Introduction

Texon-Ware has recently launched XIGMATEK in Pakistan. Texon-Ware has introduced a complete range of products from XIGMATEK including coolers, cases, PSUs, and Gaming Chairs. XIGMATEK Pakistan has sent us their AURORA 360 and Venom X ARCTIC for review. We are taking a spin on AURORA 360 in this content. This is a 360mm version cooler. 240mm edition is also available with Texon-Ware. The cooler comes with a 360mm radiator and 3 A-RGB fans. The block of the cooler features an infinity mirror display.

This product is compatible with popular RGB sync technologies from all major motherboard manufacturers. The AURORA 360 ARGB is compatible with – Intel Sockets LGA: 1366, 115x, 2011, 2011-3, 2066, and AMD Socket: TR4, AM4, AM3, AM3+, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1. The cooler is compatible with the AMD TR4 socket though keep in mind that the base of the block has a dimension of 54x54mm. The base will not fully cover the IHS of the TR4 CPUs. The cooler comes with a control box and remote control for A-RGB lighting and fan speed control. This is where I have reservations which will be covered in the Closer Look section.

  • Item:                              AURORA 360
  • Manufacturer:                XIGMATEK
  • Price:                              Rs.21000/- [At the time of review]

Specifications

Packaging and Unboxing

The cooler is shipped inside a cardboard packing box.

There is a picture of the cooler. The block of the cooler features an infinity mirror display. The cooler is compatible with:

  • ASUS AURA SYNC
  • GIGABYTE RGB FUSION 2.0
  • MSI MYSTIC LIGHT SYNC
  • ASRock PolyChrome Sync

The salient features of the cooler are printed over here along with the specifications. The cooler is AMD TR4 socket ready. Please keep in mind that only the 360mm version of this cooler is TR4 socket ready and comes with the TR4 socket mounting hardware.

The contents are placed in the egged carton. There is a white color Styrofoam pad on the top and a user guide.

Contents

Let’s take a look at what XIGMATEK has provided in the accessory box.

The mounting hardware is included in a white color paperboard box.

The above picture shows the pouched contents of the box.

We have:

  • 1x Metallic Backplate for Intel and AMD
  • 2x Intel Mounting Brackets
  • 2x AMD Mounting Brackets
  • 2x AMD TR4 Mounting Brackets

We have:

  • 4x Springs loaded Nuts/caps
  • 4x Plastic Spacers
  • 4x Washers
  • 4x Intel LGA20xx standoffs
  • 4x AMD TR4 standoffs
  • 4x Other sockets standoffs

We have:

  • 12x Long Screws
  • 12x Short Screws
  • 4x Screws to mount brackets on the base

XIGMATEK has provided a protective space for the AMD mounting on the backplate. They have also provided a syringe of thermal paste along with a scalper.

The above picture shows the A-RGB hardware provided with the cooler. We have:

  • 1x Control Box
  • 1x Remote Control
  • 1x Self-Adhesive tape
  • 1x A-RGB Sync Cable
  • 1x Special Note page

XIGMATEK has provided a flat cable with the A-RGB hardware. It has a standard 3-pin A-RGB (5V) connector on one end along with the GIGABYTE 3-pin connector for old motherboards. The other end has a 4-pin connector for the control box.

The remote control has a simple operation with clearly labeled buttons to help the user identifying their purpose. There are 7x predefined RGB modes that can be toggled using the Mode+ and Mode- buttons. The Fan Speed button is a toggle button that reduces the fans’ speed or maximizes the speed. Unfortunately, there is no fine granular control over the speed of the fans. Either they will run at the maximum speed or at a certain lower speed. The user has no control over the speed control of the fans using PWM. The R, G, and B labeled buttons load the static Red, Green, and Blue colors on the fans and the block respectively. The user can have:

  • Star Night Mode
  • Lighting Mode
  • Rainbow Mode
  • Breathing Mode

The M/B SYNC button transfers the A-RGB control source from the control box to the motherboard.

