Introduction

The English word “Gelid” comes from the Latin word “gelid us” (very cold, icy). As the name indicates, the GELID Solutions are primarily focused on the thermal solutions as they design and manufacture CPU and VGA coolers, chassis fans, thermal compounds, accessories and other equipment for computers and electronic devices. The company also supplies a range of products for international OEM and ODM clients. They are based in Hong Kong and has multiple manufacturing facilities in Mainland China and Taiwan. The company believes in Quality, Reliability, and Efficiency as the main driving force behind the product ideas and execution.

GELID Solutions has sent us their Phantom Black CPU air cooler for the review. This is their premium dual-tower 120mm size cooler in a beautiful black coating. It features dual-tower configuration heatsink comprising of 7x copper heat pipes which are soldered to 44 aluminum fins and the complete assembly is black nickel-plated. The heat pipes are of mixed size. The copper base is nickel-plated and high-precision polished. The cooler is compatible with Intel LGA Socket 775, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2066, 1150 & 1151 with support for all Pentium D/ Pentium 4/ All Celeron D/ All Pentium Dual-Core/ Extreme/ All Core 2 Extreme/ Core 2 Quad/ Core 2 Duo, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9. In AMD department, this cooler is compatible with AMD™ Socket AM2/ AM2+/ AM3/ AM3+/ AM4 / FM1 & FM2 supporting CPUs all Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64, All Athlon II, All Sempron, Phenom, Phenom II, All A-Series AMD APU, All Ryzen (AM4). The GELID has included 2x PWM fans in white and black colors combination which looks that good in person.  The cooler is rated for 200W TDP.

Product:               Phantom Black

Manufacturer:     GELID Solutions

Price:                   USD 47 / EUR 39 [At the time of the review]

Specifications

Packing and Unboxing

The cooler is shipped inside a cardboard box with a colorful theme all around.

There is a picture of the cooler in the middle. GELID brand name and logo are printed on the top. The model of the cooler is printed above the picture. The socket compatibility is printed at the bottom.

The salient features of the cooler are printed here. The GELID Phantom Black is compatible with wide range Intel and AMD sockets including the Ryzen AM4.

Specifications of the cooler are printed in the tabular format. The fans have a high static pressure rating as well as airflow rating making it a good companion for the heatsink.

Salient features have been highlighted here like this cooler is rated for 200W TDP making it one of the best in this price range. Advanced-Twin Tower heatsink, triple-fan option, 7 mixed size black nickel-plated copper heat pipes, enhanced mounting kit, are all highlighted here.

The top cover of the packing box has a GELID brand name and logo printed along with the name of the cooler. The features of the cooler are summed up symbolically.

Opening the box will show a white color accessory box placed on the top.

Removing the accessory box will show a glimpse of the cooler. The fans are not pre-installed rather packed inside the white color boxes and placed along with the heatsink. The whole package is inside a transparent container and tucked inside the Styrofoam.

Contents

Following are provided in the box:

  • 1x Heatsink
  • 2x Smart PWM 120mm Fans
  • 4x Fan Clips
  • 1x Backplate
  • 2x Intel Mounting Brackets
  • 2x AMD Mounting Brackets
  • 4x Silicone Washers
  • 4x Silicone Spacers
  • 4x Intel LGA-20XX Standoffs
  • 4x Other Sockets Standoffs
  • 4x Thumb Nuts
  • 4x Screws
  • 1x Installation Manual
  • 1x Thermal Paste GC-Pro

Closer Look

Let’s start with what GELID Solutions are saying about their cooler, “The Phantom Black features a masterpiece of top-notch cooling technologies. The unique constellation of 7 optimized power heat pipes, the advanced 2-tower heatsink and the 2 silent 120mm fans with Smart PWM all deliver ultimate thermal performance. The support of TDP over 200W makes the Phantom Black overkill CPU cooling solution for pro gamers and overclockers.”

