SilverStone NT06-PRO – Test and Review
Before I start writing the article regarding SilverStone NT06-PRO, let’s check the overall series first. The NT series, which comes from Nitrogon is actually a series of air coolers made for specialized applications. All of the products feature something unique and specially focused for a specific purpose. So, if you fancy a history lesson, check out the summary of the company’s coolers below or skip directly to the next paragraph for our main star today:
1. SilverStone SST-NT01-E – a pretty ancient and entirely made of pure copper passive cooler with dimensions of 123mm (W) x 109mm (H) x 88mm (D) and weight of 470g. The cooler was suitable for HTPC systems and is EOL.
2. SilverStone SST-NT01 v2.0 – a pretty ancient and entirely made of pure copper passive cooler with dimensions of 141 mm (W) x 108 mm (H) x 105 mm (D) and weight of 572 g. The cooler was suitable for HTPC systems, for systems inside tower cases and is EOL.
3. SilverStone SST-NT01-PRO – an actual passive cooler in the company portfolio made of copper contact plate, copper heat pipes and aluminum fins with dimensions of 140mm (W) x 120mm (H) x 97mm (D) and weight of 470g. The cooler is suitable for HTPC systems.
4. SilverStone SST-NT02 – a cooler originally introduced back in 2005 made of copper contact and aluminum fins with dimensions of 88mm (W) x 114mm (H) x 71mm (D) mm and cooled by SilverStone FM82 80 x 25mm fan. The cooler was suitable for systems inside tower cases and is EOL.
5. SilverStone SST-NT03 – a pretty ancient and entirely made of pure copper cooler with dimensions of 90 mm (W) x 72 mm (H) x 64 mm (D) and weight of 608 g and cooled by 2 x fans with dimensions of 60 x 15mm. The cooler was suitable for HTPC systems, for systems inside tower cases and is EOL.
6. SilverStone SST-NT04 – a pretty ancient and entirely made of aluminum cooler with dimensions of 94.2mm (W) x 75mm (H) x 80mm (D) and weight of 300g and cooled by 1 x fan with dimensions of 80 x 25mm. The cooler was suitable for HTPC systems, for systems inside tower cases and is EOL.
7. SilverStone SST-NT05 – a pretty ancient model made of copper contact plate and aluminum fins with dimensions of 69mm (W) x 75mm (H) x 94.2mm (D) and weight of 308 g and cooled by 1 x fan with dimensions of 70 x 25mm. The cooler was suitable for HTPC systems, for systems inside tower cases and is EOL.
8. SilverStone SST-NT06 – a cooler made of copper contact plate and aluminum fins with dimensions of 125.4mm (W) x 111mm (H) x 148mm (D) and weight of 570 g and cooled by 1 x fan with dimensions of 120 x 32mm. The cooler was suitable for HTPC systems, for systems inside tower cases and is EOL.
9. SilverStone SST-NT06-E – al passive cooler made of copper contact plate and aluminum fins with dimensions of 123mm (W) x 82mm (H) x 149mm (D) and weight of 430g and capable to operate with 1 x 120mm fan. The cooler was suitable for HTPC systems, for systems inside tower cases and is EOL.
10. SilverStone SST-NT06-Lite – a passive cooler made of copper contact plate and aluminum fins with dimensions of 125.4mm (W) x 78mm (H) x 148mm (D) and weight of 570 g and capable to operate with 1 x 120mm fan. The cooler was suitable for HTPC systems, for systems inside tower cases and is EOL.
11. SilverStone SST-NT06-Pro – an model in the current company portfolio made of copper contact plate, copper heat pipes and aluminum fins with dimensions of 140mm (W) x 82mm (H) x 139mm (D) and weight of 700g (with fan). NT06-Pro is supplied with 120mm x 20mm fan and is capable to be used with a second fan. The cooler is suitable for HTPC systems and for systems inside tower cases.
12. SilverStone , NT07-PRO, NT07-775, NT07-1156, NT07-115X – low profile coolers made to be installed inside a small form factor HTPC systems suitable to be used with Intel corresponding sockets.
