. It differs from its Silent series with its sleek black and blue theme and higher performance, but is slightly more audible. The packaging was pretty standard with the outside showing a few shots of the cooler and specifications…
|Heat-sink Dimensions (mm)||130(L) x 65(W) x 159(H)|
|Fan Dimensions (mm)||120(L) x 120(W) x 25(H)|
|Cable Length (mm)||500|
|Weight (g)||720 (Heat-sink & Fan)|
|Air Flow (CFM/CMH)||75.6 / 128.6|
|Noise Level (dBa)||10 – 26.8|
|Static Pressure (mmAq)||2.66|
|Fan Speed (RPM)||600 – 1800|
|Fan Life Time at 40C (Hrs)||100,000|
|DC Voltage (V)||12|
Full Dimensions PDF Click to Open Digging inside, you’ll first stumble upon a box with all your mounting hardware for Intel sockets 775/1366/1155/1156 and AMD sockets AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1 along with a universal back plate, two sets of fan clips for push/pull and Gelid’s GC-2 Thermal paste. A step deeper is the actual heat-sink along with an included Gelid Wing 12 PL Blue PWM fan. Taking a closer look at the actual cooler you’ve got a beautiful blue and black design up top that is constructed out of plastic, a Gelid logo is placed in the middle with GX-7 embossed on both sides.
The middle consists of two symmetrical heat vents that look tough and actually do function. The forty seven horizontal fins are all fairly sturdy, although on our review sample it does seem one of them was just ever so slightly misaligned. The cooler also utilizes a unique fin style where from the center out is a V shape that Gelid claims helps provide even air flow. The nicely milled copper base is where you’ll find Gelid’s most notable design concept (for this cooler) where rather than laying the seven nickel heat-pipes side by side, they stack the outermost two on top of the center to help capture more heat. The diagram below illustrates how the design is in theory meant to improve over the standard.
Gelid GX-7 heat-pipe layout (Below)
Included with the GX-7 is one of Gelid’s most popular fans, the Wing 12 PL Blue Fan. This is a four-pin PWM fan, that will spin between 600 – 1800 RPM generating 75.6 CFM and 26.8 dBa at its highest RPM. This like all other Gelid fans utilize Gelid’s patent nanofluxbearing, a unique design that Gelid claims to tremendously increase fan life and solve common issues of both sleeve and ball bearing fans. The fan blade is very easily detached, which is very useful when cleaning the fan blades. The fan has 4 blue LED’s attached to the frame, complimenting the LED’s are UV reactive fan propellers that really look great and give off a very subtle glow.
Installation was done on an MSI P67a-GD53 Intel 1155 motherboard, but the instructions remain the same for any Intel socket, the only thing that will change is what hole you use on the universal back plate. So like most CPU coolers you have a mounting bracket that attaches to the actual heat-sink, one for the AMD sockets and one for Intel. Once you have screwed that in, its as easy as attaching the universal back plate through the holes designed for your specific socket and securing it with a small nut. Next you’ll want to use a pea size blob of thermal paste directly in the center of the CPU, for our tests Gelid provided us with their award winning GC-Extreme Thermal Compound. Once you’ve applied some thermal paste, insert the tension springs and line up the cooler onto the screws coming from the back plate. Screw it down in a crisscross order to ensure even spreading of the thermal paste, attach your 4-pin fan connector to the CPU fan header and you’re all set to go.
To test the Gelid GX-7 we recorded using two different variables. Single or push/pull fan config, and stock versus overclocked CPU. Our test bed consists of… Intel Core i5-2500K MSI P67a-GD53 Motherboard G-Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 1600 8/8/8/24 2T EVGA GTX 470 Fractal Design Arc Midi All tests were conducted while the ambient room temperature was between 22-23ºC.
Intel Core i5-2500K @ Stock Speeds (Below)
Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.2GHz (Below)
It’s easy to see that a lot of thought was put into the Gelid GX-7. You have a collection of small progressive changes that help improve the traditional heat-sink design and make the GX-7 a strong competitor. While the single fan configuration left a little something to be desired, a second Gelid Wing 12 satisfied our cravings and beat our push/pull Corsair H60 temp for temp. Priced at $65, you are getting a good cooler, with a great fan, and one of the best thermal paste on the market, a value that sounds good but may seem a little pricey for some. Priced just slightly above the sweet spot it would have been nice to see Gelid price the GX-7 an additional $5-$10 and include the second Wing 12 fan. If silence is what you’re after you’re probably better off taking a look at something like the Tranquillo, but be prepared to replenish a couple degrees °C. All in all you’re looking at a cooler that prices itself in the mid range category, and while it may not significantly out perform some of the cheaper CPU coolers, it makes up for with beautiful design and quality components. Gelid has yet to make any major breakthroughs, but their consistent eye for detail has made a large splash on our radar, and we are excited to see what future products come out as the company continues to mature.