The GELID Phantom Black has a dimension of 118x126x160mm (LxWxH) with the fans. Despite being a dual-tower design, the cooler has a slim profile. It has a weight of 1020gm (heatsink and fans). The cooler is rated for 200W TDP and comes with two Smart PWM 120mm fans. The cooler is compatible with Intel LGA Socket 775, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2066, 1150 & 1151 with support for all Pentium D/ Pentium 4/ All Celeron D/ All Pentium Dual-Core/ Extreme/ All Core 2 Extreme/ Core 2 Quad/ Core 2 Duo, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9. In AMD department, this cooler is compatible with AMD™ Socket AM2/ AM2+/ AM3/ AM3+/ AM4 / FM1 & FM2 supporting CPUs all Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64, All Athlon II, All Sempron, Phenom, Phenom II, All A-Series AMD APU, All Ryzen (AM4). AM4 support is out of the box and you don’t need to buy dedicated mounting hardware.

HEATSINK

Let’s take a look at the Heatsink.

The GELID Phantom Black has 44 aluminum fins that are soldered with the 7x copper heat pipes. The whole assembly is black nickel-plated. The heatsink is dense and high static pressure fans will be helpful to ensure the high airflow through the heatsink. A single tower has 31mm depth from a wider edge to edge. The black color nickel plating is on the point and gives a dope look to the cooler. The geometrical design is simple as compared to what we saw on the GELID SIROCCO. The overall layout is quite flat with grooves, insets, waveform design all over the heatsink. Both towers have the same layout on the front and the rear sides.

The left and the right sides of the towers are identical. The fins are jointed together from these sides and they have done it in the manner to conceal both sides. This gives the good looking touch on the heatsink and in my opinion, also helps in directing the airflow through the heatsink in a focused manner. There are grooves on both sides. This is where the fan clips are inserted. Take care while touching the cooler from these sides as they are a fingerprint magnet.

The above picture shows the displacement of the copper heat pipes inside the heatsink. The heat pipes are going inside the heatsink in an alternate fashion to make maximum contact with the heatsink for maximum heat dissipation. The front three heat pipes are thicker than the trailing four heat pipes.

Looking closely at the base section of the cooler, you will get an idea of the offset design on the GELID Phantom Black cooler. While the mounting plate is installed in the center of the base block, the displacement of the heat pipes right from the base block is made such that they have a short run on one side and wider run on the other side. The shorter run side is the front of the cooler and this should be facing the DIMM slots though the cooler has restricted clearance for the RAMs as we shall see in the Clearance section.

The above picture shows the cross-section from the front and the side of the heatsink for a better understanding of the overall layout and geometry of the design.

Let’s take a look at the top fin of the heatsink. One can easily spot the alternate terminating of the heat pipes on each tower. The black nickel plate is a fingerprint magnet. The heat pipes are located towards the outer side of the towers.

The base of the cooler is made of copper which is nickel plated and mirror finished. The base measures approximately 38x38mm. There is a protective sticker pasted on it cautioning the user to remove it before the installation. The base plate is also black nickel coated.

The GELID Phantom Black has mounting plate pre-installed on the base using a screw and can be removed. Surprisingly, the spring-loaded screws are not pre-installed on this plate and this can give you a tough time installing the cooler on the motherboard. This mounting plate is not black nickel-plated.

The above picture highlights the cutouts on the sides of the mounting plate. This is where the spring-loaded screws (provided in the accessory) are passed when installing the cooler.

The GELID Phantom Black has 7x mixed size Ni-Plated copper heat pipes. These heat pipes are black nickel-plated. Taking a closer look at the assembly, the second, fourth, and fifth heat pipes are thicker than the rest of them.

The above picture shows another angle of the heat pipes and their displacement inside the heatsink.

FAN

The GELID Solutions has provided two smart PWM 120mm fans with their Phantom Black cooler. The fans feature Hydro-Dynamic Bearing and are rated at 50,000 MTTF at 40°C.

