|Thermalright Silver Arrow CPU Cooler|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Thursday, 24 February 2011|
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Thermalright Silver Arrow CPU Cooler
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Thermalright Inc.
CPU cooler design (for air coolers, anyway) boils down to a few simple truths: while things like heat pipe technology and base finish are important, the determining factors in a heat sink's performance are its size and its airflow. Size is critical because the more metal a CPU cooler contains, the more mass there is to absorb heat. Airflow is important because the heat must be transferred from the heat sink to the surrounding air. With its Silver Arrow design, Thermalright seeks to maximize both of these parameters within the limitations imposed by a standard computer case, and the result is a giant cooler with twin 140mm fans. In this review, Benchmark Reviews puts the Thermalright Silver Arrow CPU cooler to the test against a selection of high-end air and water coolers.
As CPU design migrates to a 32nm process (such as Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors and AMD's forthcoming Bulldozer CPUs), power consumption and heat production go down, and the need for monster cooling systems decreases. But there are still a lot of very hot CPUs out there, such as the overclocked and overvolted Core i7-950 I use in my heat sink test machine.
Any CPU cooler's primary task is to cool the CPU. Since retail CPUs come with perfectly adequate coolers, the main reason to buy an aftermarket cooler is for conditions that the stock cooler can't handle...namely, overclocking. From its size alone, one would expect the Silver Arrow to be aimed at the extreme overclocking crowd.
Thermalright Silver Arrow Specifications