13. SilverStone SST-NT07-AM2 – A low profile cooler made to be installed inside a small form factor HTPC systems suitable to be used with all modern AMD sockets.
Ok, enough with the history lesson. I should say that Nitrogon is one pretty extensive series featuring so many and such various models and each one of them with specific purpose. Anyway, for this review I received SilverStone SST-NT06-Pro, which is one of the current models in the company portfolio and I believe it is about time to start paying some attention to it.
|NT06-Pro front side of the package||NT06-Pro side/back of the package|
SilverStone SST-NT06-Pro arrived to me for doing a test and review in a pretty simple and at the same time very good looking carton box made entirely of very thick and reliable recycled paper with a small picture of the cooler and some technical details on the front side, while everything else, such as the full technical specification and some explanations regarding the product, are printed on the other sides of the package.
Ok, the package is good but let’s dig deeper inside of it.
The first thing to notice after I opened the package was the very extensive installation manual and beneath it there were the heat sink and the fan packed inside nylon bags and together put inside Styrofoam, made to hold the cooler parts snugly and protect then during transportation. And after I took all of the cooler parts out of the package seems that the Styrofoam did its job and this is the view which I got of the HTPC type heatsink, a 120mm fan, an installation manual and of course… a white box with the additional accessories.
Since I’ve mentioned the additional accessories, let’s pay some attention to the small white box and then continue with the review.
SilverStone NT06-PRO ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES
All of the additional accessories were packed in separate nylon zip bags to ensure all of the parts will arrive undamaged and providing the possibility to be used with all modern Intel and AMD sockets. After I took all of the accessories out of their packages and carefully arranged them for taking some pictures, this is the view I got.
The standard accessories pack for SilverStone NT06-PRO offers:
- Entirely painted in black metal back plate needed for both Intel and AMD sockets
- 2 x front metal bars needed, part of the front plate for installing the cooler on Intel sockets
- 2 x front metal bars needed, part of the front plate for installing the cooler on AMD sockets
- 8 x small bolts for assembling the front plate
- A metal crossbar needed to hold the heat sink to any socket
- 4 x long bolts for attaching the front bars to the back plate
- 4 x shorter bolts for 2011 socket
- 4 x nuts
- 4 x plastic washers
- 8 x bands for reducing the fans vibrations
- a square plastic bracket, which is needed if the cooler is used with socket 939
- 4 x isolation pads, which should be attached to the back plate for avoiding a short circuit
- 4 x metal clips for installing up to 2 fans
- a thermal compound
- an installation manual
Before I continue with the article I should say that there are a lot of additional accessories included to provide the best cooler compatibility and with this mounting kit quality, to provide the best reliability.
For now let’s put the additional accessories aside until they are needed for the mounting kit assembly process and later installation of the cooler.
SilverStone NT06-PRO HEAT SINK STRUCTURE
SilverStone NT06-PRO as every other modern cooler on the market is made of three major components which I am going to describe one by one and check all their features in this article and they are: the heat sink structure formed as a typical HTPC with parallel heat sink position with respect to the motherboard, the cooling fan and the mounting kit.
As always, let’s start checking the heat sink.
SilverStone NT06-PRO’s heat sink itself is made of nickel plated copper contact plate, 6 x Ø6mm nickel coated copper heat pipes, without a direct contact with the processor, and of course aluminum fins grouped together forming the parallel to the motherboard single tower setup as the cooling surface. The overall cooler dimensions are 140mm (W) x 82mm (H) x 139mm (D) and weight of 700g including the fan. According to the official technical details, the cooler is rated to provide TDP up to:
- Without a cooling fan: 65W
- With one fan with dimensions of 120 x 20mm: 95W
- With one fan with dimensions of 120 x 25mm: 130W
- With one fan with dimensions of 120 x 20mm and second fan with dimensions of 120 x 20mm: 150W
Pretty serious TDP to be honest for an HTPC cooler with these dimensions and weight. And to be honest, I really doubt this TDP will be achieved with any low or middle grade processor inside an HTPC rig with normal daily usage.
