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Gelid Black Edition CPU Cooler Review

Posted March 7, 2013 by Will in Cooling







Total Score


Price at time of Review: $74.99 at Performance-PCs


Great performance, quiet, small footprint, 5-year warranty, did I mention quiet?


Installation is tricky with only two hands, forget about installing it while the motherboard is in a case.
The Gelid Black Edition was the best performing cooler we've tested under stock clocks and the quietest as well. If you're looking for a quiet performer that's smaller and less expensive than the top-shelf Noctua units while giving similar performance the Gelid Black Edition is the cooler you've been looking for.
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by Will
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Unboxing and a Closer Look

The Gelid Black Edition comes in a full-color box. The front shows an image of the cooler with some basic info about it.


The backside of the box shows more detailed specifications.


One side of the cooler’s box lays out all of the previously mentioned specifications in detail.


While the other side highlights some important features and has a few more pictures of the enclosed cooler.


Once you open the box the cooler resides in between a pair of foam end-caps. Missing is the typical plastic bag that most coolers also come wrapped in but it doesn’t seem to have affected the cooler in transport at all.


The front fan comes pre-mounted to the cooler while the middle fan comes sitting in a cardboard box inbetween the two towers.


Here we can see the cooler’s towers without the fans in the way. There are a total of 7 heatpipes that snake through the 43 fins on each of these two towers. Gelid also added some nice black accent pieces to the top of each tower to clean up the appearance. You”ll also notice they elected to fold over the end of each fin to create a tunnel of sorts. This prevents airflow from getting lost through the side of the tower and gets as much air as possible over the heatpipes.


Looking at a side view you’ll notice that the base plate and mounting bracket are offset to one side. The heatpipes on this side (left side in the case of the above photo) are actually bent inwards towards the cooler’s base. This is the front side of the cooler and this additional bend allows for better RAM clearance.


Gelid included 2 fans with the Black Edition although a third can be added. The front fan is a Slim 12 120mmx15.8mm 11-blade fan while the middle is a standard Silent 12 120mmx25mm 7-blade fan. Both are PWM-enabled and feature all black wiring and black connectors.


The Gelid Silent 12 fan is rated for 12V, 0.18A (max) and ~1500RPM while thrusting out 98.6CFM (max) at 25.5dBA (max).


The Gelid Slim 12 is rated for 12V, 0.2A (max) and 1600RPM (max) while pushing 89.1CFM (max) at a low 25.4dBA (max).


The cooler’s base comes with a protective label on it for shipping purposes with the typical “Remove label before using” message.


With the label removed you’ll notice the base is bare machined copper and doesn’t feature heatpipe-direct touch like most coolers these days are using. The base has some machining marks but is still almost mirror smooth.


Gelid’s specs say that the cooler uses seven 6mm heatpipes but you can clearly see that’s a typo. The cooler uses four 6mm and three 8mm heatpipes. They’re arranged in this beautiful serpentine-like setup that Gelid claims provides better airflow around the pipe assembly for improved cooling performance.


Here’s another angle showing the four 6mm pipes on the inner side while the three larger 8mm pipes snake around the outside.


The accessory box contains all of the needed hardware to mount on virtually any socket. There is also a PWM Y-splitter, a tube of thermal compound and an extra set of fan mounts should you chose to add a third fan.

Let’s install this beast onto our test system and load her up!

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