Here are the specifications of the fan:

Dimension120x120x25mm
Airflow65.6 CFM
Static Pressure2.18 mmAq
Noise Level12~26.7 dB(A)
Speed750 ~ 1600 RPM
Power Draw3W
DC Voltage12V
Current0.25 A (max)

 

This edition of the Phantom cooler has black and white colors themed fans. The frame is in the white color whereas the blades and the anti-vibration pads are in the matte black color. The frame of the fan is quite sturdy. There is a sticker pasted in the center which is also in the same color theme. There are 9x blades on the fan. The diameter of the center is 40mm.

Each mounting corner has a cut-to-size black color textured anti-vibration pad installed. There is a distance of 105mm between any two mounting holes.

Each blade of the fan has a wider section on the trailside.

The backside of the fan has a 4-arms assembly of the frame. This is where the fan is actually resting. One of the arms has an inset to make a route for the cables passage. A single flat cable is coming out of the center. The power rating of the fan is printed on the sticker pasted in the middle. The fan is made in China.

The power cable has a 4-pin PWM connector and has a length of 500mm approximately.

Installation

The cooler was tested on the Intel LGA-2011(v3) socket on the ASUS ROG Rampage V Edition 10 using i7 6850k. The below steps are for this socket.

  • Install the Intel LGA-2011 standoffs on the socket pre-drilled holes.
  • Place the Intel mounting brackets with curve side facing outwards on the standoffs. The cooler can be installed in any orientation. Make sure to check first on which orientation you would want.
  • Secure the mounting brackets using the thumb nuts.
  • Apply the thermal paste on the CPU IHS.
  • Peel off the warning sticker from the base.
  • Place the heatsink on the CPU by aligning the holes on the mounting plate with the mounting holes in the brackets.
  • This is tricky. Hold the cooler firmly using one hand and pass a spring-loaded screw through the mounting hole of the plate and screw it in enough to hold the cooler. Repeat the process on the other side.
  • Start tightening the screws one-by-one from both sides till the threads run out.
  • Install the fans on the heatsink using the black color clips.
  • Connect the 4-pin PWM connector to the 4-PWM header of the motherboard.
  • This would complete the installation.

Here are the pictures of the assembled unit.

Clearance

The GELID Phantom Black cooler has a height of 160mm. Make sure your chassis has enough clearance to meet the cooler’s height. The cooler overhangs the DIMM slots and fully covers the first slot whereas it gives a tight fit on the second slot. If you are using two sticks of the RAM, you can get away with it depending upon the width of the RAM. If you are using 4x sticks then the cooler allows for RAM height of approximately 33mm. Keep that in mind while planning a build and going for this cooler. There is no issue with respect to the first PCIe slot.

Testing Methodology

Testbed configuration is:

  • Asus Rampage V Edition 10
  • Intel i7 6850k
  • CORSAIR Vengeance 2x8GB @ 2666MHz
  • Gigabyte GTX 1060 6GB
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Thermaltake TP iRGB 1250W PSU
  • Primochill Praxis Wetbench

 

The following software were used for testing and monitoring.

  • Asus Real Bench v 2.44
  • Real Temp GT v 3.70

Here is the settings table for testing:

IntelStock Voltage (V)1.130
Stock Clock (MHz)3600
OC Voltage (V)1.350
OC Clock (MHz)4300
Turbo BoostDisabled
C-StatesDisabled
Speed StepDisabled
Thermal PasteNoctua NT-H1
Test Run Time60 minutes
Idling Time15 minutes
Fan SpeedManually set to run at 100% speed

 

We are using Noctua NT-H1 on our test benches for all the coolers testing. This will ensure the standardization and mitigate any performance benefit that may come using the supplied thermal paste. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs (Delta Temp = Average of all cores’ max temps – ambient temp). 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.