Anyway, let’s continue with the article and as usual first thing to check is the contact plate since it has the most important role.
SilverStone NT06-PRO is equipped with a perfectly milled contact plate with dimensions of 38 x 42 mm made of copper with silver nickel coating holding in line the 6 x Ø6mm silver nickel coated copper heat pipes, arranged in line and passing through the aluminum fins stack from only one of the cooler. So far pretty standard, not really big HTPC cooler structure, made to be installed parallel according to the motherboard.
And by mentioning the aluminum fins stack, let’s check what SilverStone NT06-PRO has to offer.
|The side of the aluminum fins stack||The stack seen from above
SilverStone NT06-PRO offers a pretty interesting aluminum fin stack structure with dimensions of 140mm (W) x 30mm (H) x 112mm (D) and featuring overall 52 performance aluminum fins grouped in 3 sections.
First section, which is closest to the heat pipes is made of 11 x 1mm thick and with 2 mm gap performance fins. Right after that there are 5 x 1mm thick and with 2 mm gap performance fins which are shorter than those used in the first section made like this so the cooler can be fastened using a screwdriver through the stack to the processor. The last section is done by additional 36 x 1mm thick and with 2 mm gap performance fins made to provide maximum cooling surface. Apart from that, the outer fin is made to bear the company logo and improve the overall appearance of the cooler. All of the fins together form a bit bigger cooling surface made to hold up to 120mm fans, which should be attached to it with 2 metal clips.
And I believe it is time to check the cooling fan provided with the package.
|The front side of the fan||The back side of the fan
The standard NT06-PRO package offers just one fan, entirely painted in black, which is unknown model for me but bearing the HA1220H12SA-Z product number, so I believe it is a model designed especially for this cooler and is not sold separately. The fan is with dimensions of 120mm x 20mm, made to operate at 1000~2200 revolutions per minute range and providing airflow level range of 33.623~73.969CFM. According to the pretty limited technical details regarding the fan it features sleeve bearing with up to 30 000 hours life span and is PWM powered and regulated by a pretty long sleeved in black cable.
Now I believe it is time to install the fan and prepare the cooler for testing.
|The fan clips
||The fan installed on the heat sink
As I’ve said earlier in this article and according to the official technical details, this cooler can work with or without a cooling fan. Of course, when the heat sink is without fan it will offer pretty limited cooling capabilities and since I am trying to do a performance test I will definitely use the one provided in the package. And to install the fan I should decide first, where should I put it. The original fan can be installed beneath the aluminum fins stack or above it, as you can see from the right picture above, but always to blow towards the motherboard. I believe both ways will do the job but for doing the tests I will follow the original setup and install the fan beneath the fins using 2 metal clips.
Apart from that, in the original accessories pack there are 2 additional fan clips which can be used with additional 120mm fan to boost the overall cooling performance.
With the fan installed on the heat sink and according to the official technical details, the cooler should provide up to 95W TDP, which sounds pretty good and could be used with processors:
- Intel sockets: LGA775/1150/1155/1156/1366/2011
- AMD sockets: AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2/FM2+
Of course, for doing the tests with my rig I will use the AMD brackets and these are the parts needed so the cooler can be installed on the motherboard:
As always to test and review a cooler provided by SilverStone I will have to assemble the pretty extensive mounting kit. Something which I will describe step by step with the next lines and pictures. Yes, even for this model we will have to assemble one pretty reliable but still a bit complicated for the regular users to assemble mounting kit.
|Preparing the back plate||The back plate ready|
As always first thing to do is to stick the short circuit isolation pads to the back plate and place the 4 long bolts inside the holes as you can see on the pictures above. Next step is to assemble the front plate.
|Preparing the front plate||The front plate almost assembled|
And here comes the most tricky part for me. Assembling the front plate and those evil small bolts, which always start escaping my big fat fingers. Anyway, after I spent some time and nerves the front plate is assembled and ready to be installed together with the back plate on the motherboard.
And these are all of the parts so the cooler fit and operate with the motherboard.
With the mounting assembled it is time to install it on the motherboard.
