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Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme CPU Cooler Review

Manufacturer: Thermalright

Testing Configuration and Benchmarks Used

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To verify that the CPU cooler operates up to specs, the Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme cooler was tested with the CPU running in both stock and at a known stable overclocking speed using a Z77-based system and at stock speeds using a Z87-based system, so that comparative results could be provided for both Ivy Bridge and Haswell-based systems. The results are presented for the cooler under review as well as other top-rated water and air coolers for performance comparison purposes. The benchmark tests used should give you a good understanding of the Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme's capabilities so that you, the reader, can make a more informed purchasing decision. The comparison coolers were selected based on their superior performance capabilities.

Test System Setup

CPU

Intel Z77-based system
Intel Core i5-3570K
Stock - 3.4GHz, 34 x 100MHz Base Clock
Overclocked - 4.4GHz, 42 x 105MHz Base Clock

Intel Z87-based system
Intel Core i7-4770K
(3.5GHz, 35 x 100MHz Base Clock)

Motherboard

MSI Z77 MPOWER
MSI Z87 XPOWER

Memory

Intel Z77-based system
G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 modules
Stock - 1600MHz, 11-11-11-30-1T
Overclocked - 1960MHz, 11-11-11-30-1T

Intel Z87-based system
Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 modules
(1600MHz, 9-10-9-27-1T)

Hard Drive

Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
Intel 520 240GB SSD
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA III HD

Sound Card

Onboard sound

Video Card

Intel Z77-based system
AMD Radeon HD 5870 1GB

Intel Z87-based system
NVIDIA GTX 570 1.25GB

CPU Cooling

Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme CPU Cooler
Phanteks PH-TC12DX CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series™ H100i Extreme Performance CPU Cooler
XSPC Raystorm 750 EX240 Watercooling Kit

Video Drivers

AMD ATI Catalyst 12.8
NVIDIA 320.18

Power Supply

Corsair 650
Corsair HX750

Operating System

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thermal Paste

MG Chemicals 860-60G Silicone Heat Transfer Compound

The 64-bit Windows 7 based test bench used for LGA1155 board testing includes an Intel Core i5-3570K CPU, 8GB of DDR3-2133 memory, an AMD Radeon 5870 1GB video card, and an Intel 520 240GB SSD drive. The 64-bit Windows 7 based test bench used for Intel Z87 LGA1150 board testing includes an Intel Core i7-4770K CPU, 16GB of DDR3-1866 memory, an NVIDIA GTX 570 1.25GB video card, and a Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD drive. Using the selected components gives us the ability to demonstrate the cooling system's capabilities rather than that of the system components.

Benchmark Tests used for evaluation:

  • LinX Intel Linpack Benchmark v0.6.4 (Intel Z77-based testing)
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v3.00 (Intel Z87-based testing)
  • Geeks3D FurMark v1.10.2
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 7, 2014 | 10:41 PM - Posted by StewartGraham (not verified)

This cooler has significantly better thermals.

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?

October 3, 2014 | 10:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi anybody knows if it will enter in a nzxt s340 case???

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