SilverStone AR07 was officially released back in October 2015 and is currently the biggest cooler in the Argon series, delivering a wide range of interesting features to offer great balance of silence and performance for the mainstream users.
The cooler is already in my possession ready to be tested and reviewed and I am really excited to check the performance of this product while being installed on and cooling my AMD A8-5600K processor running with full load at 3600, 3900, 4200 and 4500 mHz frequencies.
Years have passed since we had the chance to test and review the SilverStone AR01 and AR03 models, which were the first representatives of the series, so let us waste no more time and check the package, the additional accessories, the cooler structure and after that of course to run some cooling tests.
The cooler has arrived to me for performing a detailed test and review in the typical for the series pretty fancy and eye-catching carton box, which is painted in white, light and dark blue colours forming a very attractive and fresh looking colour scheme.
Of course, on the front side of the box there is a big picture of the cooler itself accompanied by some of its main technical details, while the full technical specifications and several a lot smaller pictures of the product are located on all of the other panels of the carton box.
In fact, the box looks pretty nice but I am curious about what is inside of it, so let’s continue with opening the box and checking its contents.
After I opened the carton package, the first thing to notice was the installation guide, which as always looks more like a novel located on top of the 140 mm fan. Of course, beneath the fan there was the heat sink itself, while all of the additional accessories were placed inside the two compartments on each side of the the cooler and the fan as you can see from the picture above.
And this is the view with both the cooler and the additional accessories out of the carton bed.
To continue with the article, let’s proceed with checking the accessories pack.
SilverStone AR07 ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES
To make pictures and describe the additional accessories I had to take all of them out of their nylon bags, in which all of the smallest components part of the mounting kit were packed to guarantee that all of them will be in perfect quality and in full quantity.
The standard SilverStone AR07 accessories pack includes:
- Metal back plate required for all Intel and AMD sockets
- A set of two metal brackets for Intel sockets
- A metal bracket for AMD sockets, which should be attached to the heat sink
- A set of four short bolts to fasten the Intel and AMD bracket to the heat sink
- A set of four longer metal thumbscrews to stay between the motherboard and the front brackets
- A set of four shorter metal thumbscrews to stay between the motherboard and the front brackets for 2011 sockets
- A set of four washers to stay between the thumbscrews and the motherboard for all of the sockets both from Intel and AMD
- A set of four thumbscrew nuts to fasten the brackets to the motherboard
- A set of four metal clips for attaching up to two fans to the heat sink
- Anti-vibration rubber pads for additional noise dampening
- A thermal compound
- 140mm PWM fan
- Installation manual
After checking the accessories pack I have to admit that while arranging the parts to take some pictures I saw that realistically all of them are quite solid, built well and will do the job of holding the cooler and provide solid and reliable connection between the processor and the heat sink.
I believe it is time to put the additional accessories aside and proceed further with the actual cooler structure and starting with the heatsink itself.
SilverStone AR07 HEAT SINK STRUCTURE
To provide accurate and reliable heat sink description I spent some time enjoying its structure and according to what I saw the cooler is definitely a mainstream product featuring several new technologies, combined to provide amazing balance of silence and performance. The cooler is with dimensions of 140mm (W) x 50mm (D) x 159mm (H) and weight of 453 g without the fan.
Of course, to keep the tradition, let’s start with checking the contact plate, which is the component of the heat sink with the most important role for the actual cooling process.
|The contact plate||The heatpipes|
SilverStone AR07 features a perfectly milled contact surface made of aluminum plate holding in line the 3 x symmetrical Ø8mm copper heat pipes designed to pass through, transferring and dispersing the heat from the central processor unit to the aluminum fins. The heat pipes are actually arranged according to the direct contact (HDC) technology for excellent heat conducting efficiency. On top of the cooler the heat pipes are not covered by any caps or additional fins.
In addition to that, the contact plate has one more purpose and that is to hold the mounting brackets for all of the Intel and AMD sockets. Those brackets should be fastened directly to the contact plate via 4 short bolts.
I believe this is enough about the contact plate, so let’s proceed with checking the fin stack structure.
|Front/side view||Side view|
SilverStone AR07 offers a pretty interesting and at the same time very stylish looking single tower heat sink structure with dimensions of 140(W) x 110(H) x 50(D) mm and features 52 x 1mm thick aluminum fins with a 2mm gap, which are absolutely identical and all aimed entirely at performance, designed with the unique interweaving diamond edged technology to improve the overall cooling performance of the product. Additionally, the aluminum fins include one more interesting feature which is the exclusive arrow guides made to distribute the airflow evenly among heat pipes.
Apart from that on both sides of the aluminum fin stack there are dedicated channels to which the anti-vibration rubber pads for additional noise dampening should be attached to reduce the vibrations of the working fan or fans if there are any at all.
Let’s proceed with checking what the fan provided in the package has to offer.
The standard AR07 setup is provided with just one fan with dimensions of 140 x 25 mm 4-pin PWM powered and regulated featuring a light blue round frame and white propeller with 11 pretty narrow, but with very sharply angled blades providing airflow level range of 31.4 ~ 93.0CFM, while operating at 800 ~ 1500 revolutions per minute range with noise level range of 16.5 ~ 30.8dBA. The connection between the frame and the propeller is done by a 4-pin PWM powered and regulated long life sleeve bearing, which is expected to provide a stable operation of up to 40,000 hours.
Of course, to install the fan I had to add the 2 metal clips to it and after that attach the fan to the front side of the heat sink.