As always, first thing to do is to install the back plate and fix it with the 4 plastic spacers provided in the package. After that I will have to install the front plate and fasten it with the four metal nuts.
Last thing to do is to add thermal compound and fasten the heat sink to the processor using the crossbar and a screwdriver.
And this is what the cooler looks installed on the motherboard.
|The heat sink installed
||The fan installed
As you can see from the pictures above, this cooler is not really compatible with taller RAM modules, but for shorter ones there is no problem at all even to install the fan beneath the aluminum fins stack. Anyway, as a typical HTPC cooler it is obvious that the best choice will be shorter RAM modules.
SilverStone NT06-PRO Tests
With the cooler installed I believe it is time to move forward and do some testing.
CPU: AMD APU A8-5600k
- At standard frequency of 3.600 MHz (at 1.320V)
- At low overclock frequency of 3.900 MHz (at 1.424V)
- At medium overclock frequency of 4.200 MHz (at 1.440V)
Motherboard: ECS A85F2-A GOLDEN (V1.0)
Video card: 2 x Gigabyte GV-R927XOC-2GD
Memory: 2 x 4GB Geil Black Dragon 1866 MHz
Hard drive: Kingston SSD SV100S264G
Case: SilverStone Raven RV-03
Power supply: Antec HCP-750W
Cooler: SilverStone NT06-PRO
Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1
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
- 120mm fan behind the motherboard cooling the socket and spinning at about 1000 rpm.
- Room temperature of about 20 degrees.
Both SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans were connected together to the chassis 1 connector and were rotating at maximum speed.
And here I want to describe my testing method.
I will install SilverStone NT06-PRO 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 1.320V), at low overclock frequency of 3.900 MHz (at 1.424V) and at medium overclock frequency of 4.200 MHz (at 1.440V) using only the fan provided in the package, installed beneath the aluminum fins stack.
With the cooler installed inside my testing rig it is time to check out the test results:
|SilverStone NT06-PRO @ 3600MHz 1.320V||SilverStone NT06-PRO @ 3900MHz 1.424V|
|SilverStone NT06-PRO @ 4200MHz 1.440V|
All of the test results have been summed up in the following charts:
And the fan speed during the tests:
SilverStone NT06-PRO Conclusions
1. SilverStone NT06-PRO performance:
After I spent some time unpacking the SilverStone NT06-PRO and all of the accessories part of the very extensive packaging which will be needed for normal operation, arranging them for taking some pictures, assembling the mounting kit, installing the cooler and finally after I’ve finished doing the tests I can say that I am really impressed with the overall features and performance of this small HTPC cooler.
It is pretty obvious that with these dimensions and its specific structure we can’t expect that this cooler can handle a processor which requires a lot of power and generate a lot of heat such as AMD FX-8350 but with normal low or middle range processor installed inside a normal HTPC case for normal daily usage it will definitely handle. The overall cooling performance was a surprise even to me after I saw how it kept my pretty high overclocked and pretty high loaded A8-5600k processor which was definitely generating a lot of heat. After what I saw I can recommend this product to be used inside HTPC systems cooling middle, low or even high grade processors working at default frequencies for daily usage. And here I want to say that this cooler structure provides something else than just cooling the processor and that is cooling all of the additional parts and elements around the socket. Parts such as the VRM and the RAM modules.
Apart from that, when I was doing the tests it was pretty noisy since the fan was rotating at maximum speed, but after I finished testing and let the motherboard to PWM control the fan it was almost all the time perfectly quiet.
2.SilverStone NT06-PRO appearance:
Overall SilverStone NT06-PRO offers very neat, sleek and at the same time very effective structure with a specific purpose, which will be the best option inside a horizontal HTPC case from any of the HTPC case series included in the SilverStone or any other brand portfolio. Of course, it can be used in a normal case and can be a pretty good choice for a modding project, too.
According to my review, I think that SilverStone NT06-PRO deserves the following reward:
Official price (MSRP) for SilverStone NT06-PRO: 50.9 euro
Official warranty: 24 months
Special thanks to SilverStone for providing us with a test sample.