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Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme CPU Cooler Review

Manufacturer: Thermalright

Included Accessories

Included Accessories

Thermalright includes all necessary mounting hardware and accessories to get the cooler running in your system, including fans, mounting hardware, power cables, and thermal compound.

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Thermalright includes a well designed user manual with detailed instructions for installing the cooler on all supported board types.

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For CPU cooler mounting, Thermalright designed a generic top and back plate ensuring consistent mounting across all platforms. This generic mounting mechanism supports LGA115X, LGA1366, LGA2011 and AMD mounts CPU sockets. The the LGA115X, LGA1366, and LGA2011 sockets, you must use the smaller plastic washers for mounting, while the larger washers are used for an AMD-based socket. The four screw nut uprights are used for all socket types with the exception of LGA2011 which uses the four screw pillar uprights. The screw pillar uprights fasten directly into the stock LGA2011 socket plate without the need to use the included back plate at all. For the AMD socket, the included square plastic cap must be used in the bottom plate as well.

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Courtesy of Thermalright

The CPU mount is assembled by fixing the bottom plate to the dual ended metal uprights using the longer screws and fixing the top plate to the metal uprights with the smaller screws. Note that the metal uprights site on the board's upper surface, providing support and spacing for the top plate. For the bottom plate screws, you must use the appropriate plastic washers to hold the screws in place and to help electrically isolate the bottom and top plates. Once the cooler is put in place, the cooler hold down plate screws directly into the top plate.

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The use of screws for securing both the top and bottom plates does give the mount more stability, but makes it more difficult to install than a pole-based system. In a pole-based mounting system, the cooler is held in place using long metal poles fixed to the bottom plate. One other point to note is that the cooler can only be mounted in a single orientation (DIMM to rear panel) and cannot be rotated to face the PCI-Express bus slots because of the hold down mechanism design. This may limit the use of the cooler in a space constrained build.

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Thermalright includes six total fan fasteners, an angled wrench tool for installing the CPU hold down plate, Thermalright's CF III thermal paste, and a case sticker in addition to the cooler and mounting mechanism. The fan fasteners hook into the top and bottom screw holes on the included 140mm fans, one per side. You then clip the straight edge in along the groove on the radiator tower body. The fastener works well to hold the fan once engaged, but can be challenging to install on the fan and fix in place on the radiator tower.

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To disperse the heat from the twin radiator towers integrated into the Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme's design, Thermalright packages in two of their TY-143 140mm fans. The fans have a red colored plastic housing with seven orange fan blades. Thermalright even goes to the trouble of sleeving the fan cables in dense-weave black sleeving to make them more manageable. The fans run at 12V and 0.60 amps with a maximum rotational speed of 2500RPM and pushing air through at a rate of 130CFM. The fans comes equipped with 4-pin PWM compatible power connectors, but will work just as well with 3-pin fan headers. Note that the fans will run at full speed when used with a 3-pin fan header. In testing, we found the fans to push quite a bit of air but were noticeable even over the graphics card fan when running at full speed.

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For fan powering and monitoring purposes, Thermalright includes a PWM Y-cable with two female ends for connecting to the fans. The Y-cable allows both fans to be monitored from a single PWM-enabled motherboard header with power drawn from the wired-in MOLEX connector. Power is drawn from a PSU-based MOLEX connector rather than the motherboard fan header to prevent burnout of the motherboard header from too much power draw.

October 27, 2013 | 03:30 AM - Posted by capawesome9870

this should cool of a R9 290x very well.

although it would need a very good backplate and would have a problem setting up Crossfire, unless you get a PCIe extension cable.

i started off joking, but now i am interested to see if it could work.

October 27, 2013 | 04:41 AM - Posted by Terminashunator (not verified)

Getting a 120mm Closed Loop water cooler needs to be tested, i think. People have shown GPUs massively benefiting from a water cooled GPU, and that card deserves it.

October 27, 2013 | 11:29 PM - Posted by capawesome9870

that is something Corsair need to get started on. a single 120mm with the pump built in to the rad (not on the top of the CPU) and provide a universal mount and backplate.

October 27, 2013 | 10:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'd rather go with the "Dark Rock"! It's top plate just looks mean!

October 27, 2013 | 12:57 PM - Posted by Prodeous

Wonder how the Nocuta 14D would perform with these fans, would the performance be on par with that much extra air? Either way, nice to see that Air cooling is giving water cooling some competition.

October 27, 2013 | 01:37 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Hey Morry,

Thanks for the excellent review. Do the phenomenal temps make up for the noise, installation, and spacing issues? I guess, in that you gave it a silver award, that the low temps do. It would be nice to see the temps when the fans on each contestant are generating about the same decibels, but not sure how you would do this.

October 27, 2013 | 10:56 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

In my opinion, the performance does not make up all the way for the fan noise or for the installation issues, which is why it only received a silver award.  However, I could not discount its phenomenal performance in relation to the water cooling solutions.

However, as far as the mounting goes, most users are not going to be removing and reseating the CPU cooler as much as I do (if at all past the initial mount), so I had to take that fact in to account.  Louder fans do tend to bother me, which is one of the reasons I water cool my personal (a minor reason though), but they do tend to bother my wife quite a bit more - and that's definately something that has to be taken into account :)

November 1, 2013 | 04:10 AM - Posted by nobody special (not verified)

What happens if you drop to say 50db's? You need to test at two levels, one that is max as you show, and another for people who don't want to be driven out of their rooms by it :) at least a level where the vid card becomes the dominant noise maker (no need to really go below that). I think for a large portion of us we want the best heatsink so we can drop the noise not max it. Most people that would max it are probably best served by the HUGE drop in noise from water, right?

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