Results

The GELID Phantom Black cooler was doing a delta temperature of 23.67°C. Though it is below the GELID SIROCCO, this is still a better performance as it is coming close with the 140mm coolers.

The GELID Phantom Black cooler was doing a delta temperature of 45.67°C and was at part with the Noctua NH-U12S. There is a difference in 0.67°C when compared with the Cooler Master MA620P which is also a twin tower 120mm size cooler.

A few words on the PWM range of these fans. These fans are rated for 750 to 1600 RPM. One fan was reaching 1645 RPM at 100% PWM whereas the other fan was reaching 1465 RPM which is like 8% below the rated speed. Though the GELID Solutions has not mentioned the tolerance in terms of the %age, the second fan’s speed falls within 10% tolerance with 8%. Using the Y-cable to connect both fans to a single 4-pin PWM fan header will result in both fans running at 1465 RPM max.

Noise

The sound meter was showing the noise level of the GELID SIROCCO to be 50 dB(A) with an ambient sound level of 36 dB(A).

Conclusion

GELID Solutions Phantom Black is a 120mm size twin-tower CPU Air Cooler. It has a dimension of 118x126x160mm (LxWxH) with fans and a weight of 1020gm (heatsink and fans). The cooler is rated for 200W TDP and comes with two 120mm Smart PWM fans. The cooler is compatible with Intel LGA Socket 775, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2066, 1150 & 1151 and AMD™ Socket AM2/ AM2+/ AM3/ AM3+/ AM4 / FM1 & FM2. AM4 support is out of the box and you don’t need to buy dedicated mounting hardware.

The GELID Phantom Black has 44x aluminum fins stacked together and soldered with 7x copper heat pipes. The complete assembly is black nickel-plated. The soldering makes the cooler durable with consistent performance. The Ni-plated heat pipes are mixed thickness. Each tower has 44 aluminum fins and has 31mm depth. Both towers have a symmetrical design and layout. The heat pipes are displaced inside them in an alternate manner with the thicker heat pipes on the front side followed by the rest of them. The mounting plate is pre-installed on the base block and it is not black nickel coated. Surprisingly, the spring-loaded screws are not pre-installed on it and this would give a bit tough time in installing the cooler. The cooler has an offset design as well though it does not help that much for the RAM clearance as this overhangs the first two DIMM slots (from the CPU Socket). For the users having 2 RAM sticks, they can get away with it though the first RAM would be a tight fit with the cooler. But for the users using 4 sticks, the maximum allowed height is approximately 33mm. The copper base is a black nickel plate and high-precision polished. It measures approximately 38x38mm.

Two 120mm fans are included in this edition of the cooler and they are in black and white color scheme and look that dope in person. These fans are rated at 750~1600 RPM speed using 65.5 CFM and 2.18 mmAq static pressure. The noise level is rated between 12 to 26.7 dB(A). The power draw of a fan is 3W at 12VDC using a maximum of 0.25Amp. The power cable has a 4-pin PWM connector having a length of approximately 500mm. The fans are using Hydro-Dynamic Bearings and are rated at 50,000 MTTF at 40°C.

The mounting hardware has everything a user could need excluding a screwdriver. Though the GELID Solutions has mentioned triple fans possibility, there is no pair of fan clips for the third fan. GC-Pro is provided as well for a thermal paste. AMD AM4 support is provided out of the box. The cooler is RoHS and WEEE conform and carries a 5-year warranty.

The GELID Solutions Phantom Black is listed at USD 47 / EUR 39 at the time of the review. In our testing, this cooler has performed very well given its price tag. The noise level was elevated but the user can make a custom fan curve. Given the adequate thermal performance, enhanced mounting hardware, 5-years warranty, and wallet-friendly price tag, the GELID Solutions Phantom Black comes recommended by us.

We are thankful to GELID Solutions for giving us the opportunity to review their Phantom Black CPU Air Cooler.