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Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme CPU Cooler Review

Manufacturer: Thermalright

Features and Cooler Design


Courtesy of Thermalright

  • 8 X 6mm sintered heat-pipes effectively takes away excessive heat from the CPU when overclocked, Nickel Plated heat-pipes, slower Oxidation and deterioration of the heat-pipes, provides longer period of Thermal conductivity.
  • Double fin design , each side with 154mm*120mm heat dissipation area, can be used with 14 or 15 cm fan ( fan clips included).
  • Special Arrow fin design, which allows cool air to pass through and take heat away rapidly, effectively provide cooling for the CPU.
  • Support Multiple-Platforms. Can be used on Socket 20111150/1155/1156/1366/775 Platform, and AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1 Sockets.
  • Including Two TY-143 high speed PWM fans and specialized PWM Y-Cable. With the compatibility of up to 3 fans maximum.

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The Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme cooler is a copper-aluminum hybrid cooler. The CPU plate and heat pipes are copper for optimized heat absorption, while the twin-tower radiator fins are aluminum-based for better heat transfer. The CPU baseplate and heat pipes are nickel-plated to protect the sensitive copper layer from accidental scratches, oxidation, and corrosion. The radiator towers have a fin density of 12 fps (fins per inch), allowing for great heat dissipation potential while requiring a higher pressure fan to push adequate airflow through the twin radiators.

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From the side-view, you can see the construction of the twin radiators, with sufficient spacing between them for center fan placement in the unit. The heat pipes form a U-shape, serving dual purposes of structural integrity and dual-path heat dissipation through both radiator structures. The center part of the heat pipe passes directly through the CPU contact plate with the bond between the copper surfaces ensuring optimal heat transfer from the plate to the heat pipe medium.

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The finned-structure of the dual-radiators are arrow-shaped, tapered in the middle and growing wider towards the outside. According to Thermaltake's research, this design helps with heat dissipation, besides just giving the unit a unique look. For all eight of the embedded heat pipes, the terminating ends in the top of the radiators are capped and sealed. This ensures that the heat pipe contents remain under pressure, promoting the phase change required for the heat pipe transfer medium to be effective.

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The cooler's baseplate is nickel-coated and shined to a mirror finish with no visible machining marks or blemishes. This type of surface finish is important to promote solid contact between the cooler and the CPU surface.

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Silver Arrow SB-E design schematic
Courtesy of Thermalright

The cooler stands just over 165mm tall with each of the radiator towers at 31mm thick. This puts the each of the towers a bit thicker than a standard 25mm fan. The CPU base plate is 53mm long by 40mm wide. The entire cooler without fans is 103mm wide and 102mm wide with two fans attached.

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Mounted to an ATX form factor Z87-based board, the cooler's front radiator comes right up to the edge of the board memory slots, overlapping the slot closest to the CPU. The back radiator overlaps the VRM heat sink above the CPU. In both cases, use of overly components could cause cooler mounting issues. However, there is more than enough clearance provided in the center portion of the heat sink.

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In the case of the board used, the cooler could not be mounted with a fan in the front of the cooler. The fan pushed the entire cooler upwards because of space conflicts with the memory modules. In this case, the second fan had to be mounted to the rear of the unit. The center fan had caused not space restrictions with the board mount.

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Even though the fan fit in the rear mount position, the rear fan rested only millimeters above the CPU VRM heat sink. On a board with an overly large VRM heat sink, the only a single fan would be usable with the unit in the center position. The fan in the rear position does not come close to overlapping the rear panel assembly and should not conflict space-wise with the rear panel fan in your case.

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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