Conclusion

Performance

The SilverStone Argon Series AR01 CPU cooler performs adequately when not pushed overly hard, meaning under stock or light overclocking situations. The Haswell-based systems seemed a bit too much for this cooler, given the CPUs high thermals under load conditions. However, the cooler is more than adequate with any CPU under stock settings, especially in light of its minimal sound footprint.

Pricing

As of February 15, the SilverStone Argon Series AR01 CPU cooler was available at Newegg.com for $29.99 after $5 mail-in rebate, as well as Amazon.com for $34.99 with Prime shipping and Performance-PCs.com for $34.95.

Conclusion

Before continuing with our parting sentiments on the Argon Series AR01 cooler, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at SilverStone a hearty "Thank You" for giving us the opportunity to review one of their Argon Series CPU air coolers. At first glance, the cooler does not look like much. It has three heat pipes that form the base and go up both side of the single radiator. However, the devil is in the details in this one. SilverStone uses 8mm diameter heat pipes to maximize the heat absorption and transfer capacity of the system. Additionally, the designed the internal channels of the radiator to increase surface area and redirect the airflow to a non-linear flow to increase the heat dissipation between the aluminum fins and the air medium. This optimization of the air flow path has further advantages as demonstrated in the minimal performance delta between using a single fan and dual fans with the cooler.

The Achilles heel of this cooler seems to be in its ability to dissipate heat effectively using a process with high thermal outputs, such as the Haswell-based CPU. The AR01 performed decently with the Haswell at stock, but under overclocked conditions, it was keeping the process on the razor's edge of stable. At a $34.99 price though, the AR01 is a steal for the level of performance offered..

Strengths

  • Performance under stock and light overclocking conditions
  • Build and machining quality of the cooler
  • Price
  • Fan noise in single fan configuration

Weaknesses

  • Minimalistic manual
  • Lack of nickel plating to protect copper heat pipes and CPU mating surface
  • Complex cooler mounting mechanism
  • Heat dissipation capabilities under heavy load conditions
« PreviousNext »