The control box has a sleek design. There are 3x buttons on the top in the center:

  • LED SPEED controls the lighting speed of the dynamic modes.
  • MODE toggles the lighting modes.
  • FAN SPEED sets the fans to operate at full speed or low speed.

There are two diffusers that look like on the sides though they don’t illuminate.

There are two ports on this side of the control box. The 4-pin DATA labeled port is used to connect the motherboard Sync cable. The 2-port RESET SW port is optional which seems to allow the users to control the lighting modes using the PC Case’s Reset button.

The left and right sides of the control box are identical in layout. Each side has 4x Fan 6-pin ports and a 3-pin A-RGB port. XIGMATEK is using proprietary connectors on their fans and they can only be controlled using this control box.

  • The total power draw of both 5V A-RGB ports is 40W.
  • The total power draw of 6x fan ports is 36W.

The control box is powered using the MOLEX connector. I would have preferred the SATA connector.

Closer Look

Let’s start with what XIGMATEK has to say about the cooler. “Aurora, a natural appearance of colored light in the sky, usually seen in the high-latitude regions around the Arctic and Antarctic. The Aurora AIO liquid cooler Series is Xigmatek latest innovation, bring you Aurora like lighting using latest ARGB LED technology. The AIO kit included top grade components to keep your CPU cool for maximum performance experience, best suitable for gaming or professional overclocked PC system.”

Radiator

The XIGMATEK AURORA 360 is a 360mm CLC cooling solution. It has a 360mm radiator with 3x AT120 A-RGB fans.

The radiator is made of aluminum hence it is lightweight. The dimension of the radiator is 398 x 120 x 27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm. With 25mm fans the overall thickness would be 53mm with the screws’ heads. The radiator has 19 fins per inch (FPI). There is a gap of 105mm between any two fan mounting holes on the radiator. We have a black color housing of the radiator and the overall build quality and finishing are good.

I am not sure about the OEM of the design. The blocks on both ends of the radiator are rectangular. Fin stack is dense and taking into account the left and right side channels, it has total 12 channels for water flow.

There is no protective plating under the mounting holes on the radiator assembly much like what we have seen on the majority of AIO solutions in the market with a few exceptions. But XIGMATEK has increased the spacing between the mounting holes and the actual fin stack reducing the risk of damaging the fins. This also indicates that the actual thickness of the fins assembly is less than 27mm.

The above picture shows a close-up look at the fins. XIMGATEK has done a nice and clean job.

The radiator assembly has a nice clean finish all around. There is no branding on the side of the assembly.

The far head has a rectangular design and a neat finishing.

The build quality of the cooler is good. The barbs and the tube endings are enclosed in the metallic covers. There is a sticker pasted showing part no or serial no of the cooler.

The XIGMATEK AURORA 360 is using rubber tubing of 350mm length with Mesh Cover. XIGMATEK has mentioned that the thickness of the tube is 12mm (ID).

PUMP/BLOCK

Let’s take a look at the block of the cooler.

The block of the XIGMATEK AURORA 360 has a circular housing made of ABS material and finished in a matte black color with the dark gray finish on the top section. The block has a dimension of 78.59×70.52x43mm. The pump head has an infinity mirror design. There is a backlit XIGMATEK logo in the center. The logo is in a fixed position. Keep that in mind when installing the cooler in the case.

The above picture shows the sub-components of the complete block assembly. There is a high and low-temperature resistant sealing or coupling which encapsulates the entire assembly except for the lid. XIGMATEK is using an 8-pole motor with a self-lubricating Ceramic Bearing.

Following are the specifications of the pump:

Speed 2600 RPM ± 10%
Current 0.25A
Connector 3-pin PWM
A-RGB Connector 6-pin proprietary connector

 

All sides except the tubing end of the block are identical. There is no branding on any side of the housing.

A flat cable is coming out from the lower side of the front.

We have a 3-pin cable to power the motor of the pump and a 6-pin cable for the A-RGB lighting.

The fittings are in 90° fitment making the tubes rotatable. The tube ends on the barbs are encapsulated in a metallic cover.