And this is what the cooler looks like with the fan installed.
Of course, if additional performance boost is required a second 140mm fan could be installed on the back side of the heat sink with the two additional metal clips delivered with the package.
With the cooler fully assembled, let’s check the mounting kit and proceed with the tests.
According to the official technical details, the cooler is compatible with:
- Intel sockets: LGA775/115X/1366/2011/2011-V3
- AMD sockets: AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2
To proceed with doing the tests with my rig I will use the universal metal back plate provided as part of the mounting kit but first thing to do is to check the installation manual, read carefully the instructions and proceed with the actual cooler installation.
Before I could install the heat sink to the motherboard I had to fasten the metal bracket made for all AMD sockets to the contact plate by using the 4 short bolts.
After the heat sink was ready I moved forward and attached the back plate, the 4 red washers and the thumbscrews.
|All of the parts needed for AMD||The back plate fastened|
To attach the cooler to the motherboard I had to place the back plate on the back of the motherboard, place the 4 red washers on the front of the motherboard and fasten the 4 thumbscrews. And of course, the last step was to add thermal compound and secure the heat sink to the processor by fastening the front bracket to the thumbscrews with the 4 four thumbscrew nuts.
And this is what the cooler looks like installed on the motherboard:
|Heat sink seen from the front||RAM compatibility|
After the cooler was installed on the motherboard it is not blocking any of the DRAM slots and can be used even with memories with taller heat spreaders.
And this is what the cooler looks like installed on the motherboard and inside the case ready for some Prime95 torture testing.
Since the cooler is installed and ready to face the tests I believe it is time to check my testing rig and continue the article.
SilverStone AR07 TESTS
CPU: AMD APU A8-5600k
- At standard frequency of 3.600 MHz (at 1.304V)
- At low overclock frequency of 3.900 MHz (at 1.408V)
- At medium overclock frequency of 4.200 MHz (at 1.424V)
- At high overclock frequency of 4.500 MHz (at 1.440V)
Motherboard: ECS A85F2-A GOLDEN (V1.0)
Video card: Integrated Radeon HD 7560D
Memory: 2 x 4GB Geil Black Dragon 2133 MHz
Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda ST3250620AS 250GB
Case: SilverStone Raven RV-05
Power supply: SilverStone Strider T60F-ESB
Cooler: SilverStone AR07
Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound
For this test and review I am going to use the standard 140mm fan working at full speed of 1500 revolutions per minute providing maximum airflow level of 93.0CFM with noise level of 30.8 dBA.
The tests were conducted in a closed system with:
- 2 x SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans on the bottom panel putting fresh air in and spinning at about 1200 rpm
- Room temperature of about 18 degrees.
The SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans were connected to the chassis 1 and system connectors and were rotating at maximum speed.
And here I want to describe my testing method.
I will install SilverStone AR07 and do stress tests using Prime95 AVX software with constant load on the cooler for 14:30 minutes with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 3.600 MHz (at 1.304V), at low overclock frequency of 3.900 MHz (at 1.408V), at medium overclock frequency of 4.200 MHz (at 1.424V) and high overclock frequency of 4.500 MHz (at 1.440V) using only the fan provided in the package, installed on the front of the aluminum fin stack.
Now let’s check out the test results:
|SilverStone AR07 @3600MHz 1.304V||SilverStone AR07 @3900MHz 1.408V|
|SilverStone AR07 @4200MHz 1.424V||SilverStone AR07 @4500MHz 1.440V|
All of the test results have been summed up in the following charts:
And the fan speed during the tests:
I believe the time to express my feelings and thoughts regarding the product has arrived.
SilverStone AR07 CONCLUSIONS
1. SilverStone AR07 performance:
By spending several hours unpacking the product and all of the additional accessories, arranging them for taking pictures, installing the cooler on the motherboard and after I’ve finished testing, I can say that this is one really interesting product and definitely a worthy addition to the Argon series. Actually, this is the biggest and the best product in the series, which is able to deliver stable and sterling cooling performance, while maintaining low noise level.
During all of the tests at 3600, 3900, 4200 and 4500 mHz frequencies, the AR07 was able to keep my processor working without any issues, which made me think that it can handle keeping every mainstream processor both from Intel and AMD working pretty cool and stable, without or with some pretty serious load at default or overclocked frequencies.
Of course, since this is a middle-sized single tower cooler with only 3 heat pipes, cooling extremely overclocked high-grade processors might not be the best idea. For this there are there are other products, which will do the job much better and more reliably.
In addition to that, AR07 offers a slim design, cooled by a very well-balanced in matter of performance/noise level 140mm fan which can make the cooler a very good choice for every motherboard providing the option to work with all kind of memories installed, no matter how tall the RAM heat spreaders are. Also, after I finished testing the cooler I left the fan to be PWM powered and regulated and it maintained a nice and quiet operation.
2. SilverStone AR07 appearance:
SilverStone has the habit to design really eye-catching products delivered in very attractive colour schemes, which to be honest I really like and I think they just look awesome.
Since this model is part of the Argon series, it is designed to be a combination of a shiny silver heat sink cooled by a bright light blue/white fan, which might not fit in the best possible way in every modern middle or full ATX case, but it will definitely boosts the visual appearance and attract the attention.
According to my review, I think that SilverStone AR07 deserves the following award:
Official price (MSRP) for SilverStone AR07: 37.8 USD w/o VAT
Official warranty: 24 months
Special thanks to SilverStone for providing us with a test sample.