The copper base measures roughly 54x54mm. There is a protective sheet on the base which needs to be removed before the installation. The base portion of the frame has extended legs with mounting holes. This is where the mounting brackets are installed.

FAN

XIGMATEK has provided their AT120 A-RGB fans with the AURORA 360 cooler. The fans feature dual ring style for some cool lighting effects. These are 120mm size fans with 11x frosted blades. The entire frame is circular with specially designed mounting corners. The fans have a large size diameter which is understandable as it houses ARGB LEDs. Each mounting corner has an anti-vibration pad pasted on it. These fans are using Hydro Bearings.

The above picture shows a close-up of the anti-vibration pad on the corner.

The above picture shows the side of the frame. The overall build quality of the frame is good. There are no arrow symbols to guide novice users in determining the direction of airflow and blades’ spin. One can spot the ring on the upper side of the frame with A-RGB LED illumination.

The backside of the fan shows the 4-arms assembly on the mainframe with one arm having catchers.  The cables are routed through these catchers towards the exterior of the fan. The fans are manufactured in China.

Each fan has a 6-pin proprietary connector having an approximate length of 650mm. The cable is flat in design.

The XIGMATEK is suing 6-pin proprietary connectors on the fans and the block. These connectors will only work with their control box. The user has no PWM control for the fans. If anything happens to the control box the whole unit will be useless until the control box is replaced. RMAing the complete cooler just for the sake of a faulty control box is also not practical.

The specification of the fans are:

Dimension 120x120x25mm
Speed 1800 RPM ± 10%
Airflow 58.5 CFM
Air Pressure 2.39 mmH₂O
Noise ≤25.3 dB(A)
Rated Voltage 12VDC
Rated Current 0.32A

 

Installation

We have recently upgraded our Intel testbed and are now on the Intel LGA1200 socket. Installation is as follow:

Prepare the backplate by passing the long standoffs through designated holes and secure them using the plastic washers. Make sure that the side with Intel text faces the motherboard PCB.

Install the Intel Mounting Brackets on the block using the provided Philips screws.

Place the backplate on the motherboard such as the threaded portion of the standoffs passed the mounting holes of the socket area.

Secure the backplate using the 4x plastic washers.

Remove the protective cover from the base of the cooler. Apply the thermal paste on the CPU. Place the block on the CPU by aligning the holes on the mounting brackets with the threaded portions of the standoffs. Secure the block by using the spring-loaded nuts/caps.

We have to deal with 23 components to install the block on the motherboard.

The above picture shows the top view of the installed block.

Install the fans on the radiator. You can do this step after installing the radiator in the chassis as well.

Connect the fans and block’s 6-pin cables to the control box. Connect the Molex connector to the PSU.

Connect the 3-pin connector of the pump to the pump header of the motherboard. You can use any other header while making sure that the control source of the header is switched to Voltage mode (if on a 4-pin PWM header). Connect the control box to the motherboard’s 5V header using the M/B Sync Cable provided with the control box.

There is no clearance issue with respect to the DIMM slots and first PCIe slot. Make sure your chassis has clearance for a 360mm radiator.

A-RGB Lighting

The A-RGB lighting responded well to the remote control. We have also tested them on MSI MYSTIC SYNC on MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK motherboard. The fans and the block worked flawlessly on the MSI motherboard. Here are a few pictures:

Testing

We have upgraded our Intel testbed recently. A few coolers have been tested on this setup. More will be added after the testing in the coming time.

Following test benches have been used: –

  • Intel i7 10700k
  • MSI MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK
  • T-Force NightHawk RGB 16GB @ 3200MHz
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 FE
  • addlink S70 256GB NVMe SSD
  • bequiet! Straight Power 11 850W Platinum PSU
  • Open-air test bench

Here is the settings table for testing:

Clock (MHz) 3800 All Cores
Voltage (V) 1.025
Clock (MHz) 4700 All Cores
Voltage (V) 1.255
Clock (MHz) 5100 All Cores
Voltage (V) 1.345
Turbo Boost Disabled
C-States Disabled
Speed Step Disabled
Thermal Paste Noctua NT-H1
Thermal Paste Application Dot Method in the center.
Test Run Time 30 minutes
Idling Time 10 minutes
Fan Speed 100% PWM Duty Cycle and Auto PWM
Pump Speed Connected to the AIO Pump header to run at 100% speed
Header CPU_Fan header for the fans and Pump_Header for the pump
Software AIDA64 6.3 Extreme [FPU]

 

We are using Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste for coolers testing. Using the same thermal paste for all coolers would ensure standardization. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs. The testing is done on an open-air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis.

Not every run of the stress test may yield the same result. This could well be due to many factors like mounting pressure, thermal paste application, varying ambient temperature. Not to mention the silicon differences even among the same category of the chips. Hence, it is pertinent to mention the testing methodology along with the specifics.

Let’s take a look at the results.

3.8GHz All Cores

4.7GHz All Cores

The XIGMATEK AURORA 360 is sitting below the EK-AIO 240.

5.1GHz All Cores

Again, we are seeing the thermal performance of this 360mm cooler sitting closer to the EK’s 240mm cooler.

Noise

The maximum recorded noise level on the XIGMATEK AURORA 360 was 52 dBA in an ambient noise level of 33 dBA.

Conclusion

XIGMATEK Pakistan has sent us their AURORA 360 AIO cooler for review. This is a 360mm version in a black color housing. There is also a 240mm version available. The AURORA 360 is compatible with – Intel Sockets LGA: 1366, 115x, 1200, 2011, 2011-3, 2066 and AMD Sockets: TR4, AM4, AM3, AM3+, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, and FM1. It is nice to see that the cooler is ready for the AMD TR4 socket though it will not cover the full IHS of the threadripper chip.

The cooler has an aluminum radiator measuring 398 x 120 x 27mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27mm. The overall thickness would be 53mm after installing the fans. The radiator has 19 FPI. The radiator has a black color housing. The XIGMATEK is using rubber tubing with mesh sleeves running to approximately 350mm in length. The tubes are installed on barb fittings on the radiator using metallic covers.

The cooler features a circular-shaped housing of the block with a high and low-temperature resistant sealing or coupling which encapsulates the entire assembly except for the lid. The block has a dimension of 78.59×70.52x43mm. There is a XIGMATEK brand logo in the center of the faceplate. The tubes are installed on the block using barb fittings and secured using metallic covers. The pump has a speed rating of 2600 RPM ± 10% with a current rating of 0.25A. The pump is using a ceramic bearing. The motor is an 8-pole design. The block has a copper base with a cold plate. We have roughly 54x54mm dimensions of the base.

The XIGMATEK AURORA 360 comes with the AT120 A-RGB fans. These fans are rated for up to 1800 RPM ±10% speed with a maximum airflow rating of 52.5 CFM at an air pressure rating of 2.39 mmH₂O. These fans feature 11 frosted blades. The installation of the cooler involves 23 items required for the block’s installation. XIGMATEK is using proprietary 6-pin connectors on the fans for speed and A-RGB lighting control. XIGMATEK has provided a MOLEX-powered control box for this purpose. The user has no PWM regulation/control of these fans. In my opinion, XIGMATEK should re-consider this design as we are totally dependent on the control box for all sorts of operations. If the control box develops a fault, the complete unit will be useless. On the same grounds, RAMing the complete unit just for the faulty control box sounds impractical (if XIGMATEK is following this approach). Personally, I prefer the solution with 4-pin PWM connectors for the fans and standard connectors for the A-RGB/RGB devices.

The XIGMATEK AURORA 360 is listed at Rs.21000/- at the time of the review. Texon-Ware is offering a 2-years leakage warranty on these coolers. The cooler has done fairly well in the department of thermal performance in this price range particularly the better acoustic performance.

We are thankful to XIGMATEK Pakistan for the provision of the AURORA 360 cooler for review.

Tech4Gamers Recommended Award

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build Quality
8.5
Design
7.5
Features
9.0
Performance